What I wish I knew earlier | Money bloggers takeover

One thing that’s amazed me since starting this blog was the breadth of knowledge of the money blogging community, so, rather than keep all these new insights to myself,  I thought I’d share some money bloggers’ insights with you all.

A key feature of many posts is about financial education and what people wish they knew earlier. Many want to stop others making the same mistakes they did and pass on the knowledge they have learnt to others. Lots of these tips are really straight forward and easy to follow, but could significantly improve your financial affairs.

Knowing this, about a month ago, I put out a Tweet to see if anyone was interested and Twitter worked its magic. Over 70 money bloggers got in touch wanting to share their wisdom. As a result, I decided to turn it into a monthly feature so you can benefit from these tips all year round!

Here is your first instalment. From geo arbitrage to credit cards, I hope the tips help you!

Fitz’s, The Twenty Percent’s latest recruit, top financial tip!

Emma at The All Round Investor

When I first started to look into personal finance, I was blown away.  There were hundreds of books and articles, new terms and expressions and I had no way to learn about it all.  Frankly, it was terrifying to be faced by all the information in the world.  It felt inaccessible – atopic for old, rich men who were able to invest in the stock market and make huge gains.  Oh, how wrong I was.

When I looked into personal finance further, I realised that there are plenty of ways to get into investing.  With micro-investment companies like moneybox, I was able to dip my toes into investing without sacrificing huge sums of money.  One of the most important things I learnt was that often, starting to invest matters more than where you invest.

With time, I moved my money around and started to invest with bigger sums.  My confidence grew, and I started to make gains in the market.  I realised that, when it comes to investing, the best way to learn is to take part.  By tracking the changes to my investments, I began to understand how to make better decisions, and soon the stock market shifted.  It was no longer a scary world for the rich, but a tool to grow my savings and prepare for the future.  Starting to invest was the best decision I ever made – and you should try it too.

FI Pharmacist

Saving money is not enough, you’ll have to invest it. I always thought that if I saved up a huge sum of money, I’d be able to have enough for retirement. However, I did not take inflation into account! The amount of money that I saved today would be worth less by the time I retire.

After setting up an emergency fund that you’re comfortable with, which is around 3-6 months of your monthly expenses, you should seriously consider investing the rest of your savings. You may be intimidated by the sheer number of stocks that are available on the market, which ones should you choose?

The safest way to start would be to invest in index funds. These funds track a certain index which is indicative of a certain market. This allows you to get the market returns without having to do much stock picking! Once you’ve got the hang of index funds, you may choose to invest in individual stocks which can generate much higher returns.

Having too much cash on hand isn’t good because it’ll eventually erode in value. Investing is definitely the way to go to ensure you have a sizeable sum once you retire!

David of Money Fitness Journey

I have learned a lot over this journey to FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early). Yet I would have to say the one thing I have learned with the biggest impact would have been to figure out what you value and enjoy and spend based on that. If I had a time machine that is what I would tell my younger self to focus on and learn as fast as possible. I have learned that once we spend based on what we value our expenses drop dramatically.

That actually living a life full of enjoyment and value is not very expensive at all. I used to spend money not based on what I valued but what I was influenced by society, friends, family, and my environment to value. I would spend money on a fancy vehicle because that would give me validation from people that I was happy and successful. When in reality the joy would be short term and eventually, I would want a fancier vehicle.  Now I spend based on what I value and my life is more fulfilling and meaningful.

A Dime Saved

I wish I would have known the importance of having an actual, written, budget. While I was responsible with my money, I didn’t want to be tied down to a specific budget. I could not have been more wrong. A budget is so freeing! I didn’t realize how freeing having a budget was. It allowed me to spend and save without second guessing my every decision.

It also cut down on the amount of time I spent worrying about my money and my future. There has been so much less stress since I made a budget- with room for me to spend and save. I wish I had known that earlier on. I would have saved myself so much stress and angst.

Jim from The Money Builders

If I could go back to my early twenties I would advise myself against getting a credit card. They really are the worst form of easy credit as far as I’m concerned. If you’re not careful, interest piles on top of credit and your debt can last for years.

There are many more options available now which are far easier to manage and quicker to pay off.

I have been using PayPal credit for making large purchases. It’s flexible, and once you’ve paid your item off, the debt is gone. I also applied for finance when buying a musical item recently. The agreement was with Hitachi and again it’s reasonably flexible, it was a Buy Now Pay Later deal with a £30 fee upfront and no interest if paid off in a year.

Kat from CashforKat

The biggest thing that I wish I knew earlier was the power of geographic arbitrage. In simplest terms, geographic arbitrage is when you utilize the difference in prices between two locations.

One example of geographic arbitrage is when a company purchases products or goods in one location to sell at a mark up in a different location. The goods do not suddenly become more valuable in a new country, however, people are able and willing to pay more because they have a higher disposable income.

Anyone can take advantage of geographic arbitrage! I am currently living in Southeast Asia but I earn most of my money in US dollars through my blog, sales consulting, and freelance projects. As a result, I am actually able to have a much higher quality of life because my everyday necessities are much more affordable (rent, food, transportation, etc.)

Well there you have it, from investing to geo arbitrage and even credit cards. In their tips, the money bloggers cover a lot of the basics of personal finance. As mentioned earlier, this will be a monthly post, so there’ll be plenty more opportunities to learn from other personal finance bloggers. If you’d like to contribute to a future post please get in touch at katie@the-twenty-per-cent.com or find me on Twitter @Katie20Percent

If you found this post interesting, please like it and share across social media or send it to your friends. I’d also love to hear your thoughts and experiences, so please leave a comment! What’s the top financial tip you wish you knew earlier?

