Liane Moriarty has a new mystery book for your book club
Liane Moriarty has a new mystery book for your book club

Holly O'Neill

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle make Time 100 Most Influential People list
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle make Time 100 Most Influential People list

Holly O'Neill

Meet five Irish embroiderers doing amazing things with needle and thread
Meet five Irish embroiderers doing amazing things with needle and thread

Megan Burns

Saying you are a ‘stay-at-home-mum’ is the ultimate conversation stopper
Saying you are a ‘stay-at-home-mum’ is the ultimate conversation stopper

Amanda Cassidy

The Hygiene Bank’s Sorcha Killian on hygiene poverty and how it’s impacting Irish families every day
The Hygiene Bank’s Sorcha Killian on hygiene poverty and how it’s impacting Irish families every...

Shayna Sappington

Wildfire: ‘We knew we wanted to tell a story with fierce women at the heart of it’
Wildfire: ‘We knew we wanted to tell a story with fierce women at the heart...

Jennifer McShane

The initiatives fighting hygiene and period poverty in Ireland
The initiatives fighting hygiene and period poverty in Ireland

Holly O'Neill

‘This WAS my reality’: Liberty X singer Michelle Heaton shares depths of alcoholism struggle
‘This WAS my reality’: Liberty X singer Michelle Heaton shares depths of alcoholism struggle

Jennifer McShane

Actress Gabrielle Union speaks movingly about her fertility struggles and fighting feelings of failure around surrogacy
Actress Gabrielle Union speaks movingly about her fertility struggles and fighting feelings of failure around...

Lauren Heskin

Let’s tax the uninventive Met Gala outfits instead
Let’s tax the uninventive Met Gala outfits instead

Holly O'Neill

Image / Agenda / Money

The financial mistakes to avoid in your twenties


by Colette Sexton
21st Apr 2021
blank

Colette Sexton, news correspondent at The Sunday Business Post, on how twenty-somethings can protect their future finances.

While your twenties can and should be a time for fun, it is important to make some sound financial decisions during these formative years to protect yourself for the rest of your life.

Avoid loans, credit cards and debt in general

We are fortunate to live in a country that does not charge extortionate fees for third level education, so most of us graduate college with little to no debt. Do not underestimate how great this is. During the recession, financial institutions were careful with who they shelled out money to, but they are quickly forgetting the lessons of the past and as a result, they are back to the old tricks of offering loans and credit cards left, right and centre.

Loans are now easily accessible with a few clicks on an app, but just because you can, does not mean you should. A loan for a holiday or a fancy car might seem like a good idea now but think about how that might affect your finances in the future. You do not want to enter your thirties with debt from frivolous purchases.

Set up a pension

If you work, then you should be putting away a proportion of your salary towards your retirement. If you are not doing this, then you need to start immediately. Right now, email whoever is in charge of your company’s pension plan and ask to be included. If you are self-employed or freelance then research the options available to you.

From March, the pension entitlement in Ireland will be €248.30 weekly. Believe it or not, that is actually very generous by international standards. It is very likely that by the time the current crop of twenty-somethings retire, that the pension will be lower (or that it will not rise with inflation). Take responsibility for your own future by setting up a private pension. You don’t want to be knocking around the retirement home by yourself while all your friends are off flying in their jet packs.

Create an emergency fund

You might unexpectedly lose your job. Your car might break down. Emergencies could unexpectedly land you in debt if you have not squirrelled away some savings. Plus it can be very stressful living from month to month knowing you have no financial safety net. While loans are unfortunately accessible with a few clicks online now, the good news is that so are savings accounts.

Set up a savings account and ensure that money is automatically transferred to it every time you get paid. Having a little nest egg built up will take a while, but now is the best time to start.

Stop relying on relatives

Relying on the bank of mum and dad to bail you out for basic expenses as an adult is just not good enough. It is not fair on parents or family members to have to cough up because you repeatedly live beyond your means. Plus, long-term, if you are looking for a loan or a mortgage, then financial institutions will easily be able to see that you cannot afford your lifestyle.

Track your finances, make a list of your incomings and outgoings and if you are spending more than you earn, then you need to rein it in. Just because you are accustomed to going out every weekend and shopping to your heart’s content does not mean you should do so. Cut the apron strings, it is time to stand on your own two feet.

Also Read

blank
BREAKING STORIES
‘We must end this… for my mother’: Son of Sophie Toscan du Plantier pleads for information

Pierre Louis Baudey-Vignaud says the decision not to charge Bailey should be revisited.   For almost 25 years, the murder...

By Jennifer McShane

IMAGE Business podcast
BUSINESS
PODCAST: Work Rest & Slay with Melanie Morris: Episode 1

In the first episode of the IMAGE Business podcast, Melanie Morris chats with Fiona Dawson, Global President of Mars Food...

By IMAGE

blank
BREAKING STORIES
Britney Spears’ lawyer files request for new conservator of her finances

Britney Spears’ new attorney has filed a petition to replace her father, Jamie Spears as conservator of her finances.  ...

By Jennifer McShane

women's senior team
BREAKING STORIES
Equal pay is the first step towards genuine equity in sport, but it’s only the first step

The FAI has announced that both men and women’s senior international teams will now receive equal international match fees. In...

By Sarah Finnan

Vicky Phelan
BREAKING STORIES
‘Big decisions’: Vicky Phelan considering stopping clinical trial

Vicky Phelan says she is thinking about cancelling a new clinical trial to treat her cancer in the US, which...

By Jennifer McShane

blank
BUSINESS, EVENTS
Meet the speakers at our virtual The Future of Work event

Join our event discussing ‘The Future of Work’ with top Irish female business leaders – IBM’s Deborah Threadgold, Vodafone’s Julie...

By IMAGE

switching careers
BUSINESS, CULTURE
Switching Careers: What it’s really like to ditch the day job and make the dream job happen

When Andrea Mara was made redundant, she was devastated – she tells Sophie White how a huge blow became the...

By Sophie White