From €784.68 in the checking account to my first investment: my first steps
✨ by finance, baby!
It is the year 2020, April and I, Denise, 24, am sitting in my small old building in the south of Stuttgart. My account balance is €784.68 and there are still a few gold coins in my cupboard that, if everything goes smoothly, I can get rid of for €1,200. More is not in it.
Suddenly I realized: I have to act. Right now. I'll tell you here what steps I took on my own personal path.
The Corona Pandemic has changed our thinking and behavior permanently. For me, the first lockdown in 2020 was the first economic crisis that I actively experienced and that scared me, because at that moment I understood that my income in the form of a working wage is totally uncertain and that I should not and cannot rely exclusively on it. I was then put on the right track for the first time by a colleague at work: "I think you should think about investing your money and making it work for you." That sounded totally plausible to me at first - but unfortunately also totally complicated. Taking the first steps from this realization required one thing above all: courage. Because I had to leave my comfort zone and take steps that I had never taken before - especially not alone.
If you may have just made the decision to invest and make your money work for you, but you still need a little courage, here I show you the 3 Steps I took right after my first moment of panic in preparation for my first investment:
1. Let's talk about money! I started talking about money with my friends.
We don't like to talk about money. And we all know why Voldemort had so much power. Because we are afraid of the things we don't talk about openly. So my first step was to talk to my closest friends about money. Some questions I asked were: How much do you actually earn? Do you invest your money? And if so, how and where? How do you divide your accounts and why?
When I had weeded out my closest ones, I also talked to other acquaintances about these topics. To my surprise, the same word came up in every conversation: relief. Because all my conversation partners were happy that they had finally found someone who could talk to them about the taboo topic and with whom they could share their experiences and, above all, questions. What I learned from this: Openness pays off - even if we need to overcome a little bit to do it.
2. It's time to face the truth: take stock of the situation!
In the second step, I thought about where I am right now and what I actually want to achieve. Therefore, first get a picture of your current situation. That means: take a look at your cash flow before you even invest a cent! An initial overview is the most important thing of all. How much is coming in each month? How much do you already have on the side? How much is coming out each month? Are there any costs that you will have to pay annually? Only if you have an accurate overview of your financial situation, you can determine a realistic monthly savings rate, which you can then invest.
For a long time, I didn't know how much money I actually had available each month. I put €200 in my day money account to save that amount, and two days later I took the money back because I bought things that weren't in the budget.
I know this is a task we like to skip because it's just not fun. But the more detailed the overview, the better the result in the end. So: take 60 minutes, check your bank statements of the last months and create an overview. If you don't feel like doing this on your own, you can find support here.
3. Goals, goals, goals! I have defined my goals.
The next step is: goals, baby! Dream big. Doing something without a goal usually doesn't go well. Why? Because the motivation is missing and because you can't make a concrete plan without a goal. That's why we start with your personal goals in the next step, and then finally get to work on your financial planning.
Write down your wishes and your goals. What is the vision of your life? What do you wish for? A family? Your own apartment or a house? To travel as much as possible?
Where do you see yourself in five, ten or even twenty years? What is important to you? Of course, it's hard to answer these questions, but it's worth thinking about. You can dream big!
Once you have clarified these goals, it is now time to make them measurable and provide them with numbers. You may need a little more time for this, as you may need to research how much money you need for the down payment on your property, or what amount you want to have saved for retirement or for the down payment on a property.
4. After WHAT comes HOW: Your Investment Strategy
Once you have set your goals, it is now time to think about how you will achieve them. The important thing to remember here is that your investment strategy is something very personal. You can always get inspiration from other investors and learn about different strategies - but you should always check if this strategy is in line with your values.
When thinking about your investment strategy, you can ask yourself the following questions:
How much risk can I take? How much time can and do I want to spend? How long do I want to invest my money? Which asset classes are suitable for me?
If you ask yourself these questions, you will get closer step by step to the right investment strategy for you - because in the end it is important that you feel comfortable with your investments.
As the last step in this article, but probably the most important step for your financial future, I can give you the following advice: start before you're ready! I opened a securities account and started right away - even though I was afraid of doing something wrong. Opening a securities account brings you one step closer to your goal. And it's not that difficult - at getquin you can choose between different providers and open your securities account. Step by step. You've got this!