I ran across this interesting question posed up on Quora the other day: What are some things you should avoid doing in your first 30 years of life?
Someone chimed in:
- Getting married
- Having children
- Addictions* that waste time, energy, and resources and keep you from focusing and working on your goals.
Needless to say, the writer got a lot of responses from these answers.
Since this is a personal finance site, I believe the question can also be refrained as, “things you should avoid spending money on in your first 30 years of life“.
Here’s my list and explanations for each. I’d love to hear yours (and/or objections/thoughts on these):
- House. There are some caveats to this: you’re loaded and can pay for the house outright, you inherited your parents/relatives house OR you’re out of debt, make great money and can pay it off in 15 years. I just don’t see any need for carrying this type of debt load so early on in your life. Added to that, there are many others who make a great case for never owning a home.
- Wedding. As one of those who waited til after 30 to wed (some might say, I wasn’t marriageable til after 30), I tend to agree with the author who said to avoid marriage before 30. Now, I can think of lots of people I personally know who married before 30 and are doing quite well. I guess what I really mean here is paying for a wedding that you will be in-debt for awhile after the bells stop ringing. My wife and I were married for around $1k (about $29k less than the “average” bill today) and 5 years later don’t regret having gone thrifty.
- Fancy ____. I guess you can fill in the blank here – but pretty much anything over and above the average, isn’t going to make you much happier or more successful. At age 25, I opted for the fancy auto – and it left me with one of my biggest money mistakes. We can often get preoccupied trying to impress people who aren’t even looking.
- $100,000 Education for a $30,000 Job. I have some fairly strong opinions on student loan debt and how damaging it is (and will be) to our society. I think it’s almost a crime how easy it is to get an education loan without showing the lender an ROI or other criteria. Plus, I believe there are other ways we can be helping students get the schooling they need (so they aren’t enslaved after graduation).
- ‘Stupid Taxes’. Probably all of the mentioned can qualify for paying “stupid tax” – but what I mean here is paying interest on unpaid credit card bills or other fees that could easily have been avoided.
Any others I’ve missed?