It was just recently that I realized that I will be entering my last semester of grad school in about a month. I took my last class in the Spring semester and all I have left to do is to write a 60-80 page thesis. Sounds easy enough, right? Yet, it wasn’t just a moment of excitement. There is also a lot of uncertainty and perhaps you could even say doubt.
Finishing Graduate School will be another one of the pivotal moments in my life that has a direct impact on my finances. Most young adults face these sort of moments frequently. This is the reason why I think helping young adults master their finances is one of the most important things to do. Learning to embrace these moments in life and using them to your advantage is crucial to your finances. The more you take advantage of these situations, the better your finances will be in the future.
Popular Pivotal Moments in Life
Getting Your First Job – While some people wait to get their first job after college, it is common for high school students to get their first job at 16. Many teenagers at this age want to work, whether it is to save up for the new game system or to get out of the house. I know that I wanted to grow up fast when I was younger. That’s why I interviewed for my first job at 15. I didn’t get that job, but it did teach me how to better approach interviews. I learned fast and have been able to get every job that I have interviewed for since that first failure. (Here are some of my Interview Tips that have given me a perfect record since that point) Getting your first job is important because of many reasons. It teaches you to learn how to manage your finances when you get your first paycheck and it also gives you work experience that will help you down the line.
Graduating from College – This cannot be understated. Graduation from college, similar to finishing Grad School, can be both an exciting and scary moment in one’s life. It means making your decision of where you want to live, what career you want to pursue, who (if anyone) you want to live with, and so on. The opportunity for success is there, along with the possibility of failure. You can secure a high-paying job right out of college, or it could mean moving back home to live with your parents while you get on your feet financially. The possibilities are endless.
Buying a House – Making the decision to buy your own home and start to build up equity is another pivotal moment. It can make or break your finances. You can choose to buy a home that you can definitely afford, or you can go all in on your dream home. If you choose the latter, it could mean risk of foreclosure if your finances take a turn for the worse. How you approach buying your first home will impact your finances for decades to come.
While there are certainly a number of other pivotal moments in your life, you are beginning to understand how one moment can impact the rest of your life. Other key moments include: 1. having children, 2. switching careers, 3. retirement, etc. While it is important to understand the different moments in your life that have a huge influence, it is also important to approach these situations in the best way. Otherwise, you can miss out on an opportunity and regret it for years to come.
How to Approach Pivotal Moments
Use Each Moment to Your Advantage – Some people wake up each day and float through life. Others take advantage of the opportunity given to them to exceed expectations. The best way to approach pivotal moments in life is to use each and every one to your full advantage. Don’t settle for being mediocre or doing what has been asked of you. Being intentional to succeed no matter what will have a huge impact for years to come.
Be Open Minded and Flexible – Too many young adults think that they have their career choice figured out, only to change their mind later. The best thing to do is to understand the importance of flexibility. Don’t be too quick to make a decision and weigh all of your options equally.
Be True to Yourself – The last thing that you don’t want to do is to try to become someone that you are not. Society may tell you that you will be happy if you make a lot of money and own a lot of stuff. Don’t let that confuse you. Sometimes excelling means following your interests and passions.
By understanding the pivotal moments in your life and being intentional in how you approach them, you can place yourself in a better financial position. This involves always planning for the future and performing to the best of your ability.
What are other pivotal moments? How do you approach these moments?
This post was written by Corey, a staff writer from 20′s Finances.
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.