The author, Holly Johnson. Insider’s experts choose the best products and services to help make smart decisions with your money ( here’s how ). In some cases, we receive a commission from our our partners , however, our opinions are our own. Terms apply to offers listed on this page. My husband and I are on track to retire wealthy, but we weren’t always smart with our money.

I wish we’d started investing sooner, and learned earlier that we could make more working for ourselves.

I’ve also learned that it’s possible to make some bad decisions and still do fine.

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When my husband and I started getting serious about our finances in our late 20s, we naturally thought we had everything f igured out. We believed we would live intensely frugal lives and work toward paying off every cent of debt we had, and that’s exactly what we did. However, we never thought much about what happens next, or how our attitudes about money might dramatically change as we aged.

The reality is, we became self-employed somewhere along the way and started earning more money. And, now that I’m preparing to turn 43 next month, I can say with certainty that we’re financially independent and on track to retire wealthy when our kids leave the house in seven years.

That said, there are some lessons I learned in my 30s and early 40s that I wish had clicked earlier, and for more reasons than one. Here’s an overview of what I wish I’d known about money when I was younger, and why. 1. Earning more money changes everything

The first lesson I wish I had learned earlier is just how impactful it can be to increase your earnings , especially since I only earned around $40,000 at my old 9-5 job.

No matter what anyone says to the contrary, there’s only so much you can save when you’re on a fixed income. You can cut your cable bill and start using a monthly meal plan. From there, other steps like buying a smaller home and shopping around for car insurance and homeowners insurance can only save so much.

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Powered by : Even worse, working in a traditional 9-5 job also means getting whatever raise you’re assigned to receive each year, if you get one at all. At my old job from more than a decade ago, I was pretty much limited to a 3% raise each year no matter what.

On the flipside, finding a way to earn more money can solve myriad problems while helping you invest for the future on a much faster timeline. If I could go back and change anything in this realm, I would have left my traditional job to become self-employed as early as possible instead of spending years wondering if I would be making the right move.For those who aren’t interested in self-employment, finding other ways to earn more can be a huge deal. This could mean taking on overtime at work, picking up a side hustle , or switching jobs to secure higher pay. 2. The power of compound interest is astonishing This lesson ties into the first one, but I really do wish we had begun investing for retirement at a much younger age. We actually opened 401(k) plans for the first time in our late 20s, and we only contributed a nominal percentage of our incomes at the time. Now that I know and understand the magic of compound interest , I wish we had contributed much more than we did. Featured Partner Offer Wealthfront IRA Account Minimum $500 Fees 0.25%; 0.06 – 0.13% for low-cost investment funds Account Types Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, and SEP IRAs Investment Types ETFs, index funds, and crypto trusts View Full Details Learn more On Wealthfront’s website Featured Partner Offer Wealthfront IRA Account Minimum $500 Fees 0.25%; 0.06 – 0.13% for low-cost investment funds Account Types Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, and SEP IRAs Investment Types ETFs, index funds, and crypto trusts […]

source I’m on track to retire wealthy, but there are still 4 money lessons I wish I’d learned before 40

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