My twenties weren’t bad as far as fun would have. I did a lot in like two years I was single, traveling, partying and clubbing, and sleeping weekends away.
I also had an apartment, a child, and a car payment. I worked a lot throughout my twenties and passed on several good opportunities.
As I reflect now, I could have been much more successful had I made the simple steps in my twenties.
1. Refrained from debt. I purchased at least three cars in my twenties. Only one of which I still have today that is not running. My first purchase a brand new Infiniti G20 (at 21 year old) was wrecked about three years later in an ice storm. The second a 2004 Ford Expedition was towed after I purposely stopped making the payments because it turned out to be a complete piece of junk. Finally a 2004 Honda Accord that I purchased in 2008. That car was vandalized and then paid off. I kept that car for 6 years afterwards before I purchased another 2014 Honda Accord LXE. I got a good interest rate on it though but I’m still in debt!
2. Graduated on time. I started college right after high school in 2001. I attended for about 2 years and then moved back home, pregnant with my second child. I took classes for another 2 years and worked. I then returned back to school full time in 2006 and graduated in 2008. Prolonging my education contributed to my ENORMOUS amount of student loan debt I have now.
3. Maintained/managed my credit. I fell into the typical credit crunch when you go off to college, applying for every credit card and getting approved, maxing them all out and then paying only the minimum. Most of the debt I’ve paid off but a little of carried over into my thirties and half of it continues to affect my credit score.
4. Been more money conscience. I considered myself to have made good money in my twenties, between working, receiving military benefits, and doing hair on the side. Had I saved ANY of it I probably could’ve retired a lot sooner than 45. Instead I spent to the last penny because some was always coming in. But when hard times hit, I WAS MISERABLE!!! Money was not really discussed in my home and the concept of saving was foreign.
Unfortunately, I did not get conscience about retirement until I was about 27. I was working at a small non-profit agency and everyone there had been there years. This one lady had to have been 67, all grey, and slouched over. I asked why she hadn’t retired, after discovering she had been in the same place for 31 years, and she said she couldn’t. I was flabbergasted. I left shortly after, working for the government where you can retire in 30 years with health benefits. Now I’d like to knock that down to 15.