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What money advice would you give your younger self? The spending edition.

We asked women in their 30s: what do they wish they did differently with their money and finances in their 20s? 

📸: Pinterest

Sharing the wisdom. Because that’s what we do. 

Hint: They all pretty much agree that you should buy that thing, and invest. 

And we can’t argue with that!

Enjoy your life while you can - you earned that money so have fun with it!

"1. Save my money for 1 nicer bag, dress, shoes, etc instead of buying tons of cheap crap that ended up costing me more (btw dates won’t notice and friends won’t care if you wear the same thing twice) 2. Every time I bought a $5 coffee, put $5 in my savings account at the same moment. 3. Learned about the stock market even at the elementary level by forcing myself to buy literally 2 shares of something 4. Not feeling guilting about an expensive night out, you earned that money so have fun with it” Meghan, 32

“I wish I knew the grand scheme of things, that I wouldn’t miss the money I spent on those experiences. There are times when it’s more important to splurge than save, as long are you are spending within your means. I didn’t always have to eat $1 sandwiches, I could have gone for the real thing!” Laura G, 30

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True! In the grand scheme of things, a lot of smaller expenses don't break the bank - use our mindful spending method to create a budget that actually works for you.

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“I wouldn’t really spend any differently. I definitely spent a lot on things at the time I couldn’t afford… travel (upgrading to first class/expensive hotels) and bags (Chanel’s I had no business carrying) and shoes (designers I had no business wearing) but I would buy them all again and travel nicely all over if I was living my 20s again, even paycheck to paycheck like I was. You only have a short period of time to spend your money on yourself before you have a mortgage and dependents.” Laura, 34 

“I would tell my 20 year old self to travel to Europe with my friends…. Instead, I started my first job immediately. Go enjoy yourself and have fun. Also, invest your retirement immediately, on day 1 of your first job. Oh, and never ever ever borrow against your 401k.” Gina, 39

Be mindful about your spending - and avoid debt at all costs!

"when you start your career, hundreds of dollars of your hard earned income will go straight towards those student loans every month. that’s hundreds of dollars not going into your pocket. thousands per year. college loans are not just “a normal part of life” or a “is what it is.” it’s a debt owed that grows the more you ignore it. don’t take your time giving your hard earned money to a corporation designed to succeed off your neglect and profit from your struggle. this is a boyfriend to break up with." Mandy, 30  

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Amen to that. Not sure where to even start with your student loans? Take our money quiz to see when you'll pay off those damn loans, and then get goin' on your payoff plan.

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“I wish I didn’t open up credit cards for different stores to get the discounts because I ended up closing them which I don’t think was good for my credit. I also wish I didn’t let things stay in cash and put a small amount every month into a high yield savings or investing account. Oh I never did this, but, I know people that didn’t pay their credit card off in full… pay it all off!!! ” Stephanie, 31  

“I wish I saved more!!!!! I had $50 monthly transfers from checking to savings, that could have been much more. I didn’t realize how much I would need for a down payment on a house…” Jenna, 30

“When you have extra money in the bank, stop trying to figure out how you’re going to spend it – think about how you could save it or make it grow instead! I know you love to celebrate big & small wins by treating yourself. Saving & investing means you can splurge a little more when you find stuff you really want. Oh, and start saving for your f*you fund NOW – so you don’t have to feel guilty or unprepared when you want to switch careers, or take a few months off to travel when you’re older! (True story!)” Rebeca, 31

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Curious how real women made all the numbers work, while enjoying it all? We went through three IRL budgets here.

Loved this? Check out the investing edition of advice to your younger self.

What is your money advice? Share your story with us: support@penny-finance.com

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