The other day I was updating my dividend income spreadsheet (what else would I be doing on a beautiful sunny day!) . Since I started focusing more on the dividend being paid rather than the stock price, I find the experience of owning stocks a lot less stressful. Of course, I am still monitoring my individual stocks (yup still have my individual stocks, what can I say, I like to live dangerously!). Looking at my numbers, I couldn’t help wonder how much better off I would be if I had known about dividend paying stocks in my early 20’s (or my 30’s!). And then I started thinking, what else did I wish I knew in my early 20’s?
So here is my list, in no particular order, of what I wish I knew in my early 20’s:
- Don’t procrastinate. You should never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Who knows what your tomorrow will be like!
- Set goals. “This one step – choosing a goal and sticking to it – changes everything.” – Scott Reed
- Don’t spend more than you make!
- Pay yourself first. No matter how small of an amount, start now and keep going.“Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.” – Warren Buffet
- Save for emergencies. S**t happens, just be ready.
- Bring your lunch to work. You could save thousands per year.
- Renting is not always wasting. Buying a house may not be the right decision for you, don’t assume it is. It is seldom a smart investment.
- Don’t compare yourself to others, they often only show you what they want you to see.
- Read a book about Money and Investing. I wish I knew about dividend paying stocks 30 years ago.
- Buy used car. New cars lose an average 15-18% (each year) of their value in the first four years!
- Invest in rental properties. I wish I started buying rentals in my 20’s, they would all be paid off by now.
- Credit cards are not an extension of you paycheck. If you don’t have the money, don’t spend it
- You can reach financial freedom in your 30’s. It’s true! Check how FIRECracker managed to retire at 31 http://www.millennial-revolution.com/about-us/
- Follow your dreams. What do you have to lose in your 20’s? If you don’t do it now you may never do it.“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
- Travel the world. It is much easier to travel when you don’t have to worry about your career, kids, aging parents or your own health. Do it now!
- Keep trying. There is nothing wrong with failure, just see it as an opportunity to get better.“Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.” – Robert T. Kiyosaki
- Learn other languages. Understanding another language will allow you to learn more about different culture and ways of living, just by being able to communicate with more people
- Be happy and thankful for what you have.“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey.
- Spend more time with your parents and grandparents. One day they will be gone and you will regret not spending more time with them. You can learn so much from their personal experience and about your family history. You may not care right now but one day, it will matter.
- Be kind, ALWAYS.”Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”- Leo Buscaglia
How about you? What do you wish you knew in your early 20’s?