“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” — Dr. Seuss
Are you aware of the golden laws of money that exist for all dudes in their 20s?
When you finish college you can become a better person, or you can just get wasted to celebrate like we all did. My graduation was fun. The after party was ten times better. I’ve been out of school since December 17, 2011, when I wrote my final exam. I’ve already learned more than I did in class. But that’s another topic for another day.
Today’s article is not about graduation. It’s about the hidden rules that college just doesn’t teach us about in between the boring lectures and multiple choice exams. There are a few things that every dude in his 20s should know. I’m slowly learning from my own experiences and from others.
The 8 golden laws of money for dudes in their 20s are:
Law #1: Never spend more than you earn.
When I wrote about one remarkable financial secret for saving money in your 20s, I stressed the importance of living within your means. This means that your goal should be to spend less money than you have coming in.
I love to spoil myself. I enjoy traveling. I look forward to nights out with friends. I blow more money than I care to admit online. What I’m getting at is that I’m not here to preach about going out or having fun. I just want you to spend less money than you earn. If you save some money, you can spend the rest.
Figuring out how to fix your spending isn’t easy or sexy, but it’s a battle worth fighting in your 20s. This is the first challenge that you should tackle in life after college.
Law #2: Always meet your obligations.
I realize that things happen in life and sometimes it’s impossible to make that credit card payment or meet your buddy for lunch. I get it. You should strive to keep those times highly limited though. I strongly urge you meet all of your obligations.
If you say you’re going to do something, you better do it.
Obligations you should always fulfil include:
- Credit card bills you have to pay.
- Meetings you said you would attend.
- Promises you made to friends and even strangers.
- Work you said you would complete.
- Friends you owe a phone call to.
Law #3: Always bring booze or something to the party.
Please bring drinks to a party if you plan on drinking. Never show up empty-handed. You’re a grown man now and people are going to notice you as you walk in.
Do you know how embarrassing it looks to show up empty-handed? Do you know how frustrating it is for others when you don’t bring anything and end up drinking their alcohol?
Here’s a quick story on the topic of bringing something to a party…
I was at a good friend’s birthday party and this one dude said something that blew my mind. I offered him a drink. He responded by insulting the quality of the alcohol at the party. Okay, fine. I asked him what he brought. He told me that he didn’t know he had to bring something.
So this guy had to nerve to show up empty handed to a party and to complain about what others were kind enough to bring. Maybe it’s just me, but in my culture you never want to show up without a gift. Let alone insult what others brought.
If you don’t drink that’s cool. Bring some food. Bring something. Don’t show up empty handed.
If you don’t have any money, well then work on that! Find a way to make money. Find creative ways to have fun without blowing money.
You can also explain to your friends that you don’t have money at the moment. Your true friends will understand. They’ll likely be ready to help you out. Just please don’t complain about the quality if you didn’t bring anything.
Law #4: Never blame the world for your problems.
We all have our own problems. I understand that it sucks when it feels like everyone is against you. It’s not the end of the world. You can work on your problems one day at a time.
You’re in control of paying off your credit card bill. You’re in control of escaping the friend zone.
I learned the hard way that it’s never okay to blame the world for your problems. When I started taking responsibility for my actions, I suddenly saw immediate results in my favor. I’m doing my best to hold myself accountable for everything I do in general and with my money especially.
“Everything’s not going to go perfect. You’re going to have some losses that you’re going to have to bounce back from and some things that are a little unforeseen that you’re going to have to deal with.” — Tom Dungy
Law #5: You should strive to take some risks with your money.
There are many risks you should take after college. You shouldn’t be afraid of taking a few chances. If you take risks when you’re young, you’ll have stories when you’re old.
I took risks in my 20s by buying a condo as a rental property, taking online courses, spending hours on writing books, and going on trips all by myself.
What risks do you plan on taking? You can’t keep on keeping on because that won’t get you anywhere.
Law #6: You should always take care of yourself.
Taking care of yourself is worth every penny. You don’t have to try to be as strong as me (kidding!), but you can start off by going for a walk every morning, eating less crap, or adding more protein to your diet.
I love writing about how you can get in shape without going broke or covering other aspects of personal fitness for a reason. I firmly stand behind taking care of yourself.
It’s easy to let work or life get in the way of taking care of yourself.
- Why prepare your own food when you can just buy something at Subway?
- Why go for a walk when you can watch the game?
- Why train when you can watch Game of Thrones?
I’m not here to tell you what to do. All I want to stress is that your 20s are the best time to take care of yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself now, then when will you? You won’t suddenly have more time when you’re older.
