Money Secrets I Wish I Knew In My 20s

These would have made me rich!

Money Secrets I Wish I Knew In My 20s
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

These would have made me rich!

Your 20s are a weird time of your life.

The choices that are open to us are endless. These open roads can get quite overwhelming at times. Thoughts like these keep plaguing our minds:

  • Is it time for me to get married?
  • Am I ready to have kids and start my family?
  • Should I make a career switch?
  • Should I pack my bags and explore the world?

These decisions are far too difficult to make. They have a massive impact on various aspects of our life, most significantly the amount of money we make.

At the root of all these decisions, lie money: how much of it you have in your bank.

Although money drives many of our decisions, it has traditionally been taboo to discuss money, particularly in Asian countries. Growing up in middle-class, families, people are often discouraged to ask parents how much money they have or what their spending patterns are like. As a result, many of us know very little about money. And when it comes to finances, we frequently make judgments based on assumptions rather than information.

In this post, let’s tear down those societal barriers and talk about money without feeling ashamed or stigmatized. Here are five money lessons that would have made me rich, had I known them in my early 20s.

If you’d like to watch a more candid version of this story, you can check out the video here.

1. Trading your time for money doesn’t make you rich

The capitalist world of today may have led you to feel that the only way to make more money is to work longer hours.

So many of my friends think along these lines and have gotten caught in this trap. To impress their team leads and managers, they often work overtime in the hopes of getting a hike.

While you might be making good money once in a while, you’re also losing a lot of things, including your health, mental peace, etc. The sooner you understand you’ve fallen into a trap, the better off you’ll be.

Sure, working hard can earn you money, but there are also methods to work smart and earn extra cash.


Well, this is exactly what you’ll have an insight into by reading this article in its entirety. So make sure you read it until the end

2. Jobs are equally risky as being self-employed

112 million individuals from all over the world lost their jobs in the first quarter of 2022. That equates to 112 million people suddenly rendered jobless. These folks, like you and me, may have believed that being self-employed is risky and that having a job is the best and safest alternative.

However, the reality is very different.

In today’s world, everything is so uncertain. Especially after the pandemic, relying only on your job for all your money is no longer a wise idea. To believe that you’ll never lose your job is a foolish idea.

To become recession-proof and antifragile, it is critical to recognize that jobs don’t necessarily mean security and that you can’t become attached to them.

Sure, if you have a job, I’m not saying you should quit and start your own business. But always be prepared to lose it at any time. Build a side hustle so you can increase the number of income streams you have.

3. Invest don’t trade

The stock market and mutual funds may appear to be intimidating phrases to most of us.

In my early twenties, I had absolutely no idea what it meant to buy stocks or invest in mutual funds. I was even afraid to learn about these topics and would blindly follow the general market trends.

If some stock was going down, I’d sell it so that I don’t lose more money. And if the graphs were going up, I’d just pump in as much money as possible and hope that the value of my stocks rises.

But the truth is far from this.

If you’re not completely familiar with how the stock market operates and how certain companies perform, you should invest rather than trade.

In other words, invest in businesses you know will be around for the next 10 years. When you invest in such stocks, let your money stay put, and don’t be concerned about how turbulent the markets are.

Instead of buying at every fall or selling at every rise, keep your money where it is. Consider it a long-term investment. Believe me, you’ll thank yourself ten years from now.

4. The best way to save is to spend less

Your 20s are filled with so much unnecessary spending.

I’m not saying that you need to give up all your worldly pleasures and live a life of monkhood. But if you look at how much money you spend each month, I’m sure you’ll notice a lot of items you can do without. And because you’re not spending it, every penny you save is equivalent to earning something more. So try to save as much as you can.

For this purpose, I use a monthly income tracker. It’s a simple Excel sheet I’ve made, where all you have to do is to make an entry on the total money you’ve spent each day. By the end of the month, you’ll have a solid idea of your spending patterns. Based on that, you can decide which of these spending buckets you can eliminate to save more.

5. Importance of building scalable income

A scalable revenue is essentially something that you build once and sell countless times.

This can be anything like an e-book that you produce once and then charge every time someone wants to buy it. Or it might be something more complex, such as a digital product, newsletter, a video course, or a paid podcast.

There are a variety of other ways to supplement your income. All you have to do is think outside the box and make good use of the internet.

It’s 2022. We’re no longer bound by the constraints of limited information or having to move around to convert clients. Everyone at least has a phone and access to the internet. Make sure you capitalize on this and use it to its full potential.

Final words

Summing up, here are the five secrets about money I wish I knew in my early twenties:

  1. Trading your time for money doesn’t make you rich. Instead of working hard, work smart.
  2. Jobs are equally as risky as being self-employed. Try to start a side hustle that helps you survive in times of despair.
  3. Invest your money. Don’t day trade, especially if you don’t know 100% about how the stock market works.
  4. The best way to save money is to spend less. Always remember this Swedish proverb: He who buys what he does not need steals from himself.
  5. Try and build as many sources of scalable income as you can.

Thank you for taking the time to read this far. If you found it beneficial, please share it with a friend who might find it valuable as well.

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