First Person: Biggest Financial Mistakes of My 20s

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First Person: Biggest Financial Mistakes of My 20s

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Stacks of coins.

My thirties are fast approaching, and as I close out the last days, the only things on my mind are all the mistakes I've made over the last 10 years. These mistakes have held me back financially, or prevented me from making money. Here are a few things to avoid during your twenties.

Not setting concrete goals

Growing up I thought time was standing still, but once I got to college, I blinked and 10 years were gone. During this time I made goals, but they neatly sat around in my brain without coming to fruition. Looking back, I would have written them down, told someone who would hold me accountable, and started the process of accomplishing it at that moment. Too many of my financial dreams were let go because I did not set an action plan.

Taking too many trips

Trips are expensive! If I could get a do-over of my twenties I would've taken far less trips. And to add salt to the wound, many of those trips were to visit my boyfriend at the time, who of course, is not still my boyfriend. I would have also chosen to live closer to family. That alone would have eliminated yearly trips, and saved me thousands over the last ten years.

Not saving enough

One of the most intelligent investors I have ever met was my college investment professor, and he advised me to save $100 a month no matter what! Whether that meant adding a fifth job, or cutting out every "want" I spent money on. Then when retirement came around that $100 per month would have grown to a nice foundation to live on. It's hard to save, but I definitely feel like I wasted an average of $100 a month over my twenties.

Trying more careers

I was always the entrepreneurial type that had endless ideas instead of a dream of being an accountant, or doing a stable career. It's great to have ideas, but I needed a back-up career to fall on. Since I didn't have one, I came out of college at our economy's worst point since the Great Depression, and finding a career wasn't easy. I was competing with people who had advanced degrees and experience. For that reason, I wish I would have attained licenses for different careers until I found one that was profitable and enjoyable.

Hopefully you won't make the same mistakes that I did, and if you do, just remember the time to start practicing good financial behavior is now!


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