Things We Wish We Knew About Spending, Saving, and Fund Management in Our 20s

Ajay NagpalFor many young men and women in their 20s, saving a large sum of money feels like an impossibility. Likewise, the idea of planning ahead may also feel like a considerable challenge. However, we all know that financial literacy and financial stability must be sought early and intentionally.

Individuals with financial competence can experience the freedoms and joys of comfort, meaning they can have disposable income and make choices that won’t leave them in peril. It’s important to not only be careful about the way you spend but the way you save. After all, there are many misconceptions about spending, savings, and managing funds.

For anyone who made it out of their 20s, there are likely a dozen things they wish they’d learned a bit sooner, which could have set them up for great success in the future.

  1. Utilizing The Credit Card The Right Way | Unfortunately, younger people tend to use their credit cards for apparel and entertainment purposes, while older people tend to use their credit cards to cover the cost of significant repairs and travel. Using your credit card responsibly is a great way to build our credit score and demonstrate financial responsibility.  
  2. Reporting Rent To The Credit Bureaus | Less than 1 percent of credit files contain rental information, according to NerdWallet. Communicating rental information will boost individual credit scores.
  3. Monitor Your Credit| CreditKarma, CreditSesame, and CreditRepair are just three of several resources used by the public to help them achieve financial freedom. These websites offer tips and free monitoring.
  4. Investing With Very Little| For a long time, it seemed that only wealthy people could invest in stocks and mutual funds. Acorns, Stockpile,  and Stash are three available apps, enabling success at income level. According to Bankrate, just one in three millennials, but that could increase that to the development of more investment tools.
  5. Be Careful About Inquiries | Be careful when applying for credit cards. If you aren’t mindful, you can quickly ruin your credit.  
  6. Store Away Money | Seventy-two percent of Millennials have less than $1,000 saved away, according to GoBankingRates. It’s important to get into the habit of setting apart money with each paycheck.

There a few other things you may consider doing, including being mindful of predatory lending; spending less money when socializing, and watching your debt as it accrues.

If you have any other thoughts about unloading debt and better managing your finances, please share.

7 TED Talks That Will Instantly Improve Your Financial Literacy

7 Ted Talks That Will Instantly Improve Your Financial Literacy | Ajay NagpalWith information now readily available, many readers seek to improve their financial literacy. Below are seven TED talks that can help you go from being lost in the financial world, to crafting a personal finance plan.

1) How I Learned to Read – and Buy Stocks – in Prison

Curtis Carroll delivered this presentation from prison in 2016. The theme of his talk is that financial literacy is a lifestyle more so than a skill. He discusses various strategies focusing on personal finance. Curtis Carroll’s talk is a motivating introduction because if he can do it from prison, surely anyone has hope.

2) Why You Should Know How Much Your Co-Workers Get Paid

This TED Talk was given by David Burkus, who works in the management research industry. In this presentation, he claims that it is best for people in a company to exchange salary details with one another. His research proves that employee happiness increases and company discrimination decrease as a result of this.

3) Saving For Tomorrow, Tomorrow

This talk is given by Shlomo Benartzi, a respected economist. He goes over the importance of saving, and how many Americans continuously put it off. He presents dramatic statistics about the popularity of 401(k) accounts and American saving amounts.

4) The Battle Between Your Present and Future Self

In this TED Talk from Daniel Goldstein, another economist, he opts to use the distinction between our present and future selves as motivation to begin saving. He provides strategies for how we can prevent ourselves from harming our future selves by saving today.

5) Post-Crash, Investing in a Better World

This talk from social commentator Geoff Mulgan is simply focused on how to effectively invest after the most recent economic crash.

6) How to Buy Happiness

Michael Norton is a social science researcher who presents on how donating our money to charitable causes can result in more happiness.

7) The Future of Money

In this TED Talk, Neha Narula, who works at Digital Currency Initiative, presents on the power of using a digital currency system.

The information is surely out there and starting with these seven TED Talks, you can improve your financial literacy in no time.

Youth & Financial Education in 2018: Tips For Integrating Financial Literacy Into The Lives of Students

Youth & Financial Education in 2018_ Tips For Integrating Financial Literacy Into The Lives of Students | Ajay NagpalFinancial literacy is a vital area for students to concentrate on. Many students struggle with planning their finances for the future. However, many teachers feel like they do not have the tools to teach their students appropriately in this area.

