As I was hiking with my grown kids the other day, we were chatting about work drama, relationship issues, money problems, and all the usual strife one encounters as a twenty something. I offer my wisdom to my kids and sometimes they listen and sometimes they don’t, as it goes with families. However, it got me thinking about my twenties and what I wish I’d known back then:
What would have made my life better?
What would I tell my 25 year old self if I could?
This is the opposite of instant gratification. Learn to appreciate having to work hard or save for something. Once you get there, you’ll appreciate it so much more than if you had it immediately. Saving for purchases also reduces the need to take on debt.
Learn about personal finance
The faster you learn to manage your money, the easier life will be. Basics like budgeting, saving, credit and debt management will keep you on solid footing and help you avoid financial mistakes. Use Your Money Line resources, especially Your Money Life, Your 20s.
It’s OK to not be busy
Unfortunately, it’s almost like a badge of honor these days to be busy all the time. Instead of striving to be busy, strive to make play time. Chill. Enjoy life and the people you love.
Do instead of buy
Experience life rather than acquire stuff. Life is so much more fulfilling when you’re doing things instead of spending money. The saying, “you can’t buy happiness” is actually true!
Time is your best friend and it’s easier to save when your expenses are low. Get into the habit of saving early so it becomes the first thing you do with your income. As your income grows, increase your savings instead of absorbing it into your lifestyle.
Listening is one of the most important skills you can learn. It’s the bedrock of relationships and communication. If you don’t learn to really listen, you will struggle in almost every aspect of life. Plus, there’s so much to learn by listening to others.
You’re not your job
You are so much more than your job or career. When people ask about you, don’t answer with what you do but who you are or what you like or what you’re doing for fun.
Don’t look for yourself in others
You are a unique individual so embrace it. Don’t succumb to societal pressure to be or look a certain way. Don’t compare yourself to others and develop your self-confidence.
Life is hard enough when you’re in your twenties. I hope these tidbits will help make it a little easier.
Damian is the lead Financial Concierge on Your Money Line, the financial help line serving all Pete the Planner® Financial Wellness clients. Damian is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and loves answering your money questions. Despite sharing a last name and sense of humor, Damian and Pete are not related.