You’re done with school, you’re in your early-to-mid 20s, you’re officially in the real world, and it’s now time for the rest of your life. What do you do now? What’s going to happen next?
I wanted to devote this piece to a few key pieces of information that you need to know after college. These are all things that I learned the hard way. I want you to learn from my experiences so that you can save money and prevent some serious stress.
What do you need to know in your 20s? What financial lessons can you learn to apply to your life?
1. Driving is very expensive.
Not only do gas prices suck, but driving in general is damn expensive. Once you factor in all of these costs you can easily find yourself being constantly broke or living paycheck to paycheck:
- Car payments.
Driving is way too expensive once you add everything up. I’ve learned the hard way. However, I’ve also seen friends go broke because they bought expensive cars to impress chicks or because they needed to get around. Is it worth going broke to drive around? Not in my opinion.
2. Networking is more important thank you know in your 20s.
I wish I read Never Eat Alone much earlier in my life. Life really is all about who you know and how you use it.
How can you start networking right now?
- Talk to successful people. Talk to failures. Talk broke people. Talk to millionaires. Talk to your neighbors. Talk to everyone. Everyone loves talking about themselves.
- Show genuine interest. Offer to connect friends. Do anything you can to be a helpful person and people will respect you for it.
- Remember that you have nothing to lose. Reach out and throw yourself out there.
3. Phantom mortgages are expensive.
When you buy your first home in your 20s, you’ll soon realize how expensive it’s going to be to become a home owner. When you buy a new property (usually a condo) there will be a period where you live in the unit but you don’t technically own the unit. This will be expensive so please try to save as much money as possible before you decide to buy a home.
In general, you shouldn’t buy a home until you’re finally ready financially and emotionally.
4. Don’t be so greedy.
Try not to be greedy and get out when you can still can. If any of your investments increase in worth and you’re happy with the return, just sell. When you’re greedy, you lose sight of your goals and you can easily lose money. I’ve had greediness hurt me many times. I always wanted to quadruple my money or more. Doubling my money wasn’t enough. I look back at some of my decisions with stocks today and just shake my head.
“If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.” — P. J. O’Rourke
5. Everything CAN and WILL Change.
Things change. People change. Your job will change. Your living situation will change. Everything can and will change. You can be afraid of change or you can embrace it. You just need to accept the fact that things will change on you.
“Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.” — Arnold Bennett
Those are all a few things that you need to know after college. I hope that you learn from my experiences and try to apply them to your own life.