Fresh out of school and eager to take on the world, being in your 20s could be the best time of your life. It’s the ideal age range to find out what your interests are, the perfect time to make mistakes, learn and grow from them. However, some have a lasting impact if you’re not careful. Pay special attention to these 10 things you should avoid doing in your 20s.
1. Getting Too Comfortable
Don’t be afraid of being uncomfortable, but instead, fear being too comfortable – because that’s when you stop growing. Go through the ruts and face challenges head-on and learn ways to overcome them with vigour. Being uncomfortable helps you to advance in life. Go ahead and apply for that job that is out of your league. Go ahead and ask your crush for a date. What do you have to lose?
2. Drinking Too Much Alcohol
It’s completely fine to celebrate once in a while and have a tipple or two – but have them moderately. Especially in your 20s, social networking is important as it may provide future job opportunities. But, don’t succumb to peer pressure and feel the need to chug down a pint for every meet up with your buddies. Binge drinking may lead to various health problems such as kidney failure and alcohol poisoning. Think about the medical bills if this happens.
3. Not Starting a Retirement Fund or an Insurance Plan
One of the biggest mistake many of us make in our 20s. Speak to your Financial Advisor and start your retirement plan – the longer you wait, the higher your monthly premium is. Once you’ve landed a full-time job and earning regular monthly income, it is vital to set some money aside for your future and rainy days. Do your finances and save at least 20% to 40% of your monthly salary. You’ll be surprised how much you can save in a year if you’re consistent with your savings.
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4. Not Paying Off Student Loans
Tertiary and university fees can be expensive. Hence, once you’ve started a full-time job, ensure you’re paying off outstanding loan fees on time. No matter the amount, slowly pay off school fees when you’re still in school, even if you’re working part-time. This would help lessen the burden after graduation.
5. Accumulating Credit Card Debt
Hold your horses! As a young 20-something, there’s no need to own a credit card. It’s dangerous if you think owning one gives you a more exciting and glamorous life. But did you know that this is one of the most common issues of bankruptcy?
If it’s really necessary for you to own one, when you’re starting, try not to overspend with your credit card. Prevent this by putting a low spending limit on your card. Only increase it during emergencies.
6. Start Investing
There are 2 things you should know before investing – man at work and money at work. The former refers to your 9 – 5pm work where you earn a monthly salary, while the latter refers to allowing your money in the bank to grow with interest - instead of just stagnating it. There are different forms of investment from stocks, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), REITs, cryptocurrency and more. Just know that time is a crucial factor when investing. Consult a Wealth Management consultant before jumping the gun.
7. Not Experimenting with Career Options
The world is your oyster, but it’s up to you on how you take and run with it. No hard and fast rule that says you have to work in an industry that is related to your field of study. Thus, it’s completely fine if you’d like to explore a new industry when you’re beginning your career.
8. Distancing Yourself from Family
With your extra commitments and newfound financial freedom, it might be easier to feel independent. There may be instances where you can’t join family dinners, due to work or you’ve set a dinner date with your friends or significant other. Thus, the distance between you and your family grows further apart. As you grow older, you have to be cognizant that your parents (and siblings) are not getting any younger as well.
9. Wanting to Please or Impress Others
Live life the way you want it to be, carve your future. There’s no need to seek validation from others, just to make you feel good. However, while you’re at it, don’t be self-righteous and obnoxious about others’ opinions. Do note that everyone is entitled to theirs too. Being respectful to everyone is a trait you need to inculcate. The last thing you’d want is to burn bridges with people.
10. Spending Too Much Time on Social Media
While social media is a great source of entertainment, if you’re glued onto it 24/7, you might miss opportunities thrown at you. Set a cap to the number of hours you should spend scrolling through Instagram, Facebook or TikTok. Instead, use these pockets of time and upskill in an online course – learning never stops, right?
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