Do you regret wasting money when you were young?


When I look back on my early working years, I have to say that I had quite a lot of fun. Good times with good friends were plentiful and it really was an exciting time of life. All this being said there are one or two things I’d change if I could go back though, and the main one is that I just wish I hadn’t wasted so much of my money back then.

When I first started working, I seemed to have so much spare cash that I really didn’t know what to do with it. And it’s true, I didn’t. What I should have done was set up a savings or investment account much earlier and used this unique time in my life to start saving as much money as possible. Who knows, perhaps I’d have had the presence of mind to buy some early shares in a company like Apple. Can you imagine the return I’d be sitting on right now from making an investment like that so early on?!

Unfortunately though, I did nothing like this at all. Instead, I did what most young people do. I frittered lots of money away buying expensive clothes I didn’t really need and going on nights out with my friends. Now don’t get me wrong, I know that when you’re young, you’re supposed to have fun and this will inevitably cost you a bit of money. I feel that the key words in the previous sentence are ‘a bit of money’ however, rather than the ‘lot of money’ that I recall wasting.

I really wish I’d have just been a little more sensible, still making the most of those care-free days and having fun, but doing it in a much more sensible manner. I mean, I really didn’t need to go out EVERY night, did I? I also didn’t need to spend quite so much money while I was out either. If I’d have just been a little more frugal back then, then I could have started saving and learned to invest wisely at a much younger age, an age where financial commitments are as low as they are likely to be at any other point in your working life. Who knows just how much bigger my savings and investment accounts would be right now if I’d have started the journey much earlier. I mean, think of all those extra years of compounding interest and stock market index rises propelling the account balances upwards!

Still, I suppose it doesn’t do much good to dwell on the past for too long. After all, there is nothing I can do to change it now. I just wanted to share my thoughts in this area so that if there are any young people out there reading this post who have just started earning their own money, well, perhaps it will inspire them to think more seriously about how they are going to use their new found wealth at this unique financial time of life.

If you can put your sensible head on and avoid wasting money unnecessarily during your years as a young adult, then it really could help you to set yourself up financially for the future. If you’re worried that doing this will sap all of the fun out of life, don’t be. It is more than possible to have a fun and exciting youth while still being a little bit frugal, you just have to have the presence of mind and discipline to do it.

Do you wish you’d have saved and invested more when you were younger?

3 Responses to Do you regret wasting money when you were young?

  1. The DeLeon says:

    Being in my mid twenty I have to agree. It is nice to sometimes get out and have fun, like I am doing on vacation right now, but it needs to have a balance and be budgeted for. It is best to at least do the minimum savings of a company match 401(k) and maxing out a ROTH IRA each year and then can have some fun. That is the minimum that needs to be started as soon as one can, even during college if possible. It is a great feeling to create habits today and to get as much money piled away as possible in my mid twentys to either cost into the retirement at 55 or at least take off the pressure when kids come along or the ability to enjoy life more as income increases going forward.

  2. Yes, honestly I totally regretted the time when I was younger because I wasted too much money. I learned the hard way and now I’m focusing to save especially for my daughter’s future.

  3. Our post today is on this very topic! We definitely wasted some money in our 20s, but have decided to see the positive in that: the great memories we have from that time, the nice meals we ate, the beautiful travel. Letting ourselves feel a lot of frustration or regret wouldn’t do any good, so anytime we wish we could go back and change the past, we remind ourselves that our 20s shaped us into the people we are today, and gave us a lot of great memories. 🙂

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