When she was young, Sophia Bera always wanted to become an actress, but her career turned out to be far, far different. It all started when she bought a house when she was just 21 years old. Soon thereafter, questions started pouring in from her friends. Bera quickly realized that there was an unexplored market for financial advice designed for 20 and 30 somethings, so she decided to become a financial planner and set up Gen Y Planning.
Now 31, Bera recently published a book that discusses the financial advice Gen Y so desperately needs, detailing mistakes, common misconceptions, and basic rules on everything from saving money to paying off student loans, as well as other topical financial issues young people face today that their parents didn’t. Bera said that she wants to help this particular segment of the population because they are often overlooked, yet need the advice the most.
Her main key areas of advice?
She suggests focusing on personal finances, rather than the economy, when it comes to financial decisions. She admits that the economy might not be great right now, but that one’s personal economy might be in a great place, regardless of what’s happening at the national level.
She also encourages people to take everything slowly, even as it relates to saving money or paying off debt. Rushing to pay off student loans may be tempting, but the financial planner recommends putting some money aside first, in case of an emergency. The same goes for saving money. She advocates increasing savings contributions little by little, since the increases will barely be noticeable, but pay off in the long run.
And while she admits that it’s common sense, she also encourages people to focus on their careers since a higher salary delivers more disposable income, which is good for financial health all around.