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Thread: Most helpful tip you wish you could go back in time and tell yourself?

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    CaToonie MoniqueS's Avatar
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    Knowing everything about finances that you've learned over the years, what is the one most significant tip you would have for someone in their early 20s? Or if not your 20s, the transitioning period when moving out on your own.

    In other words, what is the most helpful financial tip you wish you could go back in time and tell yourself?
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    Dancing bean paste bun Ciel's Avatar
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    Early 20s-that I missed chances to talk finance with college peers (like the guy who read the mortgage rate changes on Thursdays and seemed to know much more about money than the average college adult) or get information on best ways to achieve financial life goals while in college. Yes, I had a part-time job at college during part of my school life but not in any way did it cover any costs of significance.
    Now you have so many places online that you can explore in your quest for financial strategies.

    Since I had the usual daily challenge of getting home before the evening rush hour bus service ended in my area with other logistical issues, I just did what was needed to get through each day.

    At least I took economics in high school and thus was introduced to income tax returns.

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    Coupon Queen jayne_a's Avatar
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    I wish i could go back and tell myself, Don't got to university. As the waterboy's mom would say "Student loans are the DEVIL" lol
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    CaLoonie
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    To find my wife that I am married to now and get married with her and have kids in your early twenties, it really sucks chasing after a 4 year old and a 2 year old at 39.

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    Canadian Guru
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    i wish we bought property in our 20,s other than our house-like a cottage-would have been nice -but at least we saved 10,000 to put down on our first home back when we were 23-p.s the house cost 35,000 for a 2 storey 3 bedroom-other than that i feel we are doing okay money wise
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    Smart Canuck
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    Oh but it keeps you young!! I had my first two daughters at age 20 and 21 then I had my third daughter at 29 and my last child, at 39, he is now 14 and some days I am tired but it has kept me young and active, i also have a 9 year old granddaughter. I wouldn't change a thing.
    I do wish I would have started saving more in my early 20's but other than that life is good.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gsxrboy View Post
    To find my wife that I am married to now and get married with her and have kids in your early twenties, it really sucks chasing after a 4 year old and a 2 year old at 39.

  7. #7
    Luv Saving People Money MortgageQueen's Avatar
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    LIVE BELOW YOUR MEANS!!!! not according to, and certainly not ABOVE your means. Some of the richest people in the world followed that rule.
    If you save some money. . .when opportunity comes knocking at your door, you will have the means to grab hold of it. more times then not. . .you have to have money to make money.

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    Canadian Guru
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    My tip is, DON'T get a credit card while you're in university unless you're 100% sure you can be responsible with it. At first I was going to save it for 'emergencies' and eventually beer became an emergency. My family is debt free now (except for our mortgage), wish I could have stayed that way all along!

    And I hear ya on starting your family sooner. I was over 30 when I got married, and a 40 year old chasing a six year old isn't nearly as easy as I imagine it would have been 20 years ago.
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    Smart Canuck
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    Think carefully about all your purchases. I've always lived within my means, but I look back at the stuff I bought (and am getting rid of now while decluttering), and I think to myself, why did I buy this in the first place? Even if it's on sale or you get it really cheap, can you make good use of it? Buy the best you can afford and buy less stuff in general.

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    Luv Saving People Money MortgageQueen's Avatar
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    Hey Monique!

    Just wanted to thank you for inspiring my Dear Ann newspaper column.
    Normally I post it, but it just gets pulled and put in some godforsaken spot so I won't bother anymore. . .

    Here it is.
    Dear Ann,
    Knowing everything about finances that you’ve learnedover the years, what is the one most significant tip you would have for someonein their early 20’s?

    First of all, I applaud you for giving thissubject careful consideration Monique. It’s tough to narrow it down to just onething, but if I had to, I would say, “Live beneath your means.” (if atall possible) Some of the richest people in the world have done this and it certainlyworked out well for them!
    If you live beneath you’re means and savethat extra money, you will have a lot more choices in life, let me tell you!What might those be? You will be highly unlikely to ever get caught in adistressful financial situation (such as a job loss/serious illness), you’lllikely have no problem coming up with a down-payment for your 1sthome, unexpected expenses (such as a major car repair) will not send you intodebt or cause nail-biting stress, and the list goes on. . .

    Really, it can mean the difference betweena pleasant enjoyable life full of great experiences as opposed to constantstress, debt and perhaps even being forced to take a higher paying job that youhate as opposed to a less paying job that you love!

    You can live below your means by bargainshopping and resisting a lot of the unending parade of new electronic gadgets,designer or brand name clothing, “new” car purchases, excessive entertainmentcosts, etc. If you have children when you’re still in your twenties, this isalso a good time to teach them the same lessons.

    To further define those, when making alarger purchase, take the time to shop around and find the best deal. Don’tallow your emotions to rule your decision or be tempted to try to “keep up”with all your friends. That will just land you in the same debt heap that they’llbe in after a decade of overspending.

    While buying the latest and greatest iscool and fun, resist the temptation. Stick to what you truly need rather thanall the unnecessary bells and whistles. A good example of this is buying a brandnew car. This is basically a waste of money (in my opinion only) unless yourfloating in money. It literally depreciates thousands of dollars as soon as youdrive it off the lot. There’s lots of cool used cars out there at seriouslygood value. If you are car savvy, you could even get a hot deal at a carauction house. Even Dealers purchase their re-sale vehicles there.

    The potential savings you can accumulatewill give you the chance to take advantage of opportunities that may come alonglater. I’m sure many older people will tell you of missed opportunities (i.e.business opportunities or real estate investment) that passed them by becauseof lack of funds or maxed-out credit.
    Certainly you don’t want to become ascrooge either, but paying CASH for well-earned vacations, a special piece ofjewelry or even something special that you’ve always wanted, gives a muchgreater sense of appreciation and since it’s completely paid for, you can enjoyit . . . . .stress-free.
    Ann Cooke
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    One Awesome Domestic Diva MrsSunshine's Avatar
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    if i can one thing to this thread..
    start an RRSP as soon as you can!!
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    Be Strong
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    Simple as that!

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    putting the kettle on.. sweetproserpina's Avatar
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    Have fun- find all kinds cool (free or cheap) things to do and explore and experience! See what you can of the world and life outside of what you know! I look back on my twenties (turning 30 this year!) and I realize that while I did have all kinds of great adventures, I wish I had seized more opportunities for fun/learning/etc. I was living in a big city, with tons of things to do and I was hesitant to spend even 5 dollars to go to a special exhibit or whatever.. And now i have a toddler, married, and living out in the country (all of which I looovee!) but my opportunities out here are limited- So, if you are going to spend money in your twenties, spend it on experiences- (learning/growth experiences, not a spring break in mexico, lol)
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    momof5boys
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    I truly wish that I had spent a year volunteering with a relief organization in third world when I was in my early twenties....

    'Live simply so others can simply live'
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    searching for answers i_forget's Avatar
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    Do I WANT it or do I NEED it. It would have saved me some grief with my kids, and some serious (-ly wasted) cash at Christmas and Birthdays.

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    Smart Canuck Minou's Avatar
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    Make sure your career choice is well-considered and can finance and accommodate the life you want. Having a pension helps, too -- most people aren't very disciplined to save for retirement.

    If you plan to quit working and stay home with your kids when you have them, maybe going to school for years and completing a bachelor's and master's degree before entering the workforce isn't the best use of time and money.

    Get into the real estate market if you can afford to -- it always seems that prices go up eventually.
    Valiant, jayne_a, cath007 and 1 others like this.

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