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7 Cash Errors I Made in My 20s

Whew…our 20s. What a magical time, we’re younger, however not sufficiently old to hire a automotive (or a lodge in some circumstances). Our metabolism remains to be intact, our pores and skin is vibrant and youthful, and we will exit and occasion with our mates till the wee hours of the morning, and nonetheless rise up for sophistication or work and not using a battle!

Now, I ought to write this in past-tense, as I’m a really youthful and vibrant 30ish Millennial (haha), however as I reminisce on my 20s, whereas I had absolutely the time of my life…I additionally did absolutely the most with my cash (or lack thereof). I keep in mind having a few of the most epic birthday journeys, probably the most epic live performance journeys, and probably the most epic magnificence assortment! You realize what I additionally had acquired…LOTS and LOTS of bank card and payday mortgage debt.

Now that I’m extra seasoned and have been via some life-altering occasions, regardless that my 20s had been chaotic financially, I’m so grateful for the numerous classes realized; even when I needed to study them the laborious method.

Listed here are seven cash errors that I made in my 20s (so that you don’t should, lol)!

Not Having a Finances

 Because you’re right here on the Metropolis Lady Financial savings web site, let’s simply get the obvious mistake out of the best way: Lena in her 20s couldn’t even pronounce the phrase “price range”. Okay, I’m joking about that, however you’ll have a minimum of thought I used to be allergic to the phrase!

After faculty, once I acquired my first “massive woman” job at an academic nonprofit with a $30k wage, I believed I used to be wealthy RICH! I used to be nonetheless residing with my mother and father, my dad purchased my first and 2nd automobiles (so no automotive funds), and I used to be going out to lunch and joyful hours in downtown Chicago virtually on a regular basis (and most weekends…okay, each weekend).

I say all of this to say, I used to be not monitoring a dime of what I spent, and each time I acquired cash, I spent it inside minutes, no lie. I vividly keep in mind receiving my first paycheck (it was a paper one, see I’m a 30ish Millennial lol), and going straight to the financial institution to money it, not depositing it into my checking account, and heading straight to the mall. After all, I blew most of my paycheck throughout the first week.

Once more, I had no clue what a price range was, not to mention learn how to observe my spending.

Residing by the “YOLO” Motto 

*Cue Drake’s “The Motto”! Yep, that was my motto, my mantra, my private nationwide anthem! “You Solely Reside As soon as” obtained me into a lot monetary hassle! Talking of that music, that music got here out in 2012 once I was 24 (geez, I’m getting up there), and I keep in mind planning a ladies’ journey to San Juan, Puerto Rico for my twenty fifth birthday.

*sigh* I had no enterprise, not to mention any disposable earnings, going anyplace in addition to my mother and father’ yard for a trip. Nonetheless, I believed I needed to do a grand twenty fifth birthday as a result of I “solely turned 25 as soon as” aka YOLO. That acronym was actually my justification for all my purchases in my 20s. I needed to go to San Juan, YOLO. I needed to see an enormous kpop band thrice, in three cities on the west coast, YOLO. I needed to go to Toronto for Caribana for 48 hours, AND go to Vegas then Austin, YOLO (please don’t ask me about that journey, I do NOT keep in mind a factor).

Drake’s “The Motto”, what a time, now I’m advantageous with JOMO (The Pleasure of Lacking Out) haha!

Utilizing Credit score Playing cards Like Revenue

As a result of I didn’t know learn how to spell or pronounce “price range”, in fact, I used and abused all my bank cards. If I spent all my paycheck earlier than the following one, I simply pulled out one in every of my bank cards, prefer it was further earnings. Bear in mind once I spent my first paycheck on the mall? I guess you had been questioning how I made it to my subsequent paycheck; yep, a bank card. SWIPE, SWIPE, SWIPE – CHARGE, CHARGE, CHARGE.

*A bonus mistake – none of my bank cards again them had a factors program* Ugh, proper within the feels!

Along with utilizing my bank cards as earnings, I additionally was simply paying the minimal fee, however would proceed to make use of the playing cards, so I used to be by no means paying them off. This created a harmful cycle as a result of these firms would additionally enhance my restrict, and naturally, I might use that to my fullest benefit (drawback in hindsight). By the best way, Raya has a tremendous podcast episode concerning the traps of bank cards, curiosity, and the slippery slope of not utilizing bank cards the precise method.

Not Saving

In case you’ve made it this far into the article, then this shouldn’t be a shock. If I didn’t have a price range, didn’t observe my spending, then you definitely already know I used to be not saving. Budgeting and Saving – these two phrases didn’t exist in my vocabulary in my 20s.

Now that I give it some thought, I do keep in mind “making an attempt” to economize. I might put possibly $100/paycheck into my financial savings account, that was linked to my checking account…

HOWEVER, as rapidly as I might switch into my financial savings, I might rapidly switch it again into my checking, as a result of I simply had to purchase make-up, or a pair of footwear or three. I keep in mind transferring a lot back-and-forth between my checking and financial savings account that my financial institution quickly suspended my financial savings account as a result of I made method too many transfers in a month’s time!

Shopping for Luxurious Objects

As I’m typing this out, I’m additionally laughing as a result of I really had the audacity to spend $600 on a Coach purse and matching pockets. I ended up dropping that very same pockets on a visit to Florida (it’s what I deserved haha). However critically, I used to be extraordinarily materialistic in my 20s, and I equated my self-worth to what I possessed (thank goodness for knowledge and progress).

Clearly, I lived method above my means as a result of I nonetheless can not course of how the phrases “budgeting” and “saving” weren’t in my vocabulary, however “luxurious” was, oh my 20s! Humorous sufficient, all these Coach purses I had, which I had fairly the gathering, I ended up donating most of them to Goodwill once I needed to transfer in with my dad on the age of 30. Sure, I needed to transfer again house on account of my reckless spending, however that’s one other weblog publish for an additional day!

Not Investing in Jobs’ 401k Plans

Once more, in case you made it this far into the article, SHOCKER! I vividly keep in mind listening to concerning the “significance” of early retirement planning and the way it’ll make such a distinction within the long-run. I wasn’t making an attempt to listen to any of that, as a result of for me, I believed I used to be younger, I didn’t have to fret about retirement, so why would I make investments now?


Now, even in my 30s, I might say investing remains to be one thing I’m new to, however I’m making small efforts in studying extra about it. An enormous progress from 20ish Lena. I do want I realized concerning the energy and magic of compound curiosity, however I’m assured that I will retire!

Not Working with a Monetary Coach

I’ll save this one for final, as a result of regardless that I’ve been closely concerned within the Metropolis Lady Financial savings group since my mid-20s, I simply very lately began working with Raya as a consumer, which is loopy, proper? I knew my funds had been in hassle in my 20s, however I by no means needed to be held accountable for my errors. I knew my habits needed to change earlier than later, however I used to be not completed “residing”.

I even had about 4-5 completely different session calls with Raya earlier than lastly taking the plunge and committing to her 3-month teaching program. I’ll say that working with a monetary coach, like Raya, has been among the best choices I’ve made. A choice that I do know 20ish Lena would have been scared to make.


I haven’t made as many monetary errors in my 30s, like I did in my 20s, however there may be at all times room for enchancment. What about you, what had been a few of your monetary errors that you just’ve realized out of your 20s?

The CGS Group



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