5 Things I Would Tell My 18 Year Old Self About Money

credit cards

Today we have a guest post from the AMAZING Angela over at Adventures in Webster Land – This girl has been a regular Money Shed forum poster since it was first created so is a very savvy gal when it comes to anything money related.

She’s written a guest post all about the lessons she has learned growing up as an adult and what she would now tell her younger self.


 

As I approach the ripe old age of 40 I’ve been thinking about all the advice I would love to go back and tell my 18-year-old self. Some of the biggest pieces of advice would be about money. I often wonder what my life would be like now if my 18-year-old self had followed a different financial path.

Just think of all the money mistakes and financial disasters that could have been avoided had we only had the knowledge. Here are 5 things I would tell my 18-year-old self about money.

You NEED A Pension !

When I started my first job at 18 and the word pension was mentioned I scoffed. I was 18, I wasn’t going to get old why on earth should I think about that stuff now ? If I could go back in time I would give myself a reality check. I would tell myself that we ALL get old, every single one of us and one day we will want to retire.

Time passes quickly and if you want to be comfortable in your twilight years then you need to start a pension fund as soon as you enter the world of work.

Avoid The Credit Card Trap

No sooner had I dipped my toe into the world of employment my first amazing credit card offered arrived. If I could go back to that day I would rip that tempting offer letter in half ! I would tell myself to save up for the things I wanted, to have patience and wait.

Once you have stepped onto that merry-go-round of credit it’s almost impossible to step off without a fight. The debt will build and the interest will bite. Before you know it you won’t remember how you survived without one.

Stay In Charge Of Your Own Finances

One of my biggest regrets was letting someone else take control of the finances once I was in a relationship. I would go back and tell myself to always stay in control of my own finances. It’s okay to share financial responsibilities in fact I insist upon it. Despite this you must always know what’s going on, you must take responsibility and stay knowledgeable. Not knowing what bills you pay and to who isn’t cool it’s ignorant. Letting someone else make all the decisions will come back and bite you in the bum one day.

That Rainy Day Will Come

My dear 18-year-old self you may think that saving for a rainy day is pointless. I understand, you want those new shoes, you want to party all weekend but trust me that rainy day will come. Start that savings fund now, right now.

I don’t care if you only put a pound in a savings account, just start and slowly build it up. You don’t have to spend every single bit of money that crosses your palm.

Never A Borrower Nor A Lender Be 

You know that family member or dear friend who just needs you to take a loan out for them, run a mile from them. I’m being serious 18-year-old self, you have a pristine credit score keep it that way. Toughen up and learn to say no. The same goes for letting people order things from catalogues in your name on the promise of a weekly payment. There’s a reason why these people cannot get credit themselves. You are not a bank and if people insist on treating you so make sure you charge them interest !

Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing. I would like to think my 18-year-old self would listen to all my advice. In reality I think she would look at me like I was a relic in a museum, turn up her indie music and charge a Pernod and blackcurrant to her credit card.

What would you tell your 18-year-old self about money ?

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  • Samantha Mayers

    Great tips! I wish I had followed a few of these when I was younger. Well, all of these actually. I should have read something like this at the time. X

  • Great tips and totally agree with all of them! I know one too many friends who have fallen for the above

  • Little Steps

    I don’t think I’d ever have thought of having a pension at 18! 🙂 But yes, would love to say all of that to the 18-year-old me too, especially the saving and lending part 🙂

  • Talya Stone

    Yes to all of this! The question is…do you think your 18 your old self would listen?!

  • Jayne

    I agree with all of these. However, i think that 18 year old me would completely ignore current me! I think sometimes you need to make the mistakes to learn the lessons.
    (hubby helping out)

  • Laura Dove

    Forget my 18 year old self, I would tell my 37 year the same too! We don’t have pensions and I do worry about that!

  • I would tell myself the same. Even a pound can really help when you are truly struggling, I know that now.

  • TheMummyToolbox

    fantastic advice! We were actually fortunate to get advice about our pensions early on so we have already started even though we are very young. As for getting loans for others, I learnt that one the hard way!

  • Nazrin Miah

    I wish someone would have tapped my on the shoulder when I was 18 and kindly gave me this advice so I was more prepared for the world. I lived and I learn. The circle of life!

    http://www.nmdiaries.com

  • Kara

    Great advice – I have 2 kids that are now in their early 20’s and much as I give this advice, it falls on deaf ears 🙁

  • I agree with these although I still haven’t got a pension, eeeeeek! I have a credit card but it is paid off in full at the end of each month so never a problem

  • Stephanie

    Great advice, there is so many things I could tell my 18 year old self!!