By JLP | September 19, 2006
Have you ever caught yourself daydreaming about being young (or younger) again? I admit to thinking about this every once in awhile. Usually when this happens, I end up thinking about how great it would be to go back to those days, knowing what I know now. It is a shame that young people don’t take the advice of people who have already gone through what they are about to go through. Anyway, here’s a list of five things I wish I would have known when I was 20-years old:
1. The power of compounding is incredible! I didn’t make a lot of money back when I was 20, but had I just been able to save 10% of what I made back then, I could easily have an extra $50,000 now. And that’s nothing! Take a look at how much you can save in a lifetime.
2. AVOID saddling yourself with credit card debt (or any debt for that matter)! Yes, you need to build up a credit history. However, you need to make sure that ANYTHING you buy on credit can be paid back immediately. Also, if you are borrowing to pay for college, borrow the least amount possible. Remember that whatever you borrow will have to be paid back, which means you will have to start your career already in the hole.
3. Fashion and trying to stay in style is fleeting and a waste of money. Be yourself and don’t worry about what other’s think. Yes, you need to dress nicely, but you can do it for a lot less than you think. Trying to stay with the trends is especially foolish if it means you have to charge it (yes, I did this).
4. Concentrate on the task at hand: college! It’s tough being 20-years old. You feel like an adult, you want adult responsibilities, and some of your friends are living it up because they skipped college and went straight into the workforce. Stick to your plan! You won’t regret it once you have graduated from college.
5. Enjoy your life as it is. Sure, it is important to have dreams and plans, but try to enjoy life at 20. Trust me, it won’t be long and you’ll be 36 (nearly 37) and have a wife, 3 kids, a house (and mortgage) and all the other stuff. Life has a way of happening, whether you enjoy it or not!
Those are five things I can think of right now. I’m sure there are others.