Looking back, we all have moments when we wish we could do things differently. When it comes to our financial journey, the twenties are a critical decade that can set the stage for financial success or financial struggle. During this period, responsibilities are minimal and free time is abundant. If given the opportunity, here's what I would have done differently in my twenties to build financial success.
Delay Purchasing a Car
Cars are one of the most significant expenses people make in their lifetime. By delaying the purchase of a car, I could have saved a substantial amount of money that could have been invested or used toward other financial goals. Not only are cars expensive to purchase, but they also rapidly depreciate. Aside from depreciation, the money I spent on car maintenance could have been used to purchase assets that I later increased in value. If I had waited a few years and opted to use public transportation, I could have invested in more assets that appreciated over time.
Instead, if you decide to purchase a car, don't take out a loan on a used car. Instead, save up and pay in cash. This will help you avoid paying interest on a loan and give you the peace of mind that comes with being debt-free. One of the mistakes I made early on was purchasing a used car through a loan. I didn't realize then that interest rates on used cars are higher compared to brand-new cars. I could have bought and paid for my first at a lower cost. If I had saved for it instead of using a loan, I could have saved more than a year's worth of payments.
Read and Learn More About Personal Finance and Investing
Personal finance and investing are essential skills often neglected in our twenties. by taking the time to educate me earlier on personal finance and investing. I could have started investing earlier. This includes reading books, researching through blogs and articles, or seeking advice from people with experience on web forums. Only after I invested in educating myself did I start making better investments. Educating myself through books opened my eyes to other investment opportunities such as stocks, bonds, forex, and real estate investment. I would have made informed decisions, made fewer mistakes, and built a solid foundation faster and earlier.
Purchase a Property to Rent Out or Sell
Real estate is a great way to build wealth and generate passive income. One of the biggest mistakes I made in my twenties was not investing in real estate. I had many opportunities to purchase affordable properties in my twenties, but it never crossed my mind how I could make money on real estate. I was interested in buying properties back then but never took the time to learn anything about real estate. Had I purchased a property back then and rented it out or sold it, I would have had several properties by the time I got married. This would have allowed me to earn money while building my wealth through capital appreciation. Had I taken the risk and bought real estate in my twenties, it would have allowed me to learn about real estate and property management earlier.
Maximize Earning on My Side Hustle
Side hustles are a great way to increase your income and build wealth. In my twenties, I had many side hustles that aligned with my skills and interests. I earned a substantial amount on my side hustles, to the point where I made more on them than I learned from my regular job. Had I put in more effort and accepted more offers instead of wasting time partying, I would have earned more before the demand started waning.
Minimize unnecessary expenses
Minimizing unnecessary expenses is one of the most effective ways to improve your financial situation. This means finding ways to cut back on things like eating out, entertainment, and subscriptions you don't use. Reducing expenses can free up money for financial goals such as paying debt, building an emergency fund, or investing.
In conclusion, if allowed to do it all over again, these are the steps I would have taken in my twenties to build financial success. By delaying the purchase of a car, paying in cash, educating myself on personal finance and investing, purchasing a property, maximizing my side hustles, and minimizing unnecessary expenses, I could have set the stage for a solid financial future. Remember, there is always time to make changes and improve your financial situation, but the earlier you start, the more time you have to see the benefits.