Saving money is the key to financial independence, but why is it so difficult to start?

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For many of us, we started working at a young age. But do you have anything to show for it? Or just an empty bank account?

I started working part-time when I was 16 — netting an average of about $15,000 per year. Not a lot, but enough to at least start saving.

But I didn’t start until six years later, halfway through college.

If you do a little math, $15,000 x 6 years, I would have made $90,000 by the age of 22. …

Not all stocks are the same

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When I first started investing, I had no clue what I was doing.

Which stock should I pick?

More importantly, which type of stock should I pick?

It can be quite confusing when it comes to picking stocks, especially for retail investors like us.

I’m not a stock market pro, but I can definitely tell you about the differences between the types of stocks you’re buying.

Stock type basics

Stocks are individual shares of a company. The goal of buying a stock is to get a return on your money, and there are several different objectives for each stock.

Companies have different strategies…

How I became a smarter investor

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When you first start investing, it can be easy to skip over the fundamentals. We jump right into the market without knowing what we’re doing.

But if you’re putting your money at risk, you want to be able to make informed decisions.

There are several things I wish I would have known before I started investing. Understanding these different aspects of investing has made me a smarter investor, and I have more confidence in where I’m putting my money.

1. Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP)

Dividend reinvestment plans automatically reinvest the dividends back into the stock or ETF. …

Yes, including this one

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Medium seems to be the only website flooded with content about the site itself.

I don’t care about your low views, low pay, nor your endless complaints about XYZ. Medium wants a relational model, but how can we be relational if all the articles are general complaints?

Tell me about your life. Talk to me about your struggles. Get real with me.

If we want the views to go up — and the content to improve — we need to stop with these complaints. Articles like this one are exactly what I’m talking about.

Might be a hard pill for…

And how I found what’s important to me

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Don’t get me wrong — school is important, but I don’t want to give 100% anymore. I still want to pass, but I’m done spending my afternoons studying.

I want to write.

I can’t do both at the same time — there are only 24 hours in a day. I didn’t completely give up on school — I need to maintain my scholarship qualifications — but instead of burying my head inside a textbook all week, I write.

There’s always a trade-off in life, especially when it comes to time. Think of it as an opportunity cost. …

It’s a sign of incredible strength

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Nearly three years ago — December 26th to be exact — was the day I decided I couldn’t do it alone anymore. My mental health had taken a nosedive, and I needed outside help.

So in the middle of the night, I drove 45 minutes to the mental hospital, walked in, and said, “Hi, I need to be checked-in.”

It was the hardest, most life-changing decision I’ve ever made.

I was admitting I had a problem. I was admitting I needed help. And I was admitting I was powerless. …

How the CARES Act made the 1% richer

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Nothing gets on my nerves more than someone who doesn’t pay their fair share of taxes. I’m looking at you, wealthy people. Not all of you — but certainly a good chunk — need to start paying up.

Tax loopholes are no stranger to the wealthy, and there’s a new one floating around — private jets. Private jet sales have gone up, and the rich pay no taxes on them, with some even receiving tax refunds.

And of course, this was inspired by Senator Kelly Loeffler after she purchased a private jet to exploit the tax system.

We need to…

And what I should have done from the beginning

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When I first started on Medium, I was bombarded with articles on how to get curated, accepted into publications, and become a top writer. I didn’t know any better, so that’s all I focused on.

But I was a newbie. Why should I have to worry about that from the very beginning?

I think a lot of advice given about Medium is helpful towards people who already have experience writing. If you’ve never written an article before, your sole focus should be learning how to write articles. …

Start living life on your own terms

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What bothered me? Other people’s opinions, no doubt. I didn’t act, sing, or dance in high school because I was too bothered with what others thought. I put people’s judgments above my own, and I started to suppress the things that made me unique.

Why did someone else’s opinion matter so much?

Being unbothered is easier said than done, and I’m in no way a master at this. Truthfully, being unbothered is an entire art form and needs consistent practice.

What happens when you stop letting others bother you? You can finally start living life on your own terms. You…

And what you can do about it

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Thinking back on my past friendships, one person comes to mind — my “first best friend.” I was a shy sophomore in high school, and he was the first person to bring me out of my shell.

I became more out-going, more confident, and I started getting out of the house more.

I give him credit for forcing me out of my comfort zone, but was he a good friend? No, he was not. It took me years to realize it, but our friendship was quite destructive. …

Ryan Fulton

Just a college kid trying to make it. IT nerd. I like talking about life, personal finance, and mental health. Say hi! ->

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