Financial Advice You Wish You’d Known in Your 20’s

What financial advice do you wish you’d known in your 20’s?

We don’t yet have crystal balls or time-travelling machines, so we can only take the financial advice of those who have already been there before us. We also include some tips for making sure that you don’t make common money mistakes.

Susan, 43, Social Worker – “Take an interest in your super!”

“The main thing I wish I could tell my 20-year-old self is to take an interest in my super,” Susan says. “I know that young people hear this time and time again, but it really is never too soon. After taking some time off from my career financial advice, finance tips, things i wish i had knownto spend time at home with my children, I was out of the workforce for around five years, and worked part-time for a while after that. As a result, my super was kind of all over the place. Going through a divorce made me sit up and take notice of my super, and really get serious about making it work for me. I have it sorted now, but I would definitely be in a much better position if I’d just learned more about prioritising my savings for the future.”

Tony, 49, Account Manager – “Rent where you can afford, buy where you want to live.”

“I was never too interested in building my wealth until well into my 30’s,” shares Tony. “Once I got serious about buying my own home, I realised just how much better off I would have been if I had made smarter choices, particularly about where I lived, when I was younger. I left home when I was 18 and moved straight into a trendy beachside suburb where rent (and everything else) was at a premium. As a result when I bought my first home, the only place I could afford to buy was on the outskirts of the city, away from the beach. In hindsight, I wish I could tell my younger self to suck it up for a few years and live in the sticks for a while so that when the time came to buy my own place I’d have enough saved to buy where I wanted to live, instead of where I could afford. Really, it’s about making sacrifices in the short- term to save for what you want in the future instead of living beyond your means.”

Maree, 37, Psychologist – “Don’t lose control of your credit cards.”

“I took a gap year as soon as I graduated from university, which was wonderful. While I was travelling and having a ball I racked up quite the bill on my credit card. When I got back and took a while to find work, the credit card was my only option, and of course I used it because to my 21-year-old self it seemed like free money. I didn’t realise how much interest I was paying until it was too late, and all I could manage was to pay off the minimum amount each month. I spent most of my 20s and early 30s (nearly 15 years) in a lot of debt, which restricted a lot of my plans including travel, putting down some financial security, and my desire to have a big wedding when I met the man of my dreams! I’m on track now, but it was an expensive lesson. There’s nothing wrong with credit cards, but you have to use them wisely.”

Financial Advice for Getting Through Your 20’s in Great Shape


Learn to keep track of your income and expenses to make sure that you’re not spending more than you earn.

The challenge with any budget is sticking to it, but with a bit of discipline and a little help from great budgeting apps like Pocketbook, you’ll find it will quickly become second nature. Good budgeting will point out your “financial leaks” which you can then hopefully plug.

There are plenty of things that you buy each day that you can do without, so identify what these are to you and work out how to get around them.

Learn How To Save

The key here is pay yourself first … on payday. No matter how much you’re earning, you should always aim to put aside 5-10 per cent of your income to savings, no matter what.

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You’ve graduated and gotten your first job….what do you do with your money?

If you’re the type with holes in your pockets each payday, set up an automatic transfer to a savings account to reduce the temptation to spend.

Avoid Bad Debt

There is good debt and there is bad debt.

It may seem like a great idea to throw an overseas trip on the credit card, but the interest you’ll pay as a consequence just isn’t worth it if you can’t pay it off by the first due date.

If you want something, work a savings plan into your budget for it. And no matter what you do, never, ever use payday lenders. The interest they charge on small loans is daylight robbery.

Get Great Advice

Get some good advice and maybe stretch yourself by investing in quality shares or property. Every investment runs in a cycle which means at times they will go up and at other times they’ll go down. But when you’re young you can ride out the falls and enjoy the highs.

The key here is get good advice and always invest in quality.

Contact us today to get your journey towards financial wisdom started today!