Author Topic: Things you wish you knew when you were 20  (Read 21612 times)

arebelspy

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 11725
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Las Vegas
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #50 on: June 14, 2013, 09:43:21 AM »
This is a great thread on the E-R.org forums, almost the same as this topic at hand, filled with great thoughts/advice/wisdom:
Advice you'd give your 25 year old self
A silent voice is as powerless as a silenced one.

-------------------------------------------------------

  The Cheat is a millionaire!

sunnymidnight

  • Stubble
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #51 on: June 14, 2013, 10:56:45 AM »
First of all I wish that I had listened to all the wonderful nagging advice that my parents gave me for free. 

Next I wish that I had understood Time.  How it speeds up and the years just disappear once you pass the age of 40.

And finally I wish that someone had told me that emergencies are like wolves - they travel and hunt in packs.  The first one chases you until you are exhausted.  The second one hamstrings you.  The third one goes in for the kill.  Any ones after that - well that is just the Universe being mean.

TrulyStashin

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 677
  • Location: Richmond, VA
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #52 on: June 14, 2013, 12:10:06 PM »
A huge chunk of your future happiness (or not) will be strongly influenced by the person you choose to partner with.

+1,000

Don't get married until you know yourself quite well -- strengths, weaknesses, areas where you tend to bullshit yourself, daily habits & rhythms, value system.  The marry someone with similar -- though not identical --- qualities. 
“We found that if this chipmunk began living as an average American does, it would be dead within a month.”

hybrid

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 1562
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Richmond, Virginia
  • A hybrid of MMM and thoughtful consumer.
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #53 on: June 14, 2013, 02:12:15 PM »
If you are living paycheck to paycheck you are already in debt, the bill that puts you in debt just hasn't shown up yet. 
Life is a game. Play it better.

mobilisinmobili

  • Handlebar
  • ***
  • Posts: 217
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Montreal
  • Advance daily
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #54 on: June 14, 2013, 05:57:47 PM »
I wish I'd read / understood / applied Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg.

SwordGuy

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 658
  • Location: Fayetteville, NC
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #55 on: June 14, 2013, 06:45:13 PM »
A huge chunk of your future happiness (or not) will be strongly influenced by the person you choose to partner with.

+1,000

Don't get married until you know yourself quite well -- strengths, weaknesses, areas where you tend to bullshit yourself, daily habits & rhythms, value system.  The marry someone with similar -- though not identical --- qualities.

I got dumped by a host of girls/women when I was in college.  I stayed on good terms with all but one, it's just that we weren't the right match for one another.  But the experience was good for me (though not always appreciated at the time) because I got a pretty good idea of what I truly wanted in a life partner.

Then I had the one truly brilliant idea I've ever had.

Instead of focusing on what kind of woman I wanted to spend my life with, I flipped it around.  Why would a woman like that want to stay with me?

I didn't like the answer because, frankly, she wouldn't.

I realized that what I needed to do was to decide what kind of person did I want to be that would also be attractive to that kind of woman.   I had to want to be that kind of person or I would end up miserable.   I just needed to grow into the person that I wanted to be.

I'm pleased to say that was a plan that worked very, very well.  :)

Incidentally, the four long term desireability traits in a partner are:

1) Competence at drama-free daily living,
2) Reasonableness/Fairness,
3) Adult, not an Over-aged Child,
4) Loving and sweet nature.

It doesn't matter how hot they are, if they lack those essential traits you will grow to hate living with them.

prodarwin

  • Magnum
  • ****
  • Posts: 301
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #56 on: June 14, 2013, 06:52:48 PM »
I wish I knew how addictive and expensive playing with cars would become.  I'd force my 20 year old self to find a different hobby.

pbkmaine

  • Handlebar
  • ***
  • Posts: 209
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #57 on: June 14, 2013, 08:04:57 PM »
I wish I had not wasted so much time in my youth worrying. It doesn't keep the bad stuff from happening, and it makes you miserable in the meantime.

