As much fun as it is to talk about starting your own business or optimizing your banking, the truth is that we simply waste too much money in our 20s. Whenever I speak to someone in their 30s or 40s about saving money they often mention that they wished that they had actually saved more of the money that they had coming in. They usually wish that they had more to show for their hard work.

I wanted to kick it old school today and write about a topic that I used to cover when I first became a personal finance blogger in 2008. I wanted to look at the biggest ways that we waste money in our 20s. I want you guys to save more money and keep more money in your pockets. I don’t want you to have nothing to show for your hard work in your 20s.

What are some of the biggest wallet busters in your 20s?

Buying a car before you can afford it.

A new car is an absolute killer in your 20s. We all want a sexy car that impresses our peers. We don’t care about getting from point A to point B. We want to get to every point in style. Is it worth it? I don’t think so. Do you realize how expensive owning a car is? Between insurance, gas, maintenance, and everything else, a car can end up costing you a fortune. Are you ready to spend all of that money on transportation alone?

On the flip side, you can buy an average car or take the bus. Obviously taking the bus is an extreme option and would only work in some areas. Either way, you can keep so much more of your cash in your wallet by watching what you drive.

Financing all of your education with student loans.

There’s no shame in using student loans to cover your education. Most students will likely use loans to pay for their education. That’s totally normal. The problem lies in ONLY relying on loans to pay for college. That’s a big problem. This is an issue because we assume that we’re going to be making the big bucks as soon as we finish with college. This isn’t always the case. Most college grads will struggle to even get a job, let alone make big money, and then deal with paying off student debt.

By the time you start making money in your 20s you’re not going to want to deal with paying off all of those loans. Imagine half of your pay check going towards your loans. Imagine not being able to enjoy the money that you work so hard for.

This is the reality of financing all of your education with student loans. You don’t have to rely on loans. You can work in college, apply for free money, and even delay college to save some money.

Risky investments.

Most young people starting venturing into risky investments before they even exactly how the stock market works. While I do support taking risks and chances in your 20s, it doesn’t make sense to take uneducated risks. Imagine losing your savings to some big gamble. Is it worth the risk?

At the end of the day these are three of the biggest ways that we waste money in our 20s. I wanted to focus on three so that you go after the big wins instead of focusing on small expenses.

Martin Dasko

Martin Dasko