Welcome to another installment of IonTuition’s Q&A series with personal finance bloggers. We have Anum Yoon sharing her personal financial advice with us today. Her blog, Current On Currency, discusses personal finance in a way that is approachable and inclusive to fellow 20-somethings and international students.
Anum Yoon is a personal finance blogger, freelance writer, and part-time translator. She’s lived in four different countries so far and has visited more than 30. Her extensive travels are what led her to realize that no matter what currency you are accustomed to, everybody is faced with the same financial challenges regardless of differences in culture, standard of living, and the currency rate. This realization prompted her to start Current on Currency (get it?) after graduation as a way to help the large number of her peers who seem to have no clue about money management. Although the blog is primarily targeted towards American millennials, she has a significant international readership due to her international experiences.
What’s the best piece of financial advice you ever received?
My mom told me to “bargain for everything you possibly can” ever since I was a little kid. I had mastered the art of haggling and negotiation by the time I was in middle school. Obviously, I don’t apply this rule in situations where it isn’t socially acceptable, but learning that not everything comes at a fixed price has helped me lower everything from medical bills, utility bills, cell phone bills, and even loan payments. This same advice has helped me negotiate for higher salaries and higher rates for my freelance business.
If you could go back in time and give your 18-year-old self a piece of financial advice, what would it be?
This is pretty typical, since most money regrets people have are related to either of the following “wish I didn’t waste money on X” or “wish I saved more.” I had a really restricted budget growing up (thanks to boarding school), so when I finally got to college and had free reign over my money – I went HAM on unnecessary spending. I wish I could tell my 18-year-old self that none of the clothes, accessories and beauty products were worth it. And that it’s so much more rewarding to meet your savings goal every month than it is to deplete your bank account with useless spending.
What’s your advice for those who already have student loans?
A lot of my friends with loans tend to ignore their loans because they’re “afraid of what they will see.” NEVER ignore your student loans! It’s important to know exactly what you owe, and when the grace period ends for each of the separate loans you took out. Also, make sure you remember to let your lender know whenever you change your contact information so you don’t accidentally go into default.
Any other financial tips for our readers?
Just because you have a stable job straight out of college, doesn’t mean you’re above needing multiple sources of income. Find a side hustle and stick with it. Frugality alone isn’t enough to get out of debt and build wealth. Focus on your earnings and set up more than one source of income.