It’s no secret being in your 20s is a tumultuous time of trial and error. People who’ve made it out the other side took to the internet to share the worst mistakes people in their 20s make without even realizing it.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
1: Money Matters
According to one commenter, one of the biggest mistakes many people make in their 20s is not saving enough money for later. “Savings, 401k, whatever,” one person said. “Just invest for yourself.”
2: Retirement Woes
A few people echoed saving for the future, saying they can’t stress enough how much it can help to maximize employer matches in one’s 401k early. “I have coworkers who are in their late 60s and only started in the last ten years and do not have much,” one said. “That’s also why they won’t retire or feel they can’t.”
3: You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid
“Life is not a race,” one person advised. “It doesn’t matter who’s getting married, who’s moved out from parents house, who has a kid. You go at your pace. Don’t think you’re behind anyone else.”
4: Protect Your Skin
Love catching rays? Beware. One elder says “tanning without sunscreen” is the worst mistake people in their 20s make. “That catches up with you when you least expect it.”
5: Listen Up
Wrecking your ears with excessive noise exposure is the worst mistake a person can make in their 20s, one commenter says from experience. “Even if you don’t care about losing your hearing, you don’t want catastrophic tinnitus. It’s completely disabling. And nobody tells you that you can get it years or decades after the noise exposure.”
6: Invest in Yourself
Another person says that not saving enough money left them with significant financial regrets later in life. “Pay yourself first. Don’t work the rest of your life.”
7: Fit at Any Age
The heart attack you have at 50 doesn’t just magically show up, one person warned. “Cardiovascular disease is from years of buildup from not eating right and exercising.” Another said not to let that discourage you. “I started running and cycling and eating somewhat better when I was about 43. I honestly feel healthier, younger, and fitter than in my twenties.”
8: It’s the Small Things
From tiny acorns, mighty oaks grow. One person said not enough people in their 20s make small changes and stick to them, like trying a new hobby or putting savings away. “You must do little things every day and just don’t stop. It’ll add up in your 30s, and you’ll be so grateful even later.”
9: Blowing Money
Watch your spending, twenty-somethings. One person says the worst mistake people in their 20s make is racking up credit and debt. “It’s too easy to buy things you can’t afford.” Another adds that they also wish they understood this in their 20s. “I was very careless with money.”
10: Pump the Brakes
Don’t treat your body like it’s a rental, another warns. “Look after it. You will be living in this body for many years to come,” they said. “Don’t burn out the clutch by 27 and live with the consequences for 60 more years.”
11: Work It Out
According to one person, sticking to a career you hate just because it’s what you’ve always done is the worst mistake. “It’s never too late to change your career path, and if you’re not enjoying it now, do you think that will change in another 20-30 years?
12: Move Around
Getting too comfortable in your current job can lead to problems down the road, one person says. “This isn’t the 1950’s where corporate culture rewards loyalty. Don’t be like me and become obsolete, making life scary and job hunting depressing – It is daunting to recover from.”
13: Never Stop Growing
If you’re in your twenties and think you’ll be the same person forever, you’re misguided, according to one commenter. “You are not who you were at 20 when you turn 40. No one ever is. Keep recognizing your growths, strengths, and challenges.”
14: Live in the Moment
Focusing too much on the future can distract you from the life you want, said a wise soul. “Right now always has its great moments. Right now has its own joys. Work for what you want, but live right now.”
15: Pearly Whites
“If you aren’t taking dental hygiene seriously in your 20s, you will have a bad time later in life,” a pro-dental care commenter warned. “Amen,” another added. “I’m in my 40s, and I’m looking forward to false teeth – that’s how bad it’s gotten.”
25 Massive Life Traps That People Fall Into
It can sometimes take someone on the outside to point out that something isn’t sunshine and rainbows. These are some of the biggest life traps that some Americans find themselves in.
18 Flat-Out Lies Americans Believe
From IRS inconsistencies to marrying the partner of one’s “dreams,” these are the lies that far too many Americans believe.
Say What? 15 Words People Commonly Butcher in Conversation
The English language is deceptive, according to grammar enthusiasts who share the top 15 words that sound nothing like they look on paper. How many of these words are you guilty of mispronouncing?
25 Most Expensive American Cities
Living in America isn’t cheap, but the cost of living in some cities is downright outrageous. The rankings are about as blue as each state’s political makeup.
Do People Regret Retiring Early?
People who follow the FIRE (financial independence, retire early) path are seemingly lucky to quit the workforce early. But do they end up regretting it?