Things I've Learned In My 20's
What I've found most important to share with you
Did you know if you invest $1 into ETF's or an IRA in your 20's, by the time you retire it'll be around $80? But investing that same dollar in your 30's you'll only see around $45? Bottom Line: Your money in your 20's is just worth more. Or rather, the earlier you start saving and investing, the more that dollar will do for you.
I learned that working hard and saving now would make my life a lot easier down the line. I watched my family live paycheck to paycheck a lot throughout my childhood and decided early on that that wasn't going to be how I lived my life. From age 19-22 I made $10-12 per hour, and constantly took advantage of working overtime. I saved every cent I could to save up for college. The goal at the time was to go to college so I could get a better job, and have more opportunities than I did at the time.
About two years ago I started educating myself on saving. I listened to all the money gurus, wrote notes, and went through trial and error. I found a lot of the self proclaimed "gurus" had no idea what they were really talking about. I finally found a plan that worked for me, and that's when my savings journey truly began. I made around $14,000 annually while working at Taco Bell fulltime. Between those two years I managed to save almost $10K.
Of course, most of this was through investments, which my money is still currently tied up into. I put most of my money into an IRA, and used a site called Betterment to help use my money to invest. In the two years I put my investments into Betterment, I earned $900 in "betterment earnings" and almost $80 in Dividends.
I 'lived like a smoker' for about a half of a year. I'd check current prices for a pack of smokes each week and deposit that amount into a savings account. I tried many other short term savings tactics, some I liked more than others.
The more I earned, the more goals I was able to set for myself. Reaching those goals made me feel really good about myself, too!
The journey to truly loving yourself is always full of pain, as you have to learn to accept not just the great parts of you- but the bad ones too. I had to admit that I was a selfish person, and that I didn't want to change that part of who I was. I learned I could only handle people in certain doses, and started to take care of myself.
Loving myself wasn't something I could do everyday. Even now it's sometimes hard, especially when my mental health gets in the way. But for the majority of the time, I do truly love myself.
I think the biggest help in learning to love myself came from one of my favorite bands: BTS. I have a much more detailed article about my self discovery into loving myself coming soon, so I won't take up too much of your time with it today.
What does loving yourself mean, though?
It's accepting your flaws. It's being okay being my yourself. It's not being Co-dependent. Loving yourself is hard work but so freeing. It opens up avenues of life my pessimistic past could of never thought of. Without loving myself, I never would of taken the leap to put myself through college. And here I am, months away from my diploma.
INVESTING IN MYSELF
Investing in yourself is often a term used when putting yourself through college. While this is a part of my self investment journey, it's not all this saying means.
Investing in yourself can be taking free Google Certifications. It can be putting in an application for that job you think you're not going to get. Investing in yourself is part of the building blocks to improving your life.
For me, this meant applying to art shows even if I knew I wouldn't get in. Because of this, I have 3 art shows on my Artist Resume. Sometimes doing things you think will be futile end up bearing more fruit than you'd think.
I invested in myself by spending time researching, learning, educating myself. A large part of my self investment is through my financial goals I mentioned in "Savings.' I've gotten a Social Media Marketing Certificate, and though I'm not planning to use it now, when I finally get my Etsy shop up and running, I'll have a leg up on the competition.
I think that investing in yourself- however it means to you- is a very important thing to do in your 20's.
LISTENING TO MY BODY
Like I expressed in the 'Loving Myself' section, I really value my time alone- how else could I write all these articles? When I'm around people for a long period of time, I can physically feel myself draining of energy.
I used to push through and just get to the end of an event before I left. But now, I've realized how much more detrimental it is to my mental health. When my body needs a re-charge, I give it one. Sometimes this is sitting in my room and writing a short story or an article. Other times it's mindlessly roaming around Skyrim and stealing NPC's things.
As of late, my re-charge has been a 30 minute guided meditation. Just giving your mind the chance to go on power saving mode, and really start to be aware of your body is a very relaxing, connecting experience.
Here's the meditation I've been using lately. Hopefully if you choose to listen to it too, it'll help just as much!
Another thing I had to come to terms with when I started listening to my body was that I COULDNT hold the world on my shoulders. I was suffering terribly form untreated sciatica, working 10 hour days and doing fulltime school online. I knew I needed help but I kept making excuses until it finally got so bad I was limping everywhere I went.
I reduced my hours, started seeing a doctor and going to Physical Therapy. I'm not 'all better' quite yet, but taking the time to slow down and start from the basics for strengthening and soothing my sciatica, made me realise something very important. We often times dismiss our bodies needs in favor of our brain's logic to just 'push through.'
Sometimes listening to your body means telling your brain to shut up.
JUST TAKE THE PICTURE
This ones more of a recent revelation. I never wanted my photo taken. I always felt like crap, didn't have makeup on, or had skipped a shower in favor of an extra half hour of sleep. Ah, the student life, right?
But I've learned that weather you look like shit doesn't really matter. When your mother or spouse want a picture with you, just take it. One day they may not be around, and you'll suddenly go "oh my god I don't even have a picture with them." And trust me, that's not a self loathing spiral you want to go down.
So just take the dang picture.
I've learned a lot more than these 5 points I've written about today, but these are the points I find matter the most, the points I wanted to share with you the most.
Through my 20's I've loved, lost, cried, doubted, and struggled. But they were all learning experiences that have shaped me into a better version of myself.