Live Life Without Regrets- Ten Things You'll Wish You Had Done in Your Twenties
Take Life By the (ehem) Balls!
How many people who turn forty bemoan about how fast life goes and carry regrets that they should have done this or that when they were young and full of energy? What if you could sit down with a list of things that the older generation says, “I wish I had done that when I was 20!” and then actually do them?
It's important for the younger generation to recognize the potential in those in-between years between high school and settling into a family. America has broadened the season that young adults sort of "float" around trying to figure out their lives, and without clear intentions, you may find yourself wasting precious time, money, and energy.
How many of them will you be able to check off your list?
10. Listen to your parents and decide against buying a dog.
It sounds so romantic doesn’t it? Just you and Lassie taking the world by storm. You pick a dog that carries a presence and personality. For a couple of years you and him are pals. That is, until you get married and your spouse is allergic. Or- you decide to have a child and Spot isn’t so fond of the newborn. Making purchases like a dog carry an investment of 10-15 years. Unless you know what your life circumstances will be (generally speaking), it’s best to wait until you’re sure of your family status. Dogs cost a lot of money. Vet bills and food may not be a big deal when it’s just you living on PB&J, but add a couple of people to that unit- and be assured, the wife isn’t going to let the pup be fed better than the baby.
9. Sky dive, cliff jump, and learn to surf.
It’s so cliché, but there is a reason. People don’t typically get these adrenalin inducing adventures later on when responsibilities are abundant. If you don’t experience at least one adventure in your twenties, chances are you’ll want to do it in your fifties- when the difficulties of life make the idea of an escape more appealing. Unfortunately for older folks who can’t sky dive, they settle for extra-marital affairs and other easier to accomplish ventures. Get it out of your system the healthy way.
8. Have less sex.
Don’t stop reading just because it sounds like a horrible idea. Do you know that STD’s are rampant among teenagers and adults? Many states require a blood test prior to marriage and the last thing you want to do a couple months before your wedding day is stand in line at the pharmacy for medicine for that disease you didn’t know you had. If you are female, STD’s can make conceiving a child harder. Just pick a partner and don’t sleep around.
7. Stick with your old car.
Of course racing around in the brand new beamer does wonders for your dating life, but why take on a hefty car payment when you can easily use public transportation, drive a clunker, or bum rides off of your friends? There will come a day when it’s not just you anymore, and you’ll be scouring Consumer Reports for the safest most bulletproof car you can find. Save up the cash for then.
6. Don’t complain about being bored.
Listen carefully- there will NEVER be a better time for opportunity. Wasting your freedom is akin to eating a steak in front of a starving child. Marriage and family brings a host of responsibilities that will never go away. Use your twenties to accomplish something besides beating Call of Duty. Please.
5. Enjoy your body.
How many people when they are forty look at pictures of themselves in their twenties and say, “good grief! Why did I complain about my weight? I looked great!” Yes you did. The law of perpetual dissatisfaction states that with a critical mindset, you will never enjoy yourself at any age because you’ll always be wishing for the past or hoping for the future. Marvel in the strength, energy, and vigor of a young adult.
4. Donate your time and money to charity.
There is nothing quite as rewarding as giving of your resources to a non-profit organization. Marriage and family make a trip to Africa or Asia more difficult and the life experience you can gain from an adventure like that is invaluable. You’ll boost your resume as well for the future when employers see what you’ve accomplished. If you’re a guy, it doesn’t hurt with the ladies either. Find a charity you are passionate about and get involved. Once you are married, you will be able to continue your investment on a smaller scale because you have already done the networking.
3. Finish school.
Of course there are thousands of people who complete an advanced degree with families. Interview a couple and you’ll realize it’s HARD work. A lot harder than if you just plow through it now when you are unencumbered. Once a spouse and kids come along, their needs will be loud and urgent- and schoolwork will be difficult to complete against competing needs.
2. Start that business venture.
People in their twenties are better equipped to handle failure in the business world for one reason- they have time to start over. Designing that new video game might make you the poorest 25 year old ever, but it will not be possible once a family is in the picture. Many people swap out their risky all hours’ jobs for a more stable one when little Jane is born. You have the time, the energy to pull all nighters, and no one else’s needs to meet. Do it.
Dave Ramsey- Save or Spend?
And the number one thing?
1. Start saving.
Open up a David Ramsey book on finances and you’ll want to chew your arm off when you see the money you can save if you start in your twenties. One diagram shows how someone who’s 19 and saving $2000.00 a year for several years will outperform someone who starts saving at age 27 and continues to save until retirement. It’s the law of compound interest. Switch out the extra 12 pack of beer and put it in a savings account. Saving money while you are still on your own will reap benefits that can be enjoyed for years to come.