3 Financial Decisions I’m Glad I Made in My 20’s

207f98d2fe044938839ed5d593ba5533I just turned 29, so I haven’t crossed the hump into my 30’s yet. But I’m old enough to be able to reflect on everything that happened in my 20’s, and make determinations about how different decisions panned out in the long term. Just a few biographical materials to give these decisions a bit more context. I graduated from college at 21, and didn’t enter a job in my field. I got married at 24. I bought my first house at 27. I started the career I’m in now at 27 as well. I don’t have any real debt, other than the house. Basically, at this point in my life I’m feeling happier than I’ve ever felt before. I think there’s good stuff ahead: starting a family, traveling, spending more time with people I love, etc. But all of that good stuff is based on beneficial financial decisions that happened within this past decade. I can’t take credit for all of them. Many of them were given or even imposed upon me. But I’m still benefiting from them years down the line.

  • I Had no School Debt. All of this credit goes to my parents, who were not going to let me take out a loan to go to school. I’m not 100% against school loans, but I had no idea what I was doing in life when I entered school. Expensive education would have been wasted on me, so I’m glad I didn’t go to an expensive college. The thing is, a lot of people from my generation who did know what they were doing when they entered college, still didn’t get a good job on the other side of graduation. We’re the same in that regard. The difference is, I didn’t have any debt weighing me down when I graduated.
  • I Got Married. I don’t think that everybody should get married, and I’m not even an outspoken advocate for the institution. BUT, it worked out for me. I fell in love with my wife really quickly, and we got married just about 5 months after we met. That’s crazy to think about now, but it’s also crazy to imagine life without her. Getting married forced me to think about life in a different way. I went through several jobs within a few years, looking for something where I could enjoy my work as well as make money. It motivated me to move us to a different city that had more employment than the one we were living in. It forced me to start investing through Forex investments, mutual funds, and most importantly real estate.
  • I Bought a House. We were already under contract when my wife’s father announced that he was giving us a bunch of money to help pay for the house. We now have that in the form of equity, and it’s a life-changer. In a few years, we’ll own our house outright, and our living expenses will go way down. It’ll be a lot easier to do things we enjoy, as well as start a family, from here on out.

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  • We were able to fully fund our son’s college also. Started saving for it practically the moment he was conceived and didn’t miss a single month of putting something into his college fund…even if it was just $25. He helped, of course, with summer earnings, and proficiency testing out of classes for credit, as well as attending our state’s flagship public university that has an excellent program in his engineering major. When he started his job, which was waiting for him to graduate with a Master’s degree, )

  • My husband and I got engaged within a couple of months of knowing each other. We had a long engagement to be sure we wouldn’t get sick of each other — and to help amortize the cost of the wedding.

    My parents weren’t able to pay for my education, but they did cover room and board. I just had to pay for tuition. It seems like a good compromise to me.

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