Adventine

  • Magnum
  • ****
  • Posts: 409
  • Age: 25
  • Location: Manila, Philippines
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #58 on: June 14, 2013, 11:52:02 PM »

Incidentally, the four long term desireability traits in a partner are:

1) Competence at drama-free daily living,
2) Reasonableness/Fairness,
3) Adult, not an Over-aged Child,
4) Loving and sweet nature.

It doesn't matter how hot they are, if they lack those essential traits you will grow to hate living with them.

+1000

Monkey Master

  • Stubble
  • *
  • Posts: 12
  • Location: Sydney
    • Monkeyism - Smart Money Management Towards Early Retirement
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #59 on: June 15, 2013, 07:04:40 AM »
Living in Australia, you should check online savings accounts from RAMS and UBANK. They give the highest rate on the market right now (about 4.7%) without locking your money away like a term deposit would do. I use to also move accounts every 3-4 months depending on the welcoming rates available (e.g. ING direct and RABO direct).

Given the no risk - high savings rate ratio in Australia, I wouldn't even look into alternative risky investments until you max out your savings accounts.

You will always hear contradictory opinions about where the financial market is heading. And you should not follow any of them but try to make your own. This is how the market can stay efficient, you need 2 people having different opinions such that a transaction can happen. You will always hear people tell you that "the market always goes up on the long term". But how does it fit with your strategy? What if it crashes for a few years, how do you derive income from your devaluated investments? By how much more can you beat the current savings rate? Is it worth the risk?

Thank for the tip off on the savings accounts. I shall get on moving my money right away.

What is your investment strategy here? I thought for while, that approx 5% would be fine, but with inflation this is lowered to about 2 percent. My goal is have a paid off home as soon as possible and then accumulate savings as fast as possible. I plan to have 2 kids so I'm comfortable with a retirement age of about 45, certainly no later than 50. At this point I would like steady income that won't fluctuate. How do you make an income stream from capital gains? The only way I can see that working is from dividends. But even then companies can change dividends at any time changing my investment income.

Are you planning on  keeping your entire retirement fund in savings accounts?

I do plan to have a big chunk in savings account, just because I am quite risk averse. I may not earn a lot, but I've learned through various investing experience that the best way to make money is actually not to lose any :o). So by always trying to earn more and increasing risk, there is no certainty to end up better off. We also have some rental income and I'll look further into other streams when the savings rate drops to a point where it is no more worth it. But at the moment, I'm happy with what I get for no risk.

We plan to retire in 2 years time, when we reach 35. We currently have 1 kid but hoping to get more. So regular income streams are very important to us. We won't be able to rely on capital gains or other investments that do not provide a monthly payment. Rental income could be good in Australia, the real estate market is quite strong and with negative gearing on investment properties, it may be worth a look. But I fear it may be quite late to enter the market given the prices are at record highs.
www.monkeyism.com - Smart Money Management Towards Early Retirement

killingxspree

  • Bristles
  • **
  • Posts: 67
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #60 on: June 15, 2013, 10:45:11 AM »

Given the no risk - high savings rate ratio in Australia, I wouldn't even look into alternative risky investments until you max out your savings accounts.


Could you explain that abit more for newbies like me? wouldnt it be better to go for a vanguard account that will probably return more then 4.60%... i know its riskier but wont you be getting a higher return and if you're keeping it there for a long long time won't it add up? or is really just better to keep it in a savings account because there is no risk for an okay return vs high risk for maybe a good return maybe a bad one?

TomTX

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
  • Location: Texas
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #61 on: June 15, 2013, 03:55:49 PM »
Quote from: projekt link
...Don't get addicted to things. Protip: if you ever think, "Man, I really need a beer," you are addicted...

FT(MF)W. Why do so many people not GET that?

I have to disagree, or at least clarify. About a half dozen times a year, I'll think "Man, I really need a beer" - typically after after mowing the lawn on a hot summer day, right after I shower off all the sweat. Since my beer consumption averages around 2 beers per month, I really can't believe it is any kind of addiction.

Now, if someone is using that statement on a frequent basis - sure.

