First Person: Smart Financial Decisions in My 20s Made Life in My 30s Easier

Yahoo Contributor Network

When I was in my 20s I didn't always make the best decisions. There was a trip to Mexico in the rain that probably wasn't the best idea. Then, there was the time I pushed myself to the limit and ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. However, as far as financial decisions go, I was pretty smart. By the time I was in my 30s, I owned a home with an affordable mortgage. Both of our family cars are paid off. We can afford healthy meals and preschool for my daughter. In addition, I have been able to quit my day job so I can stay home with my kids when they are young. If it weren't for some of the smart fiscal choices I made in my 20s, I wouldn't be as financially stable as I am in my 30s. Here are some of the good choices I made at a young age.

Going to Through College Quickly

College isn't cheap. I was lucky enough to have my parents pay for my college tuition. However, they weren't going to pay for me to go to college forever. Thus, I finished up my undergrad degree in just over three years. Then, I did an intensive teaching credential program that allowed me to get my credential and Masters in Education in only one year. This saved a lot of money. Going through school quickly prevented me from having to take on any school loans. With my Masters, I was able to get a job teaching English at a local college. Later, since I had a lot of units and a Masters, I was almost at the top of the pay scale when I took my first full time teaching job at age 24. Since both my husband and I had full time jobs, we were able to put money away before we had kids.

Buying a Townhome Early On

When my husband and I were first married, we bought a townhome. I was 23 at the time and the property turned out to be a good investment. After we purchased our home, real estate prices went through the roof. Almost two years later, we turned around and sold our townhouse for a $100,000 profit. This enabled us to buy a bigger house in a nicer neighborhood. The house was older and not in the best condition. However, we were able to take some of the profit and make renovations. Although the housing market has taken a nosedive, we have been able to refinance and modify our loan to keep our mortgage feasible.

I don't think I will ever be extremely wealthy. In addition, my family and I still have to lead a frugal lifestyle to get by. However, in this tough economy, I feel like my finances are in good shape.

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