Most recently, another birthday has passed me by. And on this particular day, I tend to reflect on the past years and what I wish for in the future. This might be a side effect of getting older. But no matter what the cause, I believe self-reflection can be a great way to start a new year. This year, in particular, I was by thinking about the money and life lessons I would give my younger self if I had the chance.
I have made both good and bad choices in life. The bad choices let me grow to become the strong (and possibly even a bit wiser) person I am today. All while the good choices make me realize how fortunate I am in some aspects of my life. We all can learn so much from our past and turn those choices into game changers. Below are all of the valuable money and life lessons I would pass on when chatting with my younger self.
It is important to remember that, when you are young and starting out, you have time. Be bold, try things, and find the something you will love to do in life. If you stumble and fall, don’t worry. Pick yourself up and try again!
Surround yourself with positive people
You will meet many people in your lifetime. Some will stick around, while others will leave as quickly as they appeared. Make sure you surround yourself with people who lift you up. Both in your personal and professional life.
Pick the “Right” Major
If you do choose to go down the 4-year degree route, be smart about it. First, don’t pick a über expensive college. Pick a public college instead and, please, major in something that is fun and will make you money after graduation.
Don’t compare yourself to others
Make yourself a promise that, right from the start, you will try to live your life, not someone else’s. Wanting to be like others is like a dog chasing its own tail. In short, pointless. Live your own life, on your own terms.
Be the boss of your finances
Not knowing what you spend your hard earned cash on is like gambling with your livelihood. Track your expenses and set up a budget. Both will have you on your way to being financially healthy in no time.
Debt is like an anchor weighing you down in life. Be mindful of taking any of it on. May it be car loans, student loans, mortgages, or credit card debt … choose wisely before signing on the dotted line.
Have an emergency fund
There are too many situations to count which could derail life as you know it. Emergency funds are like insurance policies which let you continue living your life through the tough times life is bound to toss at you.
Save for retirement
No matter whether you are planning on early retirement or the tried and true age 65 route, you will need a sufficient retirement fund. Take advantage of employer-sponsored plans and invest on your own as well.
Don’t dwell on the past
Constantly thinking about the “would have’s” and “should have’s” in life will have only one effect. They keep you from enjoying the present and positively changing the future ahead of you. Move on!
Last but not least…
The world is a big, wonderful place! Go see it!!
Don’t miss out on venturing out into the world. Explore new places, meet new people and most importantly HAVE FUN 🙂
If you liked this post about the money and life lessons I would give my younger self, be sure to check out this complete listing of posts for other personal finance must reads!