LowER

  • Handlebar
  • ***
  • Posts: 160
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #62 on: June 15, 2013, 06:28:38 PM »
Don't have 3 daughters who will all be teenagers simultaneously, that may cause someone to feel that they need a beer,... now and then.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2013, 06:31:49 PM by LowER »

Coneal

  • Stubble
  • *
  • Posts: 26
  • Location: Charlotte
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #63 on: June 15, 2013, 07:39:49 PM »
-no matter how valued you are at your job layoffs happen.  Be prepared.
-change jobs every couple of years for the increase in pay.
-working with specialized tools for your job makes you very desirable to other companies $$$
-trying to impress women will just cost you money
-learn to invest in stocks when the market is in the crapper. 
-surround yourself with like minded people.
-don't be completely wrapped up in work bc life passes by, same goes for building your nut (stop and smell the roses
-school maybe over but learning is not
-don't live up to others expectations bc your never get ahead

Some that were taught to me by the time I was 20
-keep you shit wrapped.  Std's and child support last longer then one night.
-the most important decision you'll ever make is who you marry
-your young, do some fun crazy shit
-don't rent it own it
-don't buy shit,  buy things that are built to last

Insanity

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 770
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #64 on: June 15, 2013, 08:31:53 PM »
Awesome thread.

- Just because you have luck with one stock pick, doesn't mean you will with the next (I picked General Magic as my first investment. It was the voice recognition software for on star, made a killing on it... then lost it on my next pick)

- Don't buy a new car just because you can (I didn't buy it right after college, I bought it 6 months later...)

- Sometimes there are some promises you make to yourself that are silly.  Recognize them and allow yourself to break them.  While your word means a lot, you can always forgive and rebuild.

ace1224

  • Magnum
  • ****
  • Posts: 469
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #65 on: June 17, 2013, 11:38:52 AM »
that the birth control patch doesn't work if it keeps coming off in your sleep.

mikefixac

  • Handlebar
  • ***
  • Posts: 200
  • Location: Brea
    • Uncommonly Brilliant
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #66 on: June 18, 2013, 12:15:23 PM »
Asking that question and reading MMM means you're already way ahead of the game.

So here's a few suggestions from a 58 year old (or if I could tell my 20 year old self):

Figure out what you really like to do (that is profitable). Have the courage to trust and believe in yourself that that is what you want to do. And pursue it. And put in the hours to be very good at what you do. It's something you'll have for life and can never be taken away from you.

Exceptional spouse.

No drink/drugs.
Only in America do they have drive up ATM machines with Braille lettering

MrsPete

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 1512
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #67 on: June 18, 2013, 08:43:17 PM »
I agree with the several-times repeated "Your choice of spouse will determine much of your happiness /unhappiness." 
I also agree with "take care of your health".  Don't forget that teeth are included in that comment.

Other things: 
- You need God, and you need a church support group. 
- Write down the top five most important things in your life.  When you have to make a decision of any type, refer to your list, and measure your choices against those top five things. 
- When you break up with someone, don't try to stay friends.   He will always misunderstand and think there's a chance you'll get back together. 

About finances, since that's the focus of this board: 
- My then-new husband was 100% right to insist upon buying a house and putting every other paycheck into savings.  It set the tone for our financial life.
- Something someone told us in our 20s, which seemed impossible but was true:  Your first $100,000 is hard to save.  After you reach that point, it starts to snowball.
- Diversify your holdings.
- Do not be house poor (or car poor).
- Do not put your money into depreciating assets. 



smalllife

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 773
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #68 on: June 19, 2013, 05:17:12 AM »
- You need God, and you need a church support group. 

Um, no.  Atheists are just fine at any age. So are non-Christians.

If you want to rephrase that as "find a like-minded community you can trust and which supports each other in times of crisis" then, yes.
"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful" - William Morris

PantsOnFire

  • Handlebar
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
  • Location: PA
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #69 on: June 19, 2013, 05:39:53 AM »
Don't necessarily look to the majority of your peers/co-workers for cues on what sort of lifestyle is right for you.  You can be significantly richer or poorer than other people who earn the same wage.  And appearances are often deceiving. 

Climbing the ladder, chasing promotions, etc. isn't the only way to progress. 

Don't tell yourself, "well I make $X now... I deserve Y". 

