Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What I Would Tell My 20 Year-Old Self

I first met the lovely Leesh on twitter and we clicked instantly because of our love of food and travel. I asked her to come up with a list of what she would tell her 20 year-old self and here's her advice:

1) Save money in an RRSP and also in a vacation and wedding fund. I started working at my first full-time job at 21. I wish someone had told me to start putting away a small amount from my pay cheque (let’s say 10%) to an RRSP and to a vacation fund (5%) and a wedding fund (5%). The RRSP would build up and be a nice cushion for a down payment for a first home. Money should also be put away for all the weddings you will be invited to. Who would have thought that you could be invited to eight weddings in one year. If you start putting money away at a young age, you will have a fund you can dip into and won’t have to scrounge to find money the day before the wedding. The most important savings would be towards a vacation fund, which leads to my next point.

2) Go on more trips with friends. It’s nearly impossible to plan a vacation with friends in your 30's. Jobs, money, mortgages and kids make it difficult to find a mutual week or weekend that everyone can get away. Never think that there is always next time, or next year to go away on vacation. Start young and go at least once a year with the money in your vacation fund. I took one trip to Cancun with 16 other people when I was 23 and that trip can never be replicated. I also wish I went to Las Vegas more when I was in my 20’s. It’s an awesome city to party and get crazy in when you don’t have any responsibilities.

3) Relationships and being single. You will get your heart broken big time at least once. It will hurt like crazy and you will believe that the world has come to an end. Cry while you listen to the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack and then drink until you can’t feel a thing, you will get over it. Once you have picked up the pieces of your broken heart, go out and enjoy life. Be single for a year. Date and date some more. Go to Vegas or Cabo with your girlfriends. Take some time to get to know you and what you are all about. Then, when you are ready, you can get back into a relationship knowing that if this next one doesn’t work out, it will be okay because you will one day meet your Prince Charming when the time is right.

4) Strive in school. Don’t be lazy. Do well in school and stay in school instead of taking a full-time job so early in life. If you stay in school, don’t take something general, be specific and take courses in something you love. If you don’t know what it is that you want to do as a career, get some career counseling instead of wasting time and money or intern at various companies to figure out what you like.

5) Get your driver’s license. If you fail the first time, try again. And if you fail a second time, don’t let it discourage you. Keep on trying until you pass because it will be so difficult to get it later on. You will, by then, be use to getting around on public transit or be driven around everywhere. You'll end up being to scared and bothered to learn how to drive.

Leesh is a hip + urban girl that writes the blogs Blarkness Chronicles and Beach Junkies.
Read some of the other lists compiled from 'What I Would Tell My 20 Year-Old Self'


  1. I love this advice! I really wish someone would have told me about the importance of saving money at a young age. Now I'm married, have credit card bills and a car payment...not money in the end to save :(

  2. You can start anytime Lin. I just did.