I’ve spent the last year wishing I would have done a few things differently in my early 20’s. There are a lot of mistakes I’ve made that I’m paying for at 28 and will be paying for well into my 30’s. 5 things I’d wish I’d done differently in my 20’s:
Create an Emergency Fund Before Moving Out of My Father’s HousE
After college I moved back home and was able to get a job 4 months later. I lived there for 2.5 years and saved about $5,000 which I used to move out of my dad’s house. Looking back I would have saved $10,000 to $15,000 before leaving my dad’s house. About a year ago I read this article about a Fuck Off Fund and it really struck a chord with me. Everyone, especially women, need a savings to fall back on in case of an emergency. 66 million Americans don’t have ANY savings for emergency expenses and only 28% of Americans have 6 months saved. I made a lot of mistakes from that article. Don’t be me. Build a Fuck Off Fund so you can move out of that apartment with that terrible roommate or quit that nightmare of a job. Now I have a Fuck Off Fund (Yes. It’s literally named that.), but think how much further I would be if I’d started at 23.
Buy a Used Car Instead of New One
I’m going to blame this one on my dad. He told me to buy a new car instead of a used one because it’d be more reliable. While true, completely unnecessary. I will NEVER buy a new car again. It heavily depreciates when you roll off the lot. Don’t do it. Do refinance a year later if you can cut your interest rate down. Luckily I did that lol!
Pay Towards My Student Loans.
I deferred my student loans so long that I now owe several thousand more than I originally would if I’d just paid a $100 a month. Be smarter than me. Pay something towards your student loans. Someone actually gave me this advice but my smart dumbass didn’t listen.
Don’t Avoid Reality.
For a year I ran tolls. It eventually caught up to me and cost me hundreds. I racked up tickets never paid them which caught up to me and cost me thousands. I didn’t pay attention to small bills that are less than a brunch check, avoided mail and just lived as if nothing could touch me. Whether it’s debt, ailment or just a severe case of procrastination, STOP AVOIDING! It’s so easy to avoid your problems and not face the reality in front of you. You have to suck it up, face the music and just push through whatever the issue is. You’ll be offer in the end and definitely more peaceful.
Be Patient With Yourself.
It’s taken me 28 years to realize that I need to slow down and be patient with myself. OWN & Parkwood Entertainment weren’t built in a day. Oprah & Beyonce weren’t where they are now in a day, a week or even a year. Neither will you. Building your career, getting out of debt and/or creating sustainable businesses will take time so be patient with yourself. Don’t waste time, but definitely don’t rush. Learn the lesson, enjoy the moment, do the work, be persistent and know that you won’t always be where you are today. I look back at myself at 23 & realize I could have never imagined where I’d be at 28. At 23 it felt like I’d never be where I am now. Now I’m looking back thinking, “Damn time flew.
These 5 things took me time to learn. I went through a lot of hard lessons and endured a lot of stress. Hopefully with these tips you don’t have to.