It's OK to take advice from people on message boards, but do a reality check... would someone who knows you REALLY WELL also stand by that advice? 
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 07:50:29 AM by PantsOnFire »
No one's yet explained to me exactly what's so great
about slaving 50 years away on something that you hate
About meekly shuffling down the path of mediocrity
If that's your road, then take it; but it's not the road for me.

renbutler

  • Magnum
  • ****
  • Posts: 384
  • Location: Midwest USA
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #70 on: June 19, 2013, 07:54:25 AM »
Nobody of advanced age ever looks back on their life and says:

"I wish I had drank more beer."

You can also substitute any of the following in for "drank more beer": done more drugs, had more sex, played more video games, eaten more food, owned more things...

It is your relationships with friends and family (and for many, God) that truly define your lasting legacy.

ToeInTheWater

  • Bristles
  • **
  • Posts: 91
  • Location: in-DI-ana
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #71 on: June 19, 2013, 08:21:11 AM »
Don't invest just for the tax savings.
   while tax savings are great and an added bonus/part of the economics (IRA/401k/rental property), if this is your primary purpose for an investment, it's the wrong investment


arebelspy

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 11725
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Las Vegas
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #72 on: June 19, 2013, 09:38:26 AM »
Nobody of advanced age ever looks back on their life and says:

"I wish I had drank more beer."

You can also substitute any of the following in for "drank more beer": done more drugs, had more sex, played more video games, eaten more food, owned more things...

I know many people who say they wish they had done more of those things.  Did you read any of the thread I linked earlier?

Most of the advice given in this thread is from people in their 30s (based on the demographics of the MMM readership/forum users).  Most of the advice in that thread, from the E-R.org group, is based on advice from people in their 50s, who have had time for a little more perspective.

I read that thread every few months, has some good advice in it.  (Including sex, drugs, and rock and roll.)

So your "nobody" would say that statement is quite inaccurate.  ;)
A silent voice is as powerless as a silenced one.

-------------------------------------------------------

  The Cheat is a millionaire!

exranger06

  • Bristles
  • **
  • Posts: 98
  • Age: 26
  • Location: CT
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #73 on: June 19, 2013, 10:57:26 AM »
-Start building credit.
-Learn about investing

renbutler

  • Magnum
  • ****
  • Posts: 384
  • Location: Midwest USA
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #74 on: June 19, 2013, 11:40:59 AM »
I know many people who say they wish they had done more of those things.  Did you read any of the thread I linked earlier?

Most of the advice given in this thread is from people in their 30s (based on the demographics of the MMM readership/forum users).  Most of the advice in that thread, from the E-R.org group, is based on advice from people in their 50s, who have had time for a little more perspective.

I read that thread every few months, has some good advice in it.  (Including sex, drugs, and rock and roll.)

So your "nobody" would say that statement is quite inaccurate.  ;)

I meant "nobody" conversationally, not literally. But it's certainly nobody I know. I just lost my brother (45 years old) earlier this year, and I've done a lot of soul searching about this topic. I stand by the main point that ultimately our relationships define us more than any job or possession or vice ever could.

tylerherman

  • Stubble
  • *
  • Posts: 37
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #75 on: June 19, 2013, 11:50:26 AM »
Be less comfortable and don't do the things that come easy all the time.

As in try new experiences. Do the things you always talk yourself out of.

matchewed

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 2628
  • Location: CT
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #76 on: June 19, 2013, 11:52:20 AM »
I'm sorry for your loss. I have a brother that I'm very close with and the thought of losing family is one of those things that can make me feel like someone hit me in the chest with a sledgehammer.

I would argue that it is our experiences which define us. And those experiences can involve those aforementioned relationships, jobs, and the generic sort of experience (including things you've so easily labeled as vice). When looking back and saying I wish I had done more X, that X can be anything, it is a rather blanket statement to say relationships will be more important than other possible experiences to the individual looking back. What if that person had fulfilling relationships and doesn't have any regrets. Maybe would have wanted to party a bit harder. Who is to say one way or another?

jrhampt

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 630
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Connecticut
    • The Rosacea Diaries: Treatments, Triggers, and Product Reviews
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #77 on: June 19, 2013, 12:23:20 PM »
This is a great thread on the E-R.org forums, almost the same as this topic at hand, filled with great thoughts/advice/wisdom:
Advice you'd give your 25 year old self

I am going to make a dental appointment after reading that thread!

sunnymidnight

  • Stubble
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #78 on: June 19, 2013, 03:47:35 PM »
I wish I had known to think of my expenses in percentages of net income instead of just $.  I found a suggested "expense pie" on a great blog and it completely changed the way we planned and budgeted. 

