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There are very few things in my life that I regret and would change if I could, mostly because all the stupid things I’ve done have made me who I am today and have enabled me to learn the lessons that I have so far and I don’t think I’ve turned out too horribly, have I?

I turned 26 a few months ago. Eek. I think I can still say I’m mid-twenties right? One of my sisters sneered that I’m ‘almost 30’ that kind of scared the crap out of me and it got me thinking about the past few years. Some days I feel like a complete failure (not just financially) other days I feel like a WINNERRR. (heehee).  So here’s 10 things I would tell my 16-year old self now, if I could:

10 things I wish I could tell my 16-year old self about money

1. Stop paying those stupid monthly bank-fees and go set up a free bank account at another bank. It will save you hundreds of dollars over the next few years. Online banks that are CDIC insured are just as safe as any other brick & mortar out there.

2. While you’re doing that, start a savings account NOW and put away a tiny little bit of money every month, then never look at it. You will love it, trust me.

3. That $5,000 credit-card your main bank is going to send you when you’re 18? Cut it in HALF, or better: burn the sucker or ask for a limit of $500. It’s only going to get you in trouble.

4. Stuff doesn’t matter, experiences do. Don’t waste money on widgets like I know you want to, in ten years all those widgets will add up to one bigass awesome trip you could have taken already. (And you’ll be trying to sell some of those widgets to get rid of the clutter in your house)

5. Don’t buy a house at 22, you’re not ready financially or emotionally. Buy one when you’re ready.

6. You knew this then, I know this now but nonetheless: try to get through school with the least amount of debt possible. You will be MILES ahead of your peers when you do finally graduate, debt-free. It also doesn’t matter how long it takes, don’t listen to those ‘friends’ that gasp when you’re still not done and when you tell them you still have no idea what you want to be when you grow up. It doesn’t matter.

7. Learn something about investing, invest, stick with it, make compound interest slave for you.   I wish I had.

8. Give more, more often. Make it a habit.

9. The best time to get started with saving, investing and learning is now. Your family might not get it, your siblings might not get it, and your friends? Most of them won’t get it either. Ignore them and keep your goals in mind, make a plan and stick with it even if some people in your world don’t agree, which leads me to this:

Be unconventional

10. It’s okay to be unconventional. It’s okay to be different and want to make up your own mind about things. Go your own way, do what feels right. Stick to your guns. It’s okay to trust someone because they are older and wiser but make informed decisions. Never let anyone push you into doing anything you don’t want to, those are the things you will regret later.

What are some things you would tell yourself about money or otherwise if you could go back in time to do it?

PS: IMG source here and here.


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