Thursday, January 28, 2016

Tough Lessons I Learned in my 20s

I just celebrated another year of my life. Officially 35 years of existence on earth. Hurray!

While I was contemplating day before my natal day (Friday - January 22), it came across me so many money mistakes I made in my 20s. I admire individuals who are at their 20s and have definite goals set in their mind. Also, those who were good steward of their blessings.

Unfortunately, how I wish I thought about all these money saving tricks and investing things way back in my 20s.

1. I thought that getting a stable job will make me rich. This is going to be true had I saved at least a 10th of my salary. Sadly, no. Wala talaga akong naipon. I was living paycheck to paycheck me utang pa.

 image from google

What to do:
When you start a job, save at least a 10th every pay period. You will be surprise at the end of the year how much you have saved. You can use this money for you to buy your much coveted item without having to touch your credit card. Or it can serve as your emergency fund or for you to enter investments such as mutual funds or UITF. Or a fund for any financial training. In any way, you wanted to spend your savings, it is up to you. By then, the habit of savings becomes an integral part of who you are.

2. I thought having credit card/s will look cool within my new found peers.Instead it buried me to so many revolving debts and interests.
image from google impact.clikhome.com

What top do:
Don't keep up with the Joneses. Yes, you have a new office and new set of friends beyond college friends and you wanted to show off. Horrible mistake though. Because if you wanted to be in, then you should be just the way you are. True friends will accept you for what and who you are. Also, think about the effect of this on your future. Having a secured finance will improve self confidence too.

3. I thought getting loans to start a small business was good until I realized I am not actually equipped with knowledge to run a business. It boils down to nothing with accumulated interest debts left unpaid.

image from google www.creditshop.co.za

What to do:
Before dipping your toes into just anything, you have to make your due diligence. Not because it is in, you go. Not because someone profited from it, you will get the same return of investments. You have to be physically, mentally, and emotionally ready for any journey you wanted to embark on. By the way, getting loans could be termed as a 'good' debt if you know the concept of OPM - Other People's Money. That is using other people's money to earn.

4. I thought that every insurance product/company will go bankrupt and I definitely resisted being talked about and I do not want to risk my money on it.

image from google teamwinston.com

What to do:
Just like venturing to any business, you will have to study everything on the insurance side and the company you chose to put your money in. Just remember that having an insurance will give you the peace of mind just in case you were called for earlier (or in this world of uncertainty such as critical illnesses or accidents) and you have beneficiaries depending on your income. Talking about the breadwinners of the family. Good to know that nowadays, these insurance has investment part as well, so if you live longer, you get to enjoy your fund value. Some preferred getting a term insurance and investing the difference. This is up to you.

5. My emergency fund was the cash advance I could get via credit card.
image from google www.bankingsense.com

What to do:
This is a big NO. The cash advance feature of credit cards is very enticing, yet you will be slap with high interest fee for withdrawing one. Stay away from these. Instead make savings for emergency fund your priority. Emergency fund should be just in case of unexpected lost of job, sickness, need to repair a broken car, etc. But never because the item you much coveted for a long time is on sale.

6. I showered my friends and relatives with gifts, groceries, food, and money with all I have. Even more than I could have.
image from google www.aubergeduquartierquebec.com

What to do:
There is something called tough love. Yes, you can give because they are your immediately family or friends or relatives. However, come to think of it, if you have given them that mindset, expect that you will have to do that until even if you do not have any source of income any more. They will depend on you. Learn to say no and decline from time to time. I know it is difficult to change the ways of other people, but you can be an example for them and teach them little by little how to stand on their own and make money too. After all, YOU are not an ATM machine.

In short, I lost every opportunity to save and invest the right way and lived my life like I only live on that moment. And now it took a toll on me.

At 35, I only have a million in paper investments, a little business venture, and an insurance for our little family. Take note that on that 1M, it is between us, husband and I. We don't own a house yet neither a car.

I have wasted so much time. But I am glad, though I am late, I/we started the journey. I am afraid that I will end up like almost everyone in our neighborhood that our retirement plan are our children who will provide for us in the future.

There is hope in every cases/situation. I just hope you learned from what I experienced. I am still learning until today and continues to find ways to enrich my personal finance knowledge. Learning doesn't stop.

Just sharing. God bless. :)


  1. 1&6! So true! Buti ka nga sis may million na! Though we already have a house kea lang mortgaged pa. Pinagmamalaki ko talaga kahit papano ung pagkakaron ng insurance although late na din ako nagstart. Haist

    1. At least sis me sarili na kayong house. Mag iipon muna kami ng lakas ng loob at saka pang down payment bago kumuha. It's never too late naman sis. Kaya natin 'to. :)

  2. Maswerte pa rin tayo dahil maaga tayong natuto sa ating mga money mistakes. Yung iba kasi na kagaya nating in their 30s na, waley pa rin, ubos-ubos biyaya pa rin. I like how you wrote this because at the end of every mistake, you gave your advice. Sa makakabasa nito, tiyak marami silang matututunan. :)

    1. Oo nga po. I know marami pa rin sa mga kakilala ko na ganun pa nga rin. Sometimes, they ask how to pero nakikita ko ganun pa rin. Kaya I guess it is up to them talaga. Kung willing talaga, gagawa ng paraan. Thank you so much Miss Edel for dropping by and appreciating how I wrote this. :)

  3. Hi! I featured your blog as one of my favorites in my recent post. I hope you don't mind. :) I hope you'd get back to blogging again one of these days.