The great thing about this is that it is flexible.  The percentages are maximums but you can economize and thus save in many areas.  35% for all housing costs including property taxes and utilities.  15% for transportation.  25% for life including groceries, medical, childcare.  15% for debt including consumer and student loan.  10% for savings. 

The flex part comes when you have no debt - you now have 15% to put in other places like increasing you savings or to meet new life costs such as childcare.  If you ride your bike or take public transport that gives you another large amount of money every month to play with.  Like putting it into a vacation fund.

This simple percentage suggestion helped us to NOT buy a house that we could afford to buy but that would actually make us house poor and to buy the car that suited our needs rather than the one we coveted.  It sure was pretty but what a gas guzzler.

infogoon

  • Handlebar
  • ***
  • Posts: 198
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #79 on: June 20, 2013, 12:35:07 PM »
If there are colleges and universities where you live, try to find a house in the neighborhood where the professors live. They're generally low-paid but interesting people, and the neighborhood is probably both cheap and fun to live in.

MrsPete

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 1512
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #80 on: June 22, 2013, 11:25:07 AM »
- You need God, and you need a church support group. 

Um, no.  Atheists are just fine at any age. So are non-Christians.

If you want to rephrase that as "find a like-minded community you can trust and which supports each other in times of crisis" then, yes.
I stand by my statement, but then I'm not particularly politically correct, and this is a highly secular board. 

MrsPete

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 1512
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #81 on: June 22, 2013, 11:27:01 AM »
A huge chunk of your future happiness (or not) will be strongly influenced by the person you choose to partner with.

+1,000

Don't get married until you know yourself quite well -- strengths, weaknesses, areas where you tend to bullshit yourself, daily habits & rhythms, value system.  The marry someone with similar -- though not identical --- qualities.
While I agree with you, the trouble is that every 18 year old THINKS he knows himself perfectly well and is just as mature as every 30-year old.  And every 18 year old he THINKS he is the person he'll be for the rest of his life! 

MrsPete

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 1512
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #82 on: June 22, 2013, 11:31:04 AM »
I wish I had known to think of my expenses in percentages of net income instead of just $.  I found a suggested "expense pie" on a great blog and it completely changed the way we planned and budgeted. 

The great thing about this is that it is flexible.  The percentages are maximums but you can economize and thus save in many areas.  35% for all housing costs including property taxes and utilities.  15% for transportation.  25% for life including groceries, medical, childcare.  15% for debt including consumer and student loan.  10% for savings. 

The flex part comes when you have no debt - you now have 15% to put in other places like increasing you savings or to meet new life costs such as childcare.  If you ride your bike or take public transport that gives you another large amount of money every month to play with.  Like putting it into a vacation fund.

This simple percentage suggestion helped us to NOT buy a house that we could afford to buy but that would actually make us house poor and to buy the car that suited our needs rather than the one we coveted.  It sure was pretty but what a gas guzzler.
Yes, I wish I'd known that it was possible to look at finances in that way when I was younger.  Today we have a house and cars that're paid for, and we don't really pay attention to our budget like we did in the past -- rather, we just live by the habits we've established, and we have an instinctive feel for what's okay /not okay when it comes to spending.  BUT when I was younger and didn't yet have that instinct, viewing finances in terms of percentages would've been a very good learning tool.  In fact, I've taught my daughters something similar to what you suggest -- they're young enough to need that guidance.

Mr Mark

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 761
  • Location: Detroit, MI
  • Achieved Financial Independence summer 2014. RE'17
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #83 on: June 22, 2013, 05:48:18 PM »

Save. What's your net worth and projected net worth? 80/20 asset allocation. Vanguard.

