At 29, I’m at the last leg of my twenties. The past few years have seen me travel to various countries, give back to my community, buy real estate and earn my first million. I do wish I had started earlier. Here are some things I wish I’d known at 20.
1. The earlier you enter the formal workforce, the better.
While I do earn a substantial amount as a lawyer, I wish I had joined the formal workforce earlier. While my income would have been lower, the compound interest from the savings I make would’ve earned me a lot by now. That is assuming, I lived as frugal a lifestyle as I do now.
2. You don’t need a second “proper” degree to make a decent income.
Setting aside the fact that I always wanted to become a lawyer and eventually do pro-bono work, I do have a tinge of regret.
This is related to part 1. I spent 4 years in law school and another year in bar review. I had foregone 5 years in annual income that could’ve earned an average of 10% per annum, at the very least.
A college degree and stellar academic credentials would’ve sufficed to earn me a higher than minimum wage salary.
3. Your profession is merely a means to an end – making a living.
I got so caught up in career goals and learning and slaving away at a job that I ALMOST forgot my end goal – to bum around by 40 / early retirement! I accepted jobs on the basis of learning potential and career advancement. I regret not negotiating my pay, which sets the base for future salary negotiations.
4. Your friends’ lifestyle is padded by the bank of mama and papa.
This should guide you accordingly and restrain you from spending as much as your friends do!
5. The incredible time value of money / compound interest!
That Zara outfit you buy today won’t be worth much in a few years girl. Save your money and watch it grow with time!
6. Choose a boyfriend who has the same financial goals as you do.
Nothing will set you back from your financial goals more than a guy who isn’t on the same page as you. Stupidity is contagious! Judge a guy not on his looks, clothes or what not, check his financial IQ!
7. Stay away from spendthrift friends
Just like a guy who thinks poorly (dine here, vacay there like there’s no tomorrow), friends who think poorly will likely set you back too. You spend majority of your time with friends, their frivolous lifestyle will rub off you somehow.
8. Keep an eye on the prize.
I wish I had kept my eyes on the prize at all times. I would have been a multi millionaire by now. I feel so behind! I got so distracted by things like what the partner would think of me (a partner actually criticized me for having an old-model phone), pressuring me to buy stuff I shouldn’t! Never again.
9. Making a million is simple.
In hindsight, I learned that making a million is simple. Work. Earn a salary . Deduct savings and spend only below your means. It really is that simple.
10. The universe is such that the more you give back, the more blessings you receive!
I do my outreach activities because I made a promise in college. I never expected anything in return. I do wish I had given more because the universe multiplies your blessings ! And the feeling of happiness is just cherry on top.
Care to add anything to this list?
20 something lawyer