One of the most significant issues with the modern school system is that teachers spend too much time worrying about standardized test scores. Instead, the teachers could spend time teaching children essential aspects of financial planning for the future.


Debt is a notable issue in our society today. Many people feel that high levels of debt trapped them. As a result, it is difficult for young people to purchase a new home or invest in a business. With the cost of college increasing rapidly, the average student leaves college with a high level of student loan debt. This is a subject that could easily be taught in school. In fact, there are several financial courses dedicated to this particular subject.


Another essential aspect of having financial success is budgeting. Many individuals struggle to budget appropriately. Budgeting is essentially just staying organized and disciplined with financial planning.

There are a ton of online programs to use to help with the budgeting process. There are some people who have trouble budgeting in the beginning. It usually takes several months to truly have success in this area.


Investing is the best way to build wealth over an extended period. Numerous people do not understand how to invest for the future. Investing is not complicated, but it can seem complicated for people who are never exposed to it. Teaching some investing basics to students is a great way to improve their financial literacy. Over a long period, this can make a huge difference in the lives of students.

Take Time to Teach

Schools need to focus on teaching critical principles to students. Financial literacy is one of the best ways to help students in the future. Many students are graduating from school without any exposure to financial literacy. Financial literacy courses will make the lives of students more comfortable in the future. Personal finance is not a complicated subject, but it can be difficult for students to understand without proper teaching.


The Importance Of Financial Literacy In Today’s Society

The Importance Of Financial Literacy In Today’s Society | Ajay NagpalFinancial literacy is a term used to describe financial, credit and debt management and the knowledge necessary to make financial decisions responsibly. This includes anything from how to avoid debt to how a checking account works. The daily decisions made by an average family when trying to buy a home, balance a budget, save for retirement or fund their children’s education are reliant upon financial literacy.

Lack of financial literacy is a global problem, occurring both in developing economies and in developed or advanced economies. Here are a few trends that show the importance of making thoughtful decisions about finances:

  1. There are complex options

Recently, consumers are being asked to choose between a number of investments and savings products. The products are more complex than in past. Consumers are asked to choose amongst product options that offer various interest rates and maturities. Many people aren’t adequately educated to make these decisions. Choosing complex financial instruments that have a wide range of options can impact a consumer’s ability to finance an education, buy a home, or save for retirement.

2) Consumers are responsible for more of the financial decisions

In past generations, people could depend on pension funds to provide more of their retirement funding. Pension funds are managed by professionals, so the financial burden was placed on companies or governments that sponsored them. Consumers were not a part of that decision-making process and usually did not even contribute their own funds. It was rare for consumers to be made aware of the funding status or investments held by the pension. Now, the responsibility for retirement planning has shifted to the consumers. Pensions are now a rarity, especially among new workers. Employees are instead being offered the ability to participate in 401K savings plans. In these plans, they need to make investment decisions and contribute to the plans.

3) The marketplace is changing

The financial landscape is constantly changing. Because the marketplace is now global, there are many more participants in the market than there used to be, and many more factors that can affect it. Technological advances such as electronic trading have caused the financial markets to be even more volatile. These factors lead to conflicting views. As a result, it can be difficult to set up, implement and follow a financial roadmap.

4) Lack of government aid

One of the biggest courses of retirement income in the past was Social Security. However, the amount paid by Social Security currently is not enough, and Social Security may become completely unavailable in the future. According to the Social Security Board of Trustees, the Social Security Trust fund may be depleted by 2033. At this point, Social Security serves more as a potential safety net that may or may not provides the amount necessary for basic survival.

5) Longer life spans

The last reason is a bit more simple: we’re living longer. As time progresses, the average lifespan is increasing. As a result, we need more retirement savings than prior generations do.

Financial literacy has always been instrumental in helping consumers make smart financial decisions, but now, it’s more important than ever. Make sure you stay informed so that you know what to do when posed with a series of financial options that can drastically affect your life.

Ajay Nagpal, the Chief Operating Officer at investment management firm Millennium. Ajay Nagpal supports social entrepreneurship through his work as a Board member of Echoing Green. Please visit his social entrepreneurship blog to learn more about that! Also, find him on Behance!