Your life decisions in your 20’s are crucial. Everything that you do in this third decade of your existence will determine how your future would be like. And while you still have a lot of years to correct them, you may be up to a surprise later on when everything feels like it’s too late.
How you handle money is very important as a twenty-something. I learned this the hard way, and that’s what I aim to share in this article. I am listing down a list of money mistakes that I made in my 20’s that I wish I avoided when I was your age.
Don’t fall into the same trap. I’m telling you, it is so difficult to get out!
Getting a Credit Card
Don’t get me wrong, credit cards are good if you know how to use them properly. There are many ways on how to make them work for you, and enjoy them without accumulating debts.
However, I got my credit card without having any knowledge on how it works. I knew nothing about the annual fees, interest rates, and the difference between outstanding balance and minimum required payment. Never get a credit card if you are that uninformed.
After your first year of being in the work force, you may find yourself receiving credit card offers from banks. That’s how easy it is for young people to get a credit card. This is because you are still starting fresh, no credit history, and practically an easy target.
Not Saving Now
I still remember a co-worker who shared her story about having been working for six years but still without savings. She wonders, in a regretful manner, how and where all her money went. I just signed my regularization papers at that time and I had no savings too, so hearing this from someone who’s been working way longer than I am was a relief. It means I am not alone.
Yes, I was not alone. But NO, feeling relieved about that is just bad. Not saving money shouldn’t be normal at all.
Start saving money as early as you can. It doesn’t have to be big, in fact I am an advocate of starting small. If you do not have a saving mentality like me, saving small amounts every payday is the key. It’s like working out in a gym, you need to start from lifting lighter weights until your muscles get used to it. Then you can slowly add more weights as you go.
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You need to practice your brain to get used to saving money until it becomes a habit. A habit comes naturally, and always easy. Imagine how awesome it is like to be saving money so easily.
Unless it’s for an emergency, never ever get loans. But again, that’s why you should be saving in the first place, to be always prepared for any urgent financial needs.
Salary loans are very enticing, but why not convince yourself to save an amount equivalent to a month of salary instead? Because then you won’t need to apply for a salary loan anymore.
Don’t apply for loans just because everyone is doing it. Loans are good only if you plan to use it to start a business.
Living the Social Media Life!
Shopping, traveling, and eating out just to make your social media feeds look luxurious. If you do this with a business plan in mind, that is great. A lot of social media influencers are making money because they have that business mindset. They know how to turn their social media following into cash.
But if you are spending money on luxury just to impress, you know for sure that this is a mistake that you just love doing.
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What I learned now is to always look at how I could make money out of what I am spending for. If I buy clothes, can I sell them out online later? I am so jealous of young people who are making thousands from selling their used stuff online. Whatever it is that they are selling, provided it’s all legal, I sincerely admire them for that.
If you haven’t already, you should start saving while you are young. Start today!
Never ever think that you have a lot of time to do that later on. Yes, it’s never too late, but as a 30-something, I really do wish that I started saving when I was younger.
You know when they ask you about what you would like to change in your past, if given the chance? Saying nothing and declare that you are happy with everything you have become is politically correct, but my honest answer would be to go back and make myself a lot more smarter, financial wise!