Yet also invest in yourself. Travel a lot, to cheap places, before you have kids.

Get a real education that produces marketable skills. Be that plumber or engineer. Poetry is for trust funders I'm afraid kids.

Relationships are what life is all about. Build and preserve them.

Mr. Mark

Eric

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 1679
  • Location: On my bike
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #84 on: February 05, 2014, 03:55:18 PM »
I don't really have anything to add, but I just felt like bumping this old thread.
"Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe."  -- Einstein

2527

  • Magnum
  • ****
  • Posts: 417
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #85 on: February 05, 2014, 05:15:19 PM »
You get out of it what you put into it.  People are most attracted to you when you let them see the authentic you.  Keep your expenses well below your income.  Invest well. 

frugalconfederate

  • Handlebar
  • ***
  • Posts: 166
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #86 on: February 05, 2014, 05:41:45 PM »
Well, when I was 20 I had been married for two years and was probably  a couple of months pregnant.  But that was 37 years ago.  What do I wish the 20 year old me knew then... (financially speaking)

1.  Buy a house at the top of what you can afford instead of what you can easily afford.  The payment will stay the same and salary will go up, so in a few years it will be easier. 
2.  Every time you get a raise, have that money automatically deducted to savings.  It will make a big difference.
3.  1/2 a dryer sheet works just a good as a whole one.  Over 37 years, even that would have added up.
4.  When you buy furniture, buy quality and not trendy.  You won't have to replace it in your lifetime.
5.  Somehow the money you give to church doesn't hurt your budget.  I can't explain it, but every since we began to tithe, the 90% seems to go further than the 100% did before. 
6.  Learn to cook in your 20s instead of waiting to the 30s.  It is cheaper and healthier.  Teach your kids to cook.
7.  Save up an emergency fund and then increase all your insurance deductibles.  (I could have saved a fortune by doing this a lot sooner).
8.  Micro fiber cloths are fantastic.  Not sure how long they were out there before I discovered them.  But a lot of things clean with just water or maybe a little vinegar.  Save a lot of money on cleaners. 
I'm sure there are more, but that's enough for now.

Capsu78

  • Handlebar
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #87 on: February 05, 2014, 05:49:04 PM »
A huge chunk of your future happiness (or not) will be strongly influenced by the person you choose to partner with.

This, exactly.  No one will impact your life probably more than the person you choose as your partner.  Make it count.

There is a lot of "girly" advice being throw around here   :-) ...  Sure glad I punched few "weight classes" above my own and found a pretty one to boot!   I may never chose "smarter than me" again though- just way to much accountability...and they pass it along to "your children" and you may find yourself soon outnumbered by "smart and pretties"!

HappierAtHome

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 1423
  • Location: Australia
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #88 on: February 05, 2014, 06:13:36 PM »
1.  Buy a house at the top of what you can afford instead of what you can easily afford.  The payment will stay the same and salary will go up, so in a few years it will be easier. 

I have to disagree with this... IF your salary goes up, it becomes easier, yes. But if you become ill or disabled, have a loved one who requires care, have children and decide you'd like to see them occasionally rather than work long hours to pay off the damn house, or get made redundant... yeah. You've just set yourself up for heartache.

I've seen too many people buy the most expensive house they can afford, and then end up penniless a few years down the track when they can't afford it anymore. Or worse - someone I work with has a mother with alzheimers and would love to drop down to part time to spend more time with her, but can't afford it because her mortgage is too high.

I'm sure this has worked out okay for you frugalconfederate or you wouldn't consider it good advice, but everyone I know IRL who tells me to buy the most expensive house I can afford is either currently in the process of declaring bankruptcy, or has already had to declare bankruptcy and is now struggling on welfare, or is forced to work much more than they would like just to make their payments. Whereas the ones who tell me to buy the least expensive house I can that will still meet my needs, are the ones who are able to retire at 50.
Read my journal and help me figure out how to get to FI faster!
 http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/journals/young-australian-can't-wait-for-fi/

Hedge_87

  • Magnum
  • ****
  • Posts: 421
  • Age: 27
  • Location: South central ks
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #89 on: February 05, 2014, 06:21:59 PM »
A huge chunk of your future happiness (or not) will be strongly influenced by the person you choose to partner with.

