I’ve seen the answers from the polls and it looks most of you are making good choices. Great! I sometimes marvel at how I managed to survive my 20’s. One of the things I wished I could change is how I managed my finances. I was such a spender! Here are the 5 things I wish I had done differently in my 20s.
1. Saved more! My account balance was usually on E by the end of the month. I never thought about saving at all because I loved to go out with my friends and buy clothes. Imagine if I had just cut that by half?? I would have had money to put away for more important things. When you get your salary every month or entrepreneurs when you get paid, pay your savings first, then your bills and if you have anything left, have fun! As a rule, you should save anywhere between 20-35% of your net pay.
2. Invested earlier! Well no savings = no investments. While I was busy spending all my money on clothes and shoes, one of my besties bought an apartment. We all marveled at how grown up she was (she was in her 20’s) and that seemed so impossible for me but actually it wasn’t if I was willing to change my lifestyle. Investments can come in all forms. Land, houses, stocks. Take your pick. Let me also add that if you are working and putting money in your pension that’s not enough. Save and put that money to work.
3. Made better choices: Typically in your early 20s you don’t have a lot of needs and that’s the best time to get into the habit of saving and making wise choices between needs and wants. You need to change your tires but may want a new bag. Somehow I always chose the bag. Don’t worry about what your friends and colleagues are wearing or doing, follow your own plan.
4. Listened to my parents more: whenever my mom would talk to me about buying a house, my argument always was that it would be a problem whenever I decided to get married. Her answer “buy the house first and worry about that when the time comes” I tell many women the same today.
5. Realized that it’s never to early to start saving: Its never to early to start and no amount is too small. Doesn’t matter if it’s 200 cédis, naira or dollars a week or a month. As they say little drops of water, make the mighty ocean.