7 Twenty-Somethings Reveal The Biggest Financial Lesson Theyve Ever Learned From Making A Mistake

The truth is, everyone makes a few money mistakes. Its all part of the process of figuring things out. The silver lining is that from every financial snafu comes a solid financial lesson! Below, 7 young adults tell us what theyve learned from their personal money mishaps.

1. Salaries are negotiable.

When I signed the contract for my first big kid job it honestly never even crossed my mind that I could (or should) talk about my salary. I was just about being hired that I signed as quickly as I could.

Eight months later, while I was out with some coworkers, I learned that a guy I worked with was making more than I made for doing the same job. What I realized right then is that I shouldve asked for a higher salary up front. Now I always negotiate before signing anything.

2. Budgets are for everybody.

For a few years after college, I didnt manage my money carefully enough. These days, though, Im so much more mindful about how I spend.

I still treat myself, but I know that every shopping choice I make affects my bottom line and I keep that in mind at all times. I make sure . Not stretching myself and getting my checking account down to $5 just because I cant stop myself feels way better than impulse purchases ever did.

3. Yes, you need to have an emergency fund.

I think everybody rolled their eyes at their parents who told them, Make sure you have an emergency fund saved up. But no one rolled their eyes harder than me. And then my living situation became somewhat chaotic and I had to quickly find a new place to live.

Now I know better. I am so good at hoarding money whenever I can because Ive learned firsthand just how it is to have an emergency fund.

4. Credit cards are not free money.

You cant max out a credit card and just pay the minimum and expect everything to be easy breezy. Theyre a responsibility. And one you have to take seriously. Treating your credit as a priority is something I definitely wish Id done earlier. Luckily, I learned to do this

5. Self-care is a luxury, not a right.

We totally live in the age of self-care culture. But me spending $100 every weekend on massages or bath bomb hauls on an entry-level salary being good to myselfit was directly the opposite. Now when I do those things its an ACTUAL treat. And I feel so much better about not throwing my money around.

6. Convenience cannot outweigh cost.

We all have endless apps on our phones that make possible with just the tap of our thumb. In the past, though, I wasted too much money on delivery fees, car services, and even ordering things like blankets and books to my door. It was silly, really, so I stopped. Im so much better about thinking twice before I tap these days, and my wallet is really grateful to me for that reason.

7. Never try to keep up with the Joneses.

At one point, I was kind of intimidated by my friends with fancy corporate jobs who had comped flights and a corporate apartment and expense accounts, so I would order a $15 cocktail I didnt actually need and designer shoes I didnt really about just to make myself seem AS successful. That habit didnt exactly do my bank account any favors, so I pledged to stop one day. Now, frankly, I am so much happier with the way I spend money. I know I dont need to spend to prove anything to anyone.

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