- Your finances are a crucial part of a stable future. Paying attention to them and working hard to improve them can help set you up for success.
- Some executives learned early on that certain things helped them to get where they are today. They suggest that there are a few things you can do to put yourself on the right path.
- If your finances aren’t where you’d like them to be just yet then you’ll need to make a plan. Discover offers a Free Credit Scorecard which can help you keep track of where you stand financially so you’ll know how you’re doing.
While some people may buy their first stocks as a teenager and or start their first business while in college, we can’t all be so precocious. Whether you aspire to be among the world’s wealthiest people or just hope for a financially comfortable future, some advice from successful individuals can help.
After all, they didn’t get to where they are without prioritizing their finances.
One important aspect of your overall financial health is staying on top of your credit score. Discover offers a Free Credit Scorecard, which you can check every month, so that you’ll know where you stand.
Here’s what executives said they learned early in their careers that set them up for a prosperous future.
Keep hustling on the side
While you may be ready to put the gig economy behind you to devote your attention to a career path, one executive suggests it may be smarter to hang on to a side hustle.
"The first bit of advice I have for people starting in their careers is to keep a second job, probably nights and weekends, for the first year or two of your career," says Rob Barber, the CEO of ATTOM Data Solutions, a property-analytics firm. "This will provide two financial benefits: It will provide you with extra income and reduce your monthly expenses, because you’ll be working during times when you would otherwise be out spending money."
Start your real-estate empire
Studies show that millennials aspire to homeownership, but Barber says savvy young people should start buying real estate as soon as they’re ready and able to do so.
One way to ease into home ownership, Barber says, is to buy when you can and then take in roommates to subsidize or potentially cover your monthly mortgage payment.
"Building equity in income-producing real estate early will produce compounding wealth benefits for years to come — but you have to take that first step," Barber says.
The long-term benefits of buying a home can include building equity, staying on top of your credit score, and even tax deductions. But if you’re not ready to buy, continue renting until you’re in a good place to make the investment. Keep saving and improving your credit with your goal of eventually purchasing your own home in mind.
In order to get the best rates on your first piece of real estate, you’ll need to be in a good place with your credit. Stay on top of your credit score by heading over to Discover’s Free Credit Scorecard.
Prepare to lose your job
It’s natural to focus on your new career and to enjoy the excitement of your first paychecks, but it’s also practical to protect yourself with a cushion of savings for setbacks.
"One positive thing I did during my first job as a newspaper reporter was set aside as much as I could afford at the time for emergency savings," says Dorie Clark, a marketing consultant, speaker, and the author of "Entrepreneurial You."
"It was only a few thousand dollars," she says, "but it came in handy when I got laid off after a year on the job and they only gave me a week’s severance pay."
Clark understands that financial planners recommend having three to six months of expenses saved.
"I wasn’t up to that level, but in a world where 40% of Americans can’t cover a surprise $400 expense, it’s important to have reserves in place, because layoffs or other disruptions often come without warning," Clark adds.
Career focus is great, but you also need to develop a financial plan to make the most of your success. Using tools like the Discover Free Credit Scorecard can help you stay on top of your finances and help you prepare for the future.
This post was created by Insider Studios with Discover.
- A money mentor could be the secret to fast-tracking your financial goals. Here’s how to find one.
- This easy-to-use template will help you create a budget that sticks
- How to know when you’re ready to invest