This, exactly.  No one will impact your life probably more than the person you choose as your partner.  Make it count.
I agree! I was doing pretty good on my own but once I found her every changed for the better.
There are two types of people in this world. Those who think they can and those who think they can't. They are both right. - Henry ford

Mr One Wheel Drive

  • Stubble
  • *
  • Posts: 49
  • Location: Ottawa. ON Canada
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #90 on: February 05, 2014, 06:46:24 PM »
I'm glad this got bumped, I really like it!

The best thing that I ever did was to take 6 months off of work when I was 23 and again when I was 26 to travel around, hang out, and discover myself. This gives you the freedom to explore things like nothing else. I lived frugally before and after, but during those times I burned through my savings (still living frugally) driving around north america and seeing all I could see, staying in hostels and campsites and cheap hotels.

My real learning started after university. If you don't want to stay in university, don't. You can go back later if you don't like it.

Don't be afraid to go talk to strangers, they are just friends that you haven't met yet.

I don't regret all the beer that I drank.

Just because you've put a lot of time and effort into something, if it's not working out, move on. You'll never get it back. That goes for relationships too. It takes guts.

Be honest with yourself always.

Don't be afraid to try.

frugalconfederate

  • Handlebar
  • ***
  • Posts: 166
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #91 on: February 05, 2014, 07:58:38 PM »
1.  Buy a house at the top of what you can afford instead of what you can easily afford.  The payment will stay the same and salary will go up, so in a few years it will be easier. 

I have to disagree with this... IF your salary goes up, it becomes easier, yes. But if you become ill or disabled, have a loved one who requires care, have children and decide you'd like to see them occasionally rather than work long hours to pay off the damn house, or get made redundant... yeah. You've just set yourself up for heartache.

I've seen too many people buy the most expensive house they can afford, and then end up penniless a few years down the track when they can't afford it anymore. Or worse - someone I work with has a mother with alzheimers and would love to drop down to part time to spend more time with her, but can't afford it because her mortgage is too high.

I'm sure this has worked out okay for you frugalconfederate or you wouldn't consider it good advice, but everyone I know IRL who tells me to buy the most expensive house I can afford is either currently in the process of declaring bankruptcy, or has already had to declare bankruptcy and is now struggling on welfare, or is forced to work much more than they would like just to make their payments. Whereas the ones who tell me to buy the least expensive house I can that will still meet my needs, are the ones who are able to retire at 50.

I think that all too often people buy a house they can't afford instead of the top end of their affordability range.  Of course, it wouldn't work for everyone, but it would have been great for me.  We actually still live in the same  house that we bought when I was 18, and I am 57 now.  Its  not that I am unhappy with my home, but when the kids were home it would sure have been nice to have two bathrooms. And now the neighborhood has gone to a lot of rentals.  Of course we could move, but at this stage in my life that just sounds like too much trouble.

HappierAtHome

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 1423
  • Location: Australia
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #92 on: February 05, 2014, 08:52:34 PM »
1.  Buy a house at the top of what you can afford instead of what you can easily afford.  The payment will stay the same and salary will go up, so in a few years it will be easier. 

I have to disagree with this... IF your salary goes up, it becomes easier, yes. But if you become ill or disabled, have a loved one who requires care, have children and decide you'd like to see them occasionally rather than work long hours to pay off the damn house, or get made redundant... yeah. You've just set yourself up for heartache.

I've seen too many people buy the most expensive house they can afford, and then end up penniless a few years down the track when they can't afford it anymore. Or worse - someone I work with has a mother with alzheimers and would love to drop down to part time to spend more time with her, but can't afford it because her mortgage is too high.

I'm sure this has worked out okay for you frugalconfederate or you wouldn't consider it good advice, but everyone I know IRL who tells me to buy the most expensive house I can afford is either currently in the process of declaring bankruptcy, or has already had to declare bankruptcy and is now struggling on welfare, or is forced to work much more than they would like just to make their payments. Whereas the ones who tell me to buy the least expensive house I can that will still meet my needs, are the ones who are able to retire at 50.

I think that all too often people buy a house they can't afford instead of the top end of their affordability range.  Of course, it wouldn't work for everyone, but it would have been great for me.  We actually still live in the same  house that we bought when I was 18, and I am 57 now.  Its  not that I am unhappy with my home, but when the kids were home it would sure have been nice to have two bathrooms. And now the neighborhood has gone to a lot of rentals.  Of course we could move, but at this stage in my life that just sounds like too much trouble.

Yeah, I'm starting to suspect that we're just working with different definitions of "afford". According to the bank I can afford a $2M mansion. But based on your comments I don't think that's what you're suggesting :-)
Read my journal and help me figure out how to get to FI faster!
 http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/journals/young-australian-can't-wait-for-fi/

Mykl

  • Magnum
  • ****
  • Posts: 360
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #93 on: February 05, 2014, 08:58:48 PM »
How to budget properly....  and maybe an introduction to the idea that I didn't have to work until I was 70 if I had apportioned my funds appropriately.

dude

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 602
  • Location: Northeast
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #94 on: February 06, 2014, 07:21:55 AM »
First, credit cards -- do not fall prey to them.  The card companies hand them out like free doughnuts at college sporting events and other campus functions.  When you walk by their booth, forget the stupid free t-shirt and give them the hearty middle finger they deserve for the predatory nature of their business model and their attempts to ensnare you.

Second, those student loans have to be paid back -- in spades.  So if you are yucking it up with friends on weekends on your student loan dime, or buying $4 lattes every day, you are digging yourself a deep, totally unnecessary hole you are going to likely spend years crawling out of.

It all seems so benign when you're doing it, but take it from someone who did -- it is not.  Indentured servititude is no less odious or burdensome in this day and age than it was in the past.
"Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need."
-Tyler Durden

dude

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 602
  • Location: Northeast
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #95 on: February 06, 2014, 07:30:29 AM »
Stay away from redheads and motorcycles.


Red hair, and black leather, my favorite color scheme!  (credit to Richard Thompson, and really more descriptive of my husband than myself, but too good to pass up!)

haha!  great minds . . .  I was going to post the same lyric!  LOVE Del McCoury's version of this great Richard Thompson song.
"Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need."
-Tyler Durden

iwasjustwondering

  • Handlebar
  • ***
  • Posts: 184
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #96 on: February 06, 2014, 07:32:35 AM »
Go for what you want in life.  You don't have to be a starving artist or a corporate drone if that's not what you want.  Do what you want.  If you're frugal, you'll be able to support yourself no matter what. 

Mortgage Free Mike

  • Handlebar
  • ***
  • Posts: 115
  • Age: 29
    • Save on Almost Everything
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #97 on: February 06, 2014, 08:59:03 AM »
I wish I knew "who I was" if that makes sense. When I was young, I spent a lot of time (and money) trying to be like everyone else.  Embrace the uniqueness of you.
People with strong character shine without resorting to materialism.

Hedge_87

  • Magnum
  • ****
  • Posts: 421
  • Age: 27
  • Location: South central ks
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #98 on: February 06, 2014, 09:07:59 AM »
I wish I knew "who I was" if that makes sense. When I was young, I spent a lot of time (and money) trying to be like everyone else.  Embrace the uniqueness of you.
People with strong character shine without resorting to materialism.

+2 I spent a lot of money trying to be part of the in crowd and have lots of friends. Only to find out that I didn't like who I became and those people weren't truely my friends anyway.
There are two types of people in this world. Those who think they can and those who think they can't. They are both right. - Henry ford

Breaker

  • Bristles
  • **
  • Posts: 66
Re: Things you wish you knew when you were 20
« Reply #99 on: February 06, 2014, 09:45:08 AM »
Learn to distinguish between your NEEDS and your WANTS. 

For instance you may NEED a cellphone but you will WANT the newest I-phone. 

Looking at all of your decisions about any purchase to see if you need it or want it should make you make better decisions.  Also when you are older you won't be throwing out or donating all of those bad buying decisions that you made and wondering what your life would have been like if you had made better decisions.

Jan