Please give me one piece of advice that you wish you knew when you were 20!

tibbles209 Posts: 169
First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
edited 23 November 2010 at 8:16PM in Debt-free wannabe
I'm 20 years old and as of yet don't have any debt, however lots of my friends are sinking into debt and it feels almost inevitable that I will too :( So if you could speak to your 20 year old self and give them 1 piece of advice that you wish you knew then to help them stay out of debt, what would it be?

Thought it might be a good idea to try and head debt off before it happens. Thanks in advance for the tips! :D



  • MFWannabe
    MFWannabe Posts: 1,953
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Don't go anywhere near credit cards! Don't spend what you haven't got. Save as much as you can while you still live at home with your parents. Sorry; I know this probably all sounds really boring to a 20 year old but when you're 40 you'll be so glad you did!
    28/12/23: Debt total £12,900/13,192.13
  • Just because all your mates are going on the beer it doesnt mean you have to. Ensure you pay everything that needs paying before going out ith your mates. sounds silly but beer in its out and i ended up owing my mum and dad loads in board and bits of money i promised to pay back but didnt have the money come sunday when i eventually went home.
  • If I could be 20 again, I would stay well away from Credit Cards, not go out every Friday & Saturday night and be alot more sensible with my money, basically dont spend what you haven't got!! I have got my self into a terrible financial mess by thinking I would miss out on life by saving money and not having the most up to date, gadgets/clothes etc and not going out and I really regret doing it but have learnt the lesson the hard way, so now need to face up to it and pay it all back and it is so not worth it!!!!
  • beanielou
    beanielou Posts: 89,277
    Academoney Grad I'm a Volunteer Ambassador Mortgage-free Glee! Name Dropper
    It has to be that a credit card is so not your friend.Fact.
    I am a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on Mortgage Free Wannabe & Local Money Saving Scotland & Disability Money Matters. If you need any help on those boards, do let me know.Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any post you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button , or by emailing [email protected]. All views are my own & not the official line of Money Saving Expert.

    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/14.**Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** MFW. Finally mortgage free O2/ 2021****
    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.

    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    ***Keep plodding*** Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
    One debt remaining. Home improvement loan.
  • Little_Vics
    Little_Vics Posts: 1,516 Forumite
    no credit cards for starters. Bills and food first, fun later. Find creative ways to socialise that are cheap!
  • minnie123
    minnie123 Posts: 2,133
    Combo Breaker First Post First Anniversary
    FREEZ wrote: »
    Don't go anywhere near credit cards! Don't spend what you haven't got. Save as much as you can while you still live at home with your parents. Sorry; I know this probably all sounds really boring to a 20 year old but when you're 40 you'll be so glad you did!

    Ditto this !!
  • danothy
    danothy Posts: 2,200
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    The piece of advice I would give myself is that it's possible to have the same amount of fun while still taking all the prudent money saving stuff into account.

    Of course I know that I wouldn't have believed myself, and the only way to really get your head round it is to have experienced hedonism because you will always think you're missing out if you don't do it, so I will reformulate it:

    Don't feel like you shouldn't be doing boring things like looking after your money, if you do you'll actually be able to do more fun things, but also make sure you appreciate them as fun things and not as habit, as this will mean you don't go into debt on account of your lifestyle.
    If you think of it as 'us' verses 'them', then it's probably your side that are the villains.
  • Ziggazee
    Ziggazee Posts: 464 Forumite
    Live within your means, don't try and keep up with your friends (i.e. buying loads of new clothes you can't afford, etc), steer clear of credit cards and catalogues, and take advantage of the moneysaving tips on this site.
  • Get into the habit of saving. Open a savings account and set up a direct debit even if its for a small amount every month. You wont notice it and it will mount up for a rainy day. Not to do with debt but SORT OUT A PENSION EARLY! The time flys by and you will be so glad you started it young.
  • Credit cards are evil - this is not 'your' money to spend, it belong to the bank and by god they will make you pay!

    If you ain't got it, don't spend it.

    I wish someone had managed to get this into my brain. Just look at my debt - I am 40 - some of this dates from my 20s. Yes really!

    Well done on your foresight though :-)
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors


  • All Categories
  • 341.7K Banking & Borrowing
  • 249.7K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.1K Spending & Discounts
  • 233.8K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 605.9K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 172.4K Life & Family
  • 246.7K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.8K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards