At 26, there are numerous things I wish I had known when I was younger. The problem is, if my parents had told me, the truth is I probably wouldn’t have listened. Chances are they probably did tell me some of the things I now know about money and finances, but I probably wasn’t listening – whoops. While I haven’t made any critical financial disasters, yet, I wish there were some things I had known when I was 10 and here they are:
1) Start Saving/Compounding Interest
I started getting pocket money when I was around 12, although before then I seemed to have a fairly constant stream of money from odd jobs I did and festive celebrations. I cringe thinking about how much money I could’ve had in the bank if I had saved instead of overdosing on candy. However, I don’t regret all the money I spent but do wish that I had saved something, so that future me would have enough money for mortgages and my student loan.
2) You Don’t Need That Crap
You know those expensive pair of pants or silly toy you think you need? Nah, you don’t really need that. It wont make you cooler, or more popular, and you’ll probably only like it for a week or two. Furbies aren’t a good way to spend your free time, either, and they are expensive, so you definitely don’t need two of those.
3) You Don’t Need to go to University
My childhood was spent dreaming about all the careers I imagined I would have. From doctor to air host, I dreamed of it all. I knew, from a young age, that I would go to university. It seemed like the right thing to do, especially if I wanted a good job. I could have never predicted how much the Internet and financial crisis would change the job market, but I wish I knew. That student loan I still owe would have been much better spent on world travel or exploring my passions.
4) Invent Facebook
Well, if we’re going back in time and giving some advice, why not aim high? Dear 10 year old self, if you managed to invent Facebook you’d be worth a few billion dollars, so that would be pretty sweet. On a more realistic note I would encourage my-ten-year-old-self to learn more computer programming from a young age, being fluent in that is a very useful skill these days with solid job prospects.
What would you tell your 10 year old self about money, career and finance? Similar stuff to me or something completely different?