7 things I wish I did in my 20's (and 30s) that you should do this year!

The beauty of adulting is that you get to own your decisions and learn from past experiences both good and bad. If I could go back in time, there are a few things I would re-do.

Hindsight they say is 20-20. I lived through my 20s in the 2000s when some of you were born - yeah I know 🤦🏾‍♀️. There are some things I wish I had done/started earlier. We all have different pathways of life. However there are some things that are timeless and sage advice that will never go out of fashion.

Before that, can I just say that the shock of my life is that wide-leg pants are back. Like the clothes of my teenage, the ridiculous clothes of my teenage are back?! They clothes I begged my mum to let me wear and get for me are now in?! Like how.

Anyways I am going to keep this list short and sweet. While we are still in that new year new you energy, please purpose to do these 7 things regardless of your age! The earlier you get to this list the better!

1. Get life insurance

This one sounds so ridiculous to you in your youthfulness. However, 10 years from now when you will have a family and children you will need life insurance and you will wish that you paid for it. The thing with life insurance is that the earlier you get it, the cheaper it costs you overall. If you can sign up for life insurance, do so in your 20s - it will cost you a lot let in the long run.

2. Start saving for retirement

I can guarantee that saving for retirement is probably the LAST thing you have in mind right now. However, the key thing is to start saving early. Your money will stretch a whole lot longer and your investment over time no matter how model will produce a lot more than waiting until your mid-30s or 40s to begin to think about this.

3. Buy your first property early

I came to Canada as an international student and my primary concern was spending my summers home with my family. What I wish I had done was use those $2,000 tickets for a down payment for property. The thing with property ownership is that the earlier you start the better. Wealth creation particularly generational wealth creation needs to start as early as possible. I wish I pooled together with friends and instead of going on trips together, that we would have invested in properties together. Don't just get excited about going on trips with your friends - think of investment ventures that you can get into together and if not, then save towards your first property whether it is a piece of land, a condo or a town home.

4. Avoid, reduce and ideally eliminate consumer debt

Listen, the biggest trap of adulthood is getting into debt - especially in North America. Glad I did not make the mistake of co-signing any loan/debt for anyone. Please don't do that. And beyond NOT co-signing for "friends" avoid getting in the trap of amassing consumer debt. Cancel any cards you have that have an interest rate of more than 20% and maintain just ONE credit card - pay off and cut up all the store credit cards. When your bank asks you if you want to increase the limit be very clear to not see that as a greenlight to rack up debt. It will bite you later on when you are trying to get a mortgage or when you fall in the trap of owing more and more and MORE.

5. Figure out the stock market & investment

When I look back, I wish I had sought opportunities to learn and figure out the stock market whether as a passive investor or as an active investor. Take on courses and read up on the stock market. Play with smaller amounts such as 100-200 where the loss will not be felt as hard and build confidence in investing larger amounts once you have researched the market.

6. Learn something new - skating, skiing, snowboarding, swimming

I don't even know what I spent my "free" time on but I sure wish I had used some of that time to learn a new sport or skill such as skating, skiing, snowboarding or swimming. Why these four? Well my kids are now learning how to skate and how to ski and how to swim and had I put more time into these, I would have been able to do more fun activities with them. I know how to swim I just haven't swam in a long time. I can't believe that after 20+ years in Canada I still haven't learned how to ski or skate. It's never too late, but in your case, figure it out - the older you will thank you.

7. Travel the world

I definitely did my share of travelling in my twenties: I went to Australia, to Cuba, to the Netherlands, South Africa. I did most of my travel in relation to work or school. What I wish I had done more of is travel for pleasure. There is something so beautiful about being carefree and without responsibilities such as a mortgage or kids that allows you to pick up your bags and head somewhere - post Corona of course. I would encourage you to travel and see as much of the world as you can. Can you still travel once you're married with kids: absolutely. It does involve a whole other level of coordination that you would not have had to do as a single person. We just got back from our trip to Kenya and now more than ever I want to see the world and I want my kids to see the world with me but TRUST ME: it is so much easier to coordinate when you are single and without kids.

What did I leave out? Please let me know in the comments or continue the conversation on social.

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