I tripled my net worth from around -£4k to ~£13k since graduating university.
My net worth was negative when I graduated university primarily because of my overdraft and credit cards.
Your net worth can be described as the total of your assets and your liabilities. The foundational reasons why my net worth was low when I graduated was simply because I didn’t own more than I owed.
Despite tripling my net worth, there are some caveats I want to make:
- I bought a residential flat with my partner. This has hugely impacted my net worth but I haven’t included this within the figures referenced above, as I have increased my net worth despite buying a property based on small actions that have compounded in a short amount of time.
- I have also ignored my student loan for the purposes of the concepts I talk about below.
Here are the steps I took to reverse this situation.
I prioritised paying off high interest debt so that I could focus on building my bank account back up without looking over my shoulder for debt payments to make
Contributed into a pension early
I have been lucky enough to have had a paid job since I was about 17/18, so I have had a pension set up by an employer for quite a while. While I wasn’t contributing large amounts as a teenager or during university, I was still contributing, which has kickstarted my pension pot at least by a few years.
I’ve also taken advantage of pension contributions offered by my employer in my current full-time role and made sure I’m investing a comfortable amount into my pension every month.
Automated my investments
I started investing and automating this process. I started off with the smallest amount, and prioritised increasing this everytime I could afford to.
If I had a reliable amount of money coming in, or a promotion etc., I first thought about whether this meant I could increase my monthly standing order to my investments before I then ‘treated myself’ to something on my wishlist or saved the money for something else.
I didn’t do this every time, but simply having invested and having this option to increase my investments meant I was more likely to choose this over materialistic items anyway. I also recognised early enough that as someone in my early 20s (at the time) I had lots of time to start investing now and get time on my side so that compound interest could do its thing.
Increased my income
I increased my income (by accident!) by starting my YouTube channel and TikTok, and beginning to build a personal brand Instagram. This has also led to a whirlwind of personal development that has allowed me to focus on things that increase my net worth.
By thinking about the ways I can be efficient with the hours I work every week, how much money this brings in and really being humble about what kind of expenses I have, this has slowly but surely aided in building a growth mindset.
Finally started budgeting
I got into the habit of budgeting. This is probably the most important step in trying to increase your net worth—simply tracking your expenses through a budget, every time you get paid, is an active way of looking at your spending habits and thinking of ways you could change them—hopefully for the better.
The compounding effects of budgeting are:
- better spending habits
- an awareness of what you need vs what you want
- eventually mastering the practice of spending less to build a higher net worth.
This also gets you into the habit of saving, giving you more freedom over time to choose how you want to save, spend or invest your money.
if you’re watching this as a recent graduate or someone who’s graduating soon, take these as small actions you need to set in motion now so that they can compound in 5-10 years time. they could compound faster, or slower but the fact that you take action from this video is the best thing you can do for yourself.