26 responses to “What I wish I knew earlier | Money bloggers takeover”

  1. […] in my money bloggers takeover series. If you are interested in finding more tips, you can check out July, August and September’s posts […]

  2. […] been running monthly money blogger takeovers since July now and they’ve always proved popular. I hope this post is also helpful for […]

  3. […] from The 20 Percent has been kind enough to feature me three times! Once for her Money Bloggers take over series, which is small snippets of advice from a variety of sites. I love reading these every month and […]

  4. […] you’re not sure a traditional credit card is for you there are other options. One popular alternative is PayPal Credit, it is flexible and the debt is cleared once you’ve paid it off. However, much like a credit […]

  5. […] Last month I published the first post in the series, which proved very popular. I hope this post will be equally informative and interesting for you and will give you some new insights. […]

  6. Nice post. Many of us don’t know how to set budgets for ourselves and stick to it. A budget is definitely freeing. Thanks for sharing 😃

  7. lporter18 – Michigan – Inspired writer who is passionate about helping and encouraging others to do better.

    Such a timely blog post. Thanks so much for confirming what I already know. I need to increase my investments ASAP.

  8. a Life on a Dime – I am a wife, mom, Jesus lover, homemaker, blogger, and now YouTuber! I love writing about budgets, DIYs, minimalism, and essential oils.

    What a great idea for a roundup! I look forward to next month’s installment!

    1. The Twenty Percent – United Kingdom – Hi I'm Katie and I use my blog to help young people take control of their personal finances.

      Thank you! Let me know if you’d like to contribute to one too 😊

  9. Great post on money and personal finance! Thanks:)

    Deepti | https://perspectiveofdeepti.blogspot.com/

  10. This is true! Saving money is not enough. It is also important to grow it the right way to secure your future.

    1. The Twenty Percent – United Kingdom – Hi I'm Katie and I use my blog to help young people take control of their personal finances.

      I agree- so important for us all to prepare for the future!

  11. 1rishpher0 – uk – I am the writer and creator of Inv3st, a money blog. I also operate a private account, 1rishpher0, which talks about real world issues, me as person and anything else we want to talk about or expose! (aside from money and investing as that's done on Inv3st).

    Great post!

  12. Many great tips that could help people just starting out! There’s so much knowledge and information out there that we can learn from.

  13. What an interesting post! I’m definitely looking into starting investing in the near future. I’ve got no pension of any sort because I’ve lived and worked around Europe most of my adult life. So, I need to secure my old days somehow myself. Recently I’ve been paying off debts and trying to get my finances back on track after going waaay into minus 3 years ago but finally I can see light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you for this informative post!

    Teresa Maria | Outlandish Blog

    1. The Twenty Percent – United Kingdom – Hi I'm Katie and I use my blog to help young people take control of their personal finances.

      Good luck on your financial journey- sounds like you’re on the right track! Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

  14. This is super helpful! I’m not well versed in finances by any means, definitely learned a lot. Gonna have to try PayPal credit

  15. Loved the research that went into this. I often tell my tiger (he’s a cat) and teddy (a rabbit) that I need to save so I can their treats 😀

  16. lifestyleseason – Lifestyle, Fashion & Beauty Blogger!

    Great post! Thank you for sharing this! I loved hearing from other money bloggers.

  17. Paige – UK blogger behind PaigeEades.com :: 19 :: BA business management :: university student ::

    This is such a great selection of top tips – thank you for putting these blogs and resources all together; very helpful.

  18. I agree with A Dime Saved. Having a budget is key in both personal and business finances.

  19. These are great pieces of advice! There is lots of things I wish I had known when it came to money etc. Geographic arbitrage is great! It’s something I am looking into more, so it’s great that it’s been recommended. Thank you for sharing!

    Em | http://www.loveemblog.com

  20. I love this post! Thanks for including me and all these great bloggers on it. Kat’s geographic arbitrage is a huge takeaway. I might be using this in the future and moving out of America once I hit FIRE in a few years.

    Thanks for this post.

  21. Michelle (Boomer Eco Crusader) – Canada – Hi there! I’m Michelle and I live in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. I am married with two young adult daughters. I’m a big fan of reducing waste, using less plastic, decluttering and simplifying life as much as possible.

    Great post! The credit card is a key learning many people get too late! Fitz is adorable! 😀

  22. I definitely can relate to your money going further in a different location. With covid people are realizing their isn’t tremendous value being in a big city like NY or SF right now and are moving more into the midwest where they will get a better return. I’ve thought of doing the same so I can reach some of my financial goals a bit faster.

  23. Anthony Gaenzle – Lancaster, Pennsylvania – Anthony is the CEO of full-service marketing agency Gaenzle Marketing and Founder of AnthonyGaenzle.com – a top publication for marketing news and advice. He is also the author of Blogging for Business: Skyrocket Your Traffic, Grow Your Readership, and Boost Revenue. as well as The Business of Branding You: Invest in Your Personal Brand, Grow Your Career, and Gain Influence. Throughout his 15+ years in the marketing and multimedia fields, he has worked with companies across a wide variety of industries and disciplines, achieving significant growth in brand awareness, lead generation, revenue and other critical areas. He also helps individuals build influence and thought leadership through powerful personal branding. Follow Anthony on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.

    This is a struggle for a lot of people. Finances are not easy to understand and manage, and it does help to seek advice from experts. I like the concept of find what you enjoy and focus your spending there so you aren’t wasting it on unnecessary things.

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