5 things I’ve learned since turning 25: Retirement, man

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Hi Hart Beat! Here is installment number three in the “5 things I’ve learned since turning 25” series that’s been going on on Hart Beat this week and last. If you haven’t make sure to check out number 1 (face protection is important) and number 2 (high heels are the death of comfort).

3. Retirement savings are like, kind of important now.

A few weeks ago, Food52 did right by their employees and brought in a guest speaker to give us all a talk in personal finances. When I first heard this was going to happen my brain immediately was all RUN AWAY TO THE OTHER ROCKS THAT ARE STILL LEFT TO LIVE UNDER. But then, I remembered that I am now twenty-five and telling myself that I’m investing by buying a sequence vintage dress isn’t going to fly much longer.

The talk that was given to us at work was amazing and long and to be honest I couldn’t summarize everything I learned here if I tried. However, the most important piece of information was pretty easy to take away and it has to do with what I’m sure is not a singular fear, where do I invest my money? If not in that sparkly vintage dress that will most definitely appreciate then where?

Do I buy stocks? And if so, which ones? Do I start an IRA? And if so, what is an IRA? Should I get in on the real estate game? And, you guessed it, if so, who wants to buy me a hunk of land in Alaska? The answer that the speaker gave to us in this talk was this: it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter where you save your money. All that matters is that you are saving any amount of money that you can.

I know this seems really obvious but I don’t think it is, Hart Beat. It’s easy to get sucked up into the whole mentality of spending now and saving later. What I learned (and what I guess is pretty intuitive) is you’ll always be okay if you just spend less than you make. Once you start doing that then the money compounds (I know crazy word) over time. Added to that is that idea that the earlier you start saving the better you are. If you start saving in your 20’s you are much, much, much better than if you start saving in your 30’s.

For someone who doesn’t have an unlimited income (shucks) what I’ve found to be somewhat helpful is a spreadsheet that my bff Samantha helped me pull together. As she so wisely told me, organization will set you free. I’m trying my best to save money, I’m 25 after all…

P.S. When I do retire this is my dream.

Photo by @_alionnamedpedro.

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