Do it while you’re young!
Before I begin this post I should really tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Adam, I’m 29 years old, I have 2 kids, I pay for a house, I pay bills, I run a car, I financially plan for the future and like most other people my age I have a whole host of other living expenses to account for. When all is said and done, life is pretty expensive.
I do however remember a time when life wasn’t so expensive, when I had plenty of spare money at the end of the month to spend on whatever I liked. I didn’t really think about how best to spend my money back then, let alone if I should be saving it. Looking back now though it’s clear to see that when it came to money life was just so easy. Perhaps it was too easy and I expected it to always be that way but one thing is for sure, I certainly didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have. If I’d have known then what I know now –you know you’re getting old when you start saying stuff like that – I’d have used my time and money a lot differently, a lot more wisely, here’s what I’d have done.
The main thing I wish I’d have done more of when I was younger is travelling and I don’t just mean heading off to sun bathed all-inclusive resorts, I mean proper travelling. One place I’ve always wanted to visit is the Inca Trail in Peru and I’d also have loved to have taken some time out to back pack through Australia. Yes, the opportunity to visit these places may come around again one day but now that I’m a family man with bills to pay and a family to support, never again will I have the same physical and financial freedom to head off on my dream holiday without a care in the world. What would your dream holiday be?
One of the biggest financial ironies in life is that when we’re young and we get our first job, for most of us the last thing on our mind is saving. Actually though, the amount of spare cash that you have when you’re young makes this one of the best opportunities you’ll ever have in your life to save a lot of money!
Instead we just want to get out there and buy up all the things we’ve ever laid our eyes on but could never afford. While this is all part of the fun of growing up, be careful not to underestimate the unique position you’re in to be able to save some money and put yourself on a good financial footing for years to come, the years when you’ll need to take on bigger financial commitments. Instead of running out and buying the most expensive car you can afford on finance, why not consider saving some money to buy a car outright? Instead of using the extra cash you’re earning to fund the rent on your own place to live, why not stay at home for as long as you can and save your money towards a deposit to buy a house instead?
Although I’m encouraging you to save as much as you can I’m certainly no kill joy. The financial freedom of youth provides you with a unique opportunity to experience a variety of different things, things that there might never be a good time to spend on when you have a family to provide for.
Whether you use the financial freedom of youth to travel more, save more or experience more is up to you but whatever you do, don’t waste it. Real life will creep up on you before you know it and as much as ‘real life’ brings its own blessings, for most of us the freedom to do anything you want with your money is not one of them. That blessing is reserved for the young so make the most of it.
Are there things you wish you’d have done with the financial freedom of your youth?