Everything I Wish I Knew About Money in My 20s
Have you ever thought about going back in time to give your younger self some advice? Maybe there’s an opportunity you wish you jumped on or a situation you wish you would’ve thought through more.
We all do this with money; there’s no doubt that you’ll make (or have made) some financial decisions that you will wish you had given thought.
In fact, there have been multiple surveys and interviews done with individuals from older generations that shed light on common money mistakes, as well as smart, lasting decisions too.
The biggest things you SHOULD do as you begin your money journey:
1. Start saving, investing, and planning as early as possible.
According to a recent AmeriTrade study, a majority of Americans aged 40 to 79 would give themselves a grade of a C or lower when it comes to retirement savings. This survey also found that the number one piece of advice that Americans would give their younger self is to start saving and investing earlier.
We asked Isaiah, our Founder, and Sarah Edwards from Some Great People what advice they’d give to their younger self, and here’s what they had to say:
The one thing I wish I would have learned in my 20s when it comes to money is to START EARLY. You will never feel like you have enough money to start saving and planning. It’s good to start, even if it’s $5/month. Starting to shift my mindset about money at an early age is definitely something I regret. I always thought I had to "have a lot of money" in order to plan but that is totally not true! — Sarah Edwards
Save more money than you think you'll need. Because when you do need it, it will take longer to find and usually isn't enough. — Isaiah Goodman
2. Start building credit early.
We need credit for just about everything. So, finding ways to establish good credit early on in your money journey will make a huge difference when it comes time to buy a car, purchase a home, or start a business.
Check out our blog for some easy ways to start building your credit.
Things to AVOID early in your money journey:
1. Stop over “treating” yourself.
In a recent blog from MoneyWise, they talk about the trend of “treating yourself”, and how it can be detrimental to our relationship with money. It’s not that we shouldn’t be treating ourselves, it’s that we need self-control and a budget as we do so.
Try having a set amount that you allow yourself every month for self care or “treating yourself.” We call this your FLEX money here at MoneyVerbs. Having a FLEX amount allows you to treat yourself while avoiding overspending.
2. Stop buying things just because they’re on sale.
This one can be tough. A recent article from BBC discusses how the dopamine release we experience when shopping during a sale mimics a high! It’s hard to not buy things that are on sale, especially when our bodies compel us to do so.
But, again, there is a really easy fix to this one. Instill some self control and have a set amount of money aside for fun spending (including buying things on a good sale). Also, take pause and think through whether you really want it or if your body is just telling you to make a purchase because it feels good.
Whatever money decisions you plan on making in the future, remember that there are many people you can learn from to make the most informed decision.
If you have any current money questions, hop in and ask our community at MoneyVerbs — you’re never alone!