We all do silly things when we’re young. That’s the only time we can do those things and basically get away with it. However, some mistakes can be more costly than others and sometimes there are just some mistakes you really wished you didn’t make. To help you avoid getting into any real sticky situations we’ve put together a list of a few common mistakes young people tend to make.
1. Buying a home early
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you need to buy a home as soon as possible. Our society gives us this impression that once you own your own home you’re set for life. While having your own place is a great thing and there is no harm in aspiring to have one, don’t rush into getting one too early. While it can be rewarding, trying to have your own place can also be extremely stressful. If you’re insanely rich you probably won’t have a problem, but for the average Joe, house owning is a real commitment. If you want a house you’ll probably need to take out a loan. Once you buy the house then you need to start repaying the loan with interest. These repayments aren’t cheap and they can take a good chuck of your pay each month. If you rush into buying before you really have enough money or a stable income source, then the ride might be more stressful than it’s worth.
2. Investing without research
Hearing stories of people who have made millions investing on the stock market can make it very tempting to give it a go ourselves. Investing can be a very rewarding thing but it’s not as easy as just throwing your money away on random shares. You need to do some research. If you invest badly it can mean you lose a lot more than you put in. Learning and understanding the stock market can be tricky and may take a few months of research, but you need to do it. If that doesn’t sound like something you can do, then the stock market might not be the place for you to make your millions.
3. Not networking
When we’re young the seriousness of working and building a career may not have clicked in our brains yet. We still feel like living for each day as it comes and just chilling out and enjoying life. While that is important it is never a bad idea to try and start networking for your future career as soon as you can. The idea of networking might seem like something professional people do. It might even sound boring to some, but it really is important for your future. Ever heard the saying it’s not what you know it’s who you know? Networking doesn’t mean you have to get dressed up in a suit and tie and start making conversations filled with fancy words. It can be as simple as going out to local community events and getting to know the people around you. It’s beneficial to become familiar with these people especially those who work in fields you’re interest in. This will make things much easier for you in the future when you really want to start working towards your career goals.
4. Trying to cement a career
When you’re young, you have the ability to move around from career to career. This is the time when you should be exploring your options and finding out what works for you and what you enjoy the most. Just because you spend a few years working in one field doesn’t mean you have to only do that for the rest of your life. Maybe you will love the first thing you try but if you don’t then don’t be afraid to change. You don’t want to get to your retirement and look back only to realize you didn’t even like what you spent your whole life doing.
5. Impulse spending
Forever Twenty Somethings
Most people fall victim to impulse spending. Whether it’s a few dollars or a few hundred dollars, most of us have probably done it before. Companies have thought up various marketing campaigns to make us feel like spending our hard earned money on their products. Most impulse purchases are things we later realise we didn’t really need. While it can be tempting to go out and buy the latest piece of technology as soon as it hits the market, give yourself some time to think. Spend a few weeks thinking about whether you should buy it before you do. If you’re still hyped about buying it after this time then go for it. You might find though, that after a few weeks it just doesn’t feel as exciting for you anymore and that ‘need’ has actually gone.
6. Studying a useless degree
This can be a pretty easy mistake to make. After all, who knows exactly what they want to do with their entire life when they’re only around 18 years old? Maybe some have it figured all out but it’s more likely that the large majority have no clue what job they want to pursue. While getting a degree is a great thing, studying the wrong one can be costly. Depending on what country you’re studying in you may have to pay all your study fees as you go, which isn’t cheap. It’s also extremely hard to save as a student. Even if you are working, your hours are limited and it’s likely the little money you do earn will go to living expenses. To go through this stressful period and come out with something you don’t even want is frustrating. So, when you pick a degree, pick something you’re passionate about. If you’re early into your studying years and realise you don’t love what you’re doing then don’t be afraid to change. Whether it’s changing to a different degree or quitting college all together, make the decision that makes you happy.
7. Giving up so easily
It is so easy to just give up when something feels too hard. The idea of giving up what you’re doing to just try something else, can be the easier option sometimes. It might be that you’re having trouble understanding what you’re learning at University. It might be that you don’t like the people you work with or the job is proving more strenuous than you expected. But the biggest mistake you can make sometimes is to give up. Pushing through the hard stuff is what makes a stronger and well-rounded person. When things start getting a little tricky, don’t take the easy way out. Keep on pushing through and you just might surprise yourself. When you work through something tough and come out the other side, there is no better feeling. It may also take you down paths you would have never gotten the opportunity to walk through if you’d just given up in the beginning. With that being said, there can be times when the best thing to do is walk away. If you keep on trying and things still aren’t working and you’re really not enjoying them, then maybe walking away and trying something new is a good idea. Just make sure you give it another go before you make that decision.
8. Relying too much on parents
If you’ve been lucky enough to have Mum and Dad help you financially throughout your younger life, there is nothing wrong with that. However, you need to be able to recognize when it’s time to start being more financially independent. If you’re continually using your parent’s money to get by and aren’t really making any tracks to becoming financially independent yourself, it might be time to stop and think. Financial matters can be tricky and difficult to understand but they are a part of life and at some point we all need to learn about them.
9. Having a credit card
When you start getting paychecks with bigger figures it can be tempting to go out and start spending like you’re the richest person on the planet. It can also be tempting to go get yourself a credit card. The simple answer is: don’t. Credit cards can give you the urge to spend more than you have, simply because you can. Being caught up in the excitement can make you forget about the fact you will need to pay that money back and there will be interest. This can add up to some seriously expensive bills. Most of the time, you’ll find that you actually earn enough. So, instead of spending money you don’t have just start saving more instead.
10. Trying to pay off student debt
Nobody likes having a debt hanging over their head. So, it’s natural that we want to get rid of it as quickly as possible. However, focusing your attention and dollars to getting rid of your student debt can be a bad thing. If you’re spending every spare sent on getting rid of it, then you’ll have no savings. Then what happens when something unexpected pops up? Maybe you suddenly have a large medical bill that needs to be paid. Maybe you lose your job and have no stable income. Or maybe you need to travel a long distance to see someone. Still, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother planning to pay off your debt. You just have to make sure you don’t spend every penny doing so.
Everyone makes mistakes in life. The best time to make them is when you’re young so you can learn from them and grow. But making mistakes is never fun so the less you can make, the better.
Have you ever made any big mistakes that you instantly regretted? Did you learn from your mistakes? Let us know in the comments section below.