Discrepancies people unknowingly make stored 20s, aka. the “blur period”
For the young people out there, get into the habit of saving. Do it as soon as you get a job. If you’re flipping burgers, put $10 a week into an envelope. If you’re waiting tables, put $100 a month into a savings account. When you get that first “real” job after college, put at least as much into your employer’s retirement plan to get their full match; free money is the bees’ knees. Do it. Don’t say you can’t afford it, do it and your spending habits will adjust. The compounding effect over decades is staggering. I’ve been saving/investing like this since 1993. I make a pretty decent living but when I retire I’ll be getting a pay raise. Nothing special about me except consistency over time. Anyone who starts in their 20s can retire a millionaire.
During your 20s, mistakes will be made…but at the time, you simply don’t have the advantage of TIME to LEARN.
What are some of the “blur period” decisions that you regret?
Credit and debt, it’s too easy to buy things you can’t afford.
Tanning without sunscreen. That catches up with you when you least expect it.
Life is not a race. It doesn’t matter who’s getting married who’s moved out from parents house who has a kid. You go at your pace. Don’t think you’re behind anyone else.
Not getting enough sleep or not having a good sleep schedule.
Normalize being Hank Hill.
Seriously. A decent house, nice family, and quiet life that you enjoy are the pinnacle of success in my book. We’re preached to that we all have to be some superstar working our dream job and living our dream life.
No. First off, a job is not my dream. Second, living like a liquor ad is unrealistic. Advertising agencies aren’t reading Aristotle when they create depictions of the “dream life”.
Living a life of integrity, finding love in your family and friends, having enough money to be secure, and then pursuing those little things that interest you. That is the life.
Savings, 401k whatever just invest for yourself.
I told my wife to sign-up for the 401k plan when she started her first job, since immigrating. It’s been 6 years and she’s got a nice little wad of money socked away.
She’s been telling her coworkers for the past 5 of those 6 years that they should sign up, because the employer match is free money. Plus it earns more by compounded growth. They all say they don’t want to. She shrugs and says okay.
Walking too confidently on the pavement of their own opinions and experience. You must do this in your twenties, as its all you’ve been taught and have to go on, but it’s the ‘too confidently’ that you don’t realize. Approach every person and interaction as if they have something to teach you or that you could learn from them and their perspective. Done with genuine openness you’ll be better and wiser for it, will become a better judge of people (to more quickly sort through the b.s.), and will have more opportunities because you are more interested in listening and understanding others than in telling everyone how you think they (and the world) should be.
Don’t pick up smoking.
I am 41 and still smoke. I hate it and am terribly terribly addicted to cigarettes. Biggest mistake of my life was starting at 15.
Not spending time with their elders. They will be gone sooner than you know it and you will never get that chance back.
This comes under ‘looking after your body’ I suppose, but it’s a specific one that is still little known:
Wrecking your ears with excessive noise exposure. Even if you don’t care about losing your hearing, you don’t want catastrophic tinnitus. It’s completely disabling. And nobody tells you that you can get it years or decades after the noise exposure. I just thought, “I’ll knock this off before it gets too bad.”
Yup I was a DJ at a nightclub in my 20s. My ears are ringing now and will forever. It’s maddening.
Staying with someone because you’re too scared to leave – fear of being alone, fear of not being able to find anyone better for you or fear of hurting thier feelings.
Life will be tough after a break-up, but it slowly gets better and time heals.
Not eating right and exercising. The heart attack you have at 50 doesn’t just magically show up. Cardiovascular disease is from years of buildup.
While that is certainly true and starting with this as early as possible is the absolute best, don’t let it discourage you from starting at any time.
Until I was in my early 40’s I had never run more than 2k at a stretch, was desperately out of shape, overweight and just felt really prematurely old.
I started running and cycling and eating somewhat better when I was about 43. I honestly feel healthier, younger and am definitely way fitter than when I was in my twenties. I also lost that excess weight and just have lots more energy now. A couple of months ago I ran my first marathon, at age 56.
The funny thing is, I hate running. I’ve been doing it for over a decade now but I’ve never enjoyed it. Not for a single minute. But I know what it does to me, which keeps me going.
Not making tiny changes and sticking to them!
I know that I had an all or nothing attitude in my 20s.
If I tried my hand at painting and my first few attempts were crap, I’d drop it. If I tried saving money and saw how little it was, I’d spend it.
You have to do little things everyday and just don’t stop. It’ll add up in your 30s and you’ll be so grateful even later.
The problem is – many 20 year olds think of 30 and above as not counting somehow. They can’t imagine not being a complete success in their 20s or not being in a perfect relationship in their 20s.
But life goes one.
Your 30s are freeing and you’re in a whole different mental space from then on.
Don’t get desperate and stay with an awful person just because you’re so ‘old’ and unmarried at 29. Or make decisions that ignore the rest of your life.
Don’t quit studying or learning just cause you’re out of college. If you want a career change, don’t not do an on-line course or start working towards it because you’ll see a result 5 years from now.
That 5 years will pass and you’ll wish you had done something.
Just keep doing small things.
As you get money you tend to take out credit to get nice things. A sudden change in your career can ruin your life for a while. Be careful about buying things you can’t pay for outright.
I know a few friends who were in tough spots with car notes after COVID hit for this exact reason. One girl bought a brand new 35k car with minimum down in late 2019 after getting promoted. Lost her job in July, right when the extra $600 a week stopped and thankfully was able to find another job within 2 months. But she went from making 55k with good benefits, to making 48k on a temp contract (so no benefits). I feel so bad, but she’s really kicking herself because her old car was fine and paid for in full.
Not wearing a condom.
Bold of you to assume I have sex.
Binge drinking. It’s a very easy spiral to go down if you aren’t careful.
Sticking to a career they hate because that’s what they chose to do when they were 16-18 years old. It’s never too late to change your career path and if you’re not enjoying it now do you think that will change in another 20-30 years?
My issue is I’ve been in my line of work for long enough that I’m making a substantial amount of money from it. Much more than I could make at another job. I could go to school to get a degree in something I enjoy, but I also run the risk of going into insane student debt and end up not finding a job in that field.
Financially it would not be possible for me to just switch jobs and lose the pay I’m getting now.
I also kinda feel like the “find a job you love” train is overhyped. Some people are lucky enough to enjoy their jobs, and I’m lucky enough to be in that camp, but that’s never going to be everyone. There’s a lot of jobs out there that no reasonable person enjoys, but it pays the rent and if they didn’t do it, someone else would. Sometimes a job is just a job.
If you aren’t taking dental hygiene serious in your 20s…You are going to have a bad time later in life.
Thinking this is the person they’ll be forever.
Thinking this is the person they will be WITH forever.
You are not who you were at 20 when you turn 40. No one ever is. Whether you succeed as a couple or even as an individual, is to keep recognizing your growths, strengths and challenges.
Not saving enough money.
Pay yourself first. Don’t work the rest of your life.
Focusing on the future where you’ll be content.
“When I can buy that house, things will be great.”
“When I can start a family…..”
“When I get that promotion…..”
All those things may be great, but right now always has its it’s great moments. Right now has its own joys. Work for what you want, but live right now.
Not being selfish enough. Spent most of my twenties trying to please other people, in relationships and so on. Do more things for yourself. Also, exercise religiously. It’ll make it so much easier later.
Buying a brand new car
I understand needing a car. You do not need a 40-60k car fresh off the lot with a $700+ monthly payment over the next 6-7 years. Yes it’s nice to have a flashy powerful car. But it really sucks to constantly be broke because you’re paying for a car that is constantly depreciating in value.
“Don’t save what’s left after spending, spend what’s left after saving.”
Think that their 20’s is the only time they can have fun.
If you work on building towards a good long-term career and a fulfilling life you can have fun for the rest of your life.
If you’ve got a good 20s story, let me hear it in the comments.
Credit where credit’s due;
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