Huffington Post

When you’re young, you feel as though you have nothing but time, and to a certain extent, that’s true. Your early 20s is the era when you should be living your best life! Take that time to find yourself. Make mistakes and learn from them. BUT (and you know there is always a but), you still have to act somewhat responsibly. Although you have lots of time, what you do in your early 20s can have a huge effect on your life decades later. Check out these five mistakes many people have made when they were younger that they now regret.

Not Saving For Retirement

I know, I know, retirement — what’s that? When you’re young and just starting out in your career, retirement definitely seems like more of a foggy dream than a reality. But believe me, it’s coming. It is important to start saving now for retirement. Open those IRAs and 401(k)s today! You have to remember that this is the money that you have to live off of for the rest of your life, so you will need plenty. It is much better to get a jump start on it now. Otherwise, you’ll be scrambling when the time comes. Or worse, you’ll have to keep working when you’re in your 70s and 80s just to make ends meet.

Credit Card Debt

Credit cards can be a gift or a curse. They’re great to have if you pay them off monthly. That way you won’t accrue any interest. However, most people max their credit cards out when they’re young. Credit card debt can ruin your credit severely and should be avoided at all costs. Good credit may not seem necessary when you’re younger, but it definitely is. Having poor credit can prevent you from getting the house you want, the car you want, and even the job you want. Be responsible with your cards or you’ll pay in more ways than just with money.

Buying More House Than You Need

You probably imagine having a big dream house when you’re older. Multiple rooms, bathrooms, a (wo)man cave, huge kitchen, and so much more! However, do you really need all of that? Most importantly, can you afford all of that? Just because you get approved for the mortgage loan to get the house of your wildest desires does not mean that you can actually afford it. You have to be mindful of your monthly expenses and make a wise decision. Otherwise, after a few years, you will either be scrambling to keep up with the payments or on your way to foreclosure.

Not Investing

Investing in the stock market is a risk that a lot of people are scared to get involved in. The only guarantee there is when investing is that you will lose money. Yet, it can also be lucrative. Learn about the stock market and how to determine which stocks are worth investing in. Take those risks while you’re young when you have time to run damage control if a particular stock doesn’t pan your way.

Not Traveling Enough

Although being responsible with money is the overall goal, it is important that you live a little too! Don’t get so carried away with working just to pay bills. With the right planning and budgeting, you will be able to take some of the most amazing trips of your life. Do it while you’re young before you’re saddled down with the responsibilities of a family, a mortgage, car payment, and other things that you will acquire as you grow up and become more established.