7 things that you should know by now

by Kristina on September 11, 2013 · 11 comments

Good morning Dinks.  Today we are talking about getting older and getting wiser.  As I grow older and experience more of life’s trials and tribulations I often say to myself…oh if I only knew then what I know now.  When I was younger I didn’t really understand why people always said this, but now that I am older I absolutely get it.

This applies for so many things in my life from money to relationships.  It’s not so much about regrets as it is learning from my mistakes.  For example, I would love to go back 15 years and tell myself…

Don’t get a credit card until your last year of college.

Don’t move in with your boyfriend until you have a ring.

Study abroad for a semester in college and find other cheap ways to travel.

The thing about learning from our mistakes is that we always learn the lessons to late.  It’s great that we gain the knowledge as we get older, but we don’t need it anymore because we’ve already learned the lesson.

I wish that I knew the damage to my life that credit cards can cause if we misuse them.  I wish that I knew how many tears and 70 hour work weeks it would take to pay off my debt.  That’s the funny thing about debt; it’s easy to accumulate but hard to pay off.

According to MSN here are 5 lessons that you should have already learned:

1. Time is precious.  I wish that I didn’t stay up all night with friends while I was in college, my GPA would have been a lot higher.  I wish that I knew in my 20s how precious time is in a relationship.  I should have worked less and focused on my relationship, it could have saved us a lot of trouble.

2. Everyone is talented.  If you want to succeed you have to be really talented and bring new, innovative ideas to the table at work.  Everyone is talent, you need to stand out.  I thought that I was a great employee because I was a good salesperson, but I came to find out that was just another number in the workplace.

3. Don’t procrastinate.  Oh Lord.  This was me, and still is me sometimes.  Being late – or almost late – really stresses me out and I should not do it.

4. Take responsibility for your mistakes.  I usually don’t try to take responsibility for my mistakes as I do try to cover them up and correct the problem before anyone notices, but maybe I should just be more honest about my shortcomings.

5. Be loyal to your employer.  I used to think that the days of starting a job at 19 and retiring with the same company are over, but changing jobs every couple of years is not really a great career strategy. Employers like long term commitment and you could be financially rewarded for your loyalty.

6. You don’t know it all. You need a mentor.  We don’t know everything, no matter how smart we are.  Sometimes it’s ok to ask for advice, help and assistance from co-workers or from friends.

7. Spend less than you make.  This should go without saying, but trust me I didn’t know it when I was younger.  According to MSN you should spend 25% less money than you earn and you will be able to afford all the things you want in life as well as build up your personal savings.

What advice would you like to give yourself 15 years ago?

Photo by marcf


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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brock @CleverDude September 11, 2013 at 6:44 am

Yeah, employers love workers that have loyalty, and commit long term to their company – but they don’t hesitate to dump employees at the drop of a hat as soon as they need to do some cost cutting. It’s unfortunate that the loyalty only goes one way.

2 James September 11, 2013 at 7:14 am

Hey Kristina,

Great posting. I agree with your point on loyalty, but I do wonder how much loyalty you should show to your employer. For example, what if your employer doesnt treat your loyalty with respect?

I’ve been laid off a couple of times and having had to fend for myself on the job market part of me wonders how much the time and effort I put into the job was worth.


3 Stuart September 11, 2013 at 8:33 am

Good advice, although I don’t completely agree with number 5. All employers are different. Some are great, others aren’t.

Here’s the advice I would have given myself 15 years ago

1. Time is precious
2. Do things now
3. Take responsibility
4. Spend less than you make
5. Keep learning – You only start to learn the important things after you leave school.
6. Take a long-term view

4 No Waste September 11, 2013 at 11:06 am

Major in Computer Science or Petroleum Engineering instead of Accounting.

5 Budget