Law #7: Be generous.
“The future of your organization depends on motivated human beings selflessly contributing unasked-for gifts of emotional labor.” — Seth Godin
Are you giving enough? Are you being helpful enough? Do you care about anything?
Friends always ask me why I give my best advice away for free here on Studenomics.
My answer is simple: to help you reach financial freedom so that you can have a better life than me!
I know this sounds vague, but my goal is to cover every financial topic until you have more money in your bank account and less debt outstanding on your credit card. I don’t care if I don’t get directly compensated for this.
I love to help others and am willing to spend more time on researching financial topics for you guys. I don’t get paid to write articles on here.
Being generous is important in your 20s when it comes to the little bit of money that you have and your abundance of time. Good things will happen to those that are generous and don’t always keep score.
Law #8: You must see what this world has to offer.
Have you been thinking about reading into how to travel the world? Are you dying to get away?
Let me guess, there’s something stopping you from leaving home. You either:
- Think you can’t afford it.
- Don’t think you have enough time.
Those are valid excuses. Yet all you have to do to overcome those barriers is click on the article a few sentences above this one.
This world has so much to offer. I used to be narrow minded and arrogant (some say I still am), until I actually left home and saw how other human beings lived on this planet. After seeing the living conditions in Mexico or the unique culture in Budapest, I learned that I have so much left to learn about this planet that I would probably have to live twice to see it all.
I’ve picked this up from experience and writing about personal finance for all of these years. You can make your own mistakes or you can apply the tips in here and have a way better life. Time’s going to pass you by either way. You can continue feeling sorry for yourself or you can use the information available to you and actually make things happen while your loser friends keep on complaining.
Did I miss any golden rules for financial success in your 20s from this list?
6 thoughts on “The 8 Golden Laws of Money For Dudes in Their 20s”
Ha! Nice Dr. Seuss quote at the top there!
I’d like to add a comment about #3, not showing up empty handed to a party. Always, always better to bring something, but if you’re absolutely broke, one way you can become a party hero without even bringing anything is to do a bit of stealth cleaning at the end of the night, when everyone else is collapsed in a heap.
I’ve been meaning to ask you also, as a person who has his shit together at an early age, what do you think of the Early Retirement people like Mr Money Mustache or Jacob of ERE?
I love to add quotes into the mix. Wow that’s an excellent point by the way. Some people just don’t understand the value of cleaning up the place. I remember on countless occasions I’ve had friends at my condo leave a huge mess after a night out. I don’t mind cleaning up after a great night, but sure does suck when nobody volunteers to help.
As for the early retirement stuff: I don’t really have my stuff together all that much. I just take finances seriously lol. I enjoy reading the ERE material. It’s entertaining and makes sense, if you’re into that sort of stuff. My problem is that I’m not willing to make that kind of a sacrifice. I just sent $100 today on taking my little brother out for his birthday. We could have stayed in and been frugal. But that’s not what I want to do. It all comes down to what you want to do and the sacrifices that you’re willing to make.
It’s a little alienating to restrict this list to dudes…quite a few personal finance blogs out there seem to cater exclusively to men, can you not be one of them?
For the record, these rules all apply to women as well.
Point taken. In my defence, I’m a 24 year old male so I would be a hypocrite if I tried to pretend that I knew what women wanted or how life was from a female’s perspective. This is why I have female writers on here as often as I can.
Rules 2 and 4 seem to both reinforce the first rule listed. I love to see articles like this that provide an overview of life and money with thoughts learned on the journey. The theme of taking responsibility that runs through these rules makes finances make sense! People need to understand that the opportunity to make and spend money is a privilege that comes with increased obligations and organization. It can help you reach great goals like investing for a retirement in the distant future or investing $100 in a friendship with a brother! It can also be abused and make you paralyzed in reaching goals.
“With great power comes great responsibility.” – Uncle Ben Parker
I also like how 7 and 8 talk about broadening your perspective to make your goals reach beyond your own benefit. Great stuff!
There are many skin care websites that cater to women, yet their topics could apply to men. I don’t go around demanding they not include the term “women” in their blog posts.
When you say, “Don’t be one of them”, you’re implying that speaking to men, exclusively, is somehow bad or insensitive.
Feminism makes men believe that if women have exclusive groups, they’re “empowered”, “independent”, or “strong”. On the other hand, if a man does so, he should somehow be ashamed.
This post is in no way “alienating”. Martin writes many articles that cater to ALL college students. The myth that a woman’s self-respect can only be preserved through the limitation of a man’s creative expression needs to be put to rest.