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We all make mistakes with money, especially in our 20s, and I was no different. I’ve made many mistakes with regards to my finances and money long before I understood how to invest my money properly. This is also long before I discovered dividends and how to navigate the stock market.
85% of Americans admit to making some sort of mistake with their personal finances. I am a part of that statistic, and here are my top 7 money mistakes.
#1 – going to college: I was on a scholarship, and almost half of my college tuition was paid for. However, I still feel like it was a mistake for me to go and waste an entire year of my life and over ten thousand dollars paying for classes and books that are literally still collecting dust in my garage.
Besides losing $10,000 which could be now be worth over $21,000 more in my account if invested, what I lost the most from the experience, is the opportunity cost of time. It was an expensive mistake for sure
#2 – Not getting a credit card until I was age 25. Thanks to my parents, whom I absolutely love, I was scared off of using credit cards. They had absolutely no idea what it meant to wield the power of a credit card. That led toward the inevitable spiral that is credit card debt, a ruined credit score and history and with that, a lot more trouble when we needed really important things like financing on a car, financing on a house, and even renting a simple apartment.
So naturally, I was terrified of using credit cards and I avoided them at all costs. I had no idea that if used responsibly, and that’s as easy as not spending beyond your means, keeping the utilization rate low, paying on time by setting it to autopay and paying off the whole balance every on time, you could earn things like cash back, points to be used toward travel and free stuff, consumer protections, roadside assistance, etc. Credit cards can be your best friend in a time of need.
#3 – Buying Useless Luxuries. I bought an overpriced platform bed that cost me $2,500 which could have been invested in the stock market and returned over double that by now. Huge mistake
My second reckless purchase was a luxury car that in total cost over $21,000. Similar story, trying to impress my neighbors. If invested in the S&P500, I would have had an extra $45,000 in my robinhood app. Expensive lesson learned!
#4 – Called my girlfriend to find out her biggest financial mistakes.
#5 – Never letting my significant other pay for me which was a huge mistake. In order to have an equal and healthy relationship, both people need to feel invested not only emotionally, but financially as well.
#6 – being too complacent at my career where I was earning $50k per year. Because I was working for my heroes that I grew up watching, I never challenged them and that limited my intellectual and financial growth. I’m upset at myself for this mistake the most, because it cost me many years of opportunities and sacrificed relationships. Stay loyal to yourself, never to the business that employs you.
#7 – Trying to get rich quick. I’m sure we’ve all been there, desperately looking up phrases like how to work from home, how to make money quick, how to make money online, how to invest, etc. This led me down a path of investing in penny stocks, buying stock picking newsletters, over priced courses, listening to guru advice, etc. In the end, it cost me time and money. Another mistake learned. You will never build wealth and passive income by buying a secret. There is no such thing and you will never get something from nothing.
These are my biggest money mistakes that I’ve made in my 20s, I’d love to hear yours!
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