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Ryan Stephens 🥃 @ryanstephens
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Your school offered classes in calculus, chemistry, and goofy electives like “music.”

But didn't even scratch the surface of personal finance.

It baffles me how terrible (even smart people) are with money.

Let's talk about getting your personal finance "Dialed In"

Aside from the combination of exercise, sleep and nutrition, I can think of few things as important.

What follows are my top 5 tips for getting your personal finances dialed in.
1.) Avoid debt at ALL costs

Let's talk about student loan debt.

The easiest way to avoid student loan debt is to skip college all together.

The average student in the Class of 2016 owes more than $35,000.

You need to understand what schools and what majors have a strong ROI.
Don’t even get me started on credit card debt.

With the interest rates on credit cards, never, ever get into credit card debt.

For a small minority of you, there are times when it makes sense to use someone else’s money to purchase an asset that has the ability to earn 💰.
But, most of you that end up in credit card debt do so because you buy things you want (NOT THINGS YOU NEED!) up with the Joneses.

If you avoid debt, you are able to take more risks in other aspects of your life – like your career.
#2.) Track Your Spending

If you’re trying to lose weight, you would probably track what you eat, right?

So, if you’re trying to save money, why wouldn’t you track what you spend?

It amazes me how few people do this.
People spend more than they realize or are willing to admit.

I recommend taking advantage of one of the available online tools or apps.

You Need a Budget is consistently ranked the best.

You’re avoiding debt like the plague and you’re tracking your spending.

What’s next?
#3.) Get Started Investing Early

Taking on student loan debt or credit card debt in your early 20’s is harmful.

You’ve seen the charts that show the difference in total returns when you start investing early.

Compound interest might be the most valuable concept in the world.
If you invest $250/month until age 65.

Assuming an eight percent average annual investment return.

Start at age…

25:You’ll accumulate $878,570 by age 65
35:You’ll accumulate $375,073 by age 65
45:You’ll accumulate $148,236 by age 65
Don’t overthink this…

Investing can be complicated, but very, very few traders beat the market.

Active investing (i.e. picking stocks) is incredibly hard.
Here are some easy ways to get started:

• Contribute up to a least your employer match on your 401K
• Contribute as much as you can to a Roth IRA
• Explore a low cost index fund

Roth IRAs use after tax dollars so your contributions & earnings are tax-free when you withdraw.
#4.) Earn More Money

People often get obsessed about cutting small costs.

You don't need to spend $25/week on a coffee, but there’s no need to deprive yourself of things that add satisfaction to your life.

There’s only so much money you can save, but you can always earn more.
Side hustles provide:

• Additional savings
• A safety net for unexpected expenses
• Guilt-free spending money
• Additional income to invest back into my own learning
The median savings account balance for those under 35 years old is only $1,580.

Earning more money prevents against things that happen outside of your control.

Your AC might go out or your car might break down

Not ideal, but you can still sleep at night and/or make it to work
In addition to hedging against small (or big) catastrophes, earning more money enables you the flexibility to buy your time back.

If you can afford to have someone clean your house, mow your yard, etc., you can spend the time you save with your family or earning even more money.
#5.) Invest in Yourself

Books, coaches, courses, or a combination of all three.

It doesn’t matter your preferred method, what matters is that you keep leveling up.

Investing in yourself can manifest itself in a lot of ways.
It could mean hiring an executive coach to help you become a better strategist, a better speaker or more knowledgeable about a niche that will advance your career.

“But I can learn everything online for free.”

First of all, you can’t learn everything.

Even if you can learn most things, coaches help expedite the process. Good ones are worth their weight in gold.

LeBron has a coach. Serena Williams a coach. Many of the top musicians have vocal coaches.
Investing in yourself doesn’t have to require a monetary investment.

It can mean investing time into cultivating strong relationships.

It can mean learning about and taking care of your health via nutrition, fitness, etc. so that you’re alive to see your great grandkids one day
Author of the new book Atomic Habits, James Clear talks about the aggregation of marginal gains – or getting 1% better each day. He shares that if you can get 1 percent better each day for one year, you’ll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you’re done.
• Avoid debt at all costs, especially credit card debt. Be smart about student loan debt and ensure the school and chosen major have a solid return-on-investment.
• Track your spending. Knowing how much you spend and on what will be eye opening.
• Get started investing early. Compound interest is magic and the earlier you start, the more you can take advantage.

• Invest in yourself. One of the best ways to earn more money is to consistently and continually reinvest in yourself.
• Earn more money. Earn a raise and ask for it. Start a side hustle. After a certain point, earning more money won’t make you happier, but it can provide a nice safety net and the flexibility to buy your time back.
If you received value from this thread I'd appreciate a RT/Like on the first tweet in this thread.

And, if you want to stay in the loop and get your career, health & wealth DIALED IN, please subscribe here:

Thank you. Seriously. I'm grateful. 🙏
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