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In your twenties you make mistakes. We’ve all been there. And it’s a good thing. You need to learn at some stage and it’s better to do it early on before you have too many responsibilities and the risks are higher.
The problem is, however, that sometimes those mistakes turn into habits and that’s when things go wrong. Especially when those mistakes have to do with money. It’s okay to be a little financially irresponsible when you’re young, but there are a few bad money habits that twenty-somethings need to get out of right now.
Binge spending on a night out
As fun as a night out can be, you probably won’t have much to show for it the next morning (except maybe a hangover or a strange injury). Of course, going out and enjoying yourself is a good thing when you’ve still got the energy to do it. But be careful when it comes to taking out your wallet. Firstly, never swipe your card at a bar (especially not your credit card). Draw a certain amount of cash when you’re sober and then leave the plastic at home. That way you can be certain that you won’t overspend. And don’t offer to buy people shots every twenty minutes, nobody is going to appreciate that the next morning.
When you first start working it can be tempting to go out with colleagues at lunch time (whether it’s just to the shop or the cafe down the road). You may try to justify this expense by saying that you have to pay for the ingredients for a packed lunch as well. But be realistic, the amount is nowhere near as high. If you enjoy socialising at lunch, suggest to your colleagues that you all eat your packed lunches together. It’s not just cheaper, it’s healthier too. There are so many delicious meals you can take to work with you.
Abusing the plastic
Getting into credit card debt is unbelievably easy these days. Repaying credit card debt, however, is difficult. When you first get your card you swear you’ll only use it when you really need to. And then you see something you want and you think “Maybe just this once”. It’s a slippery slope from there. You also need to watch your credit score because it could make your life difficult when applying for a home loan.
It’s okay to make a few mistakes in your twenties, but avoid getting into these bad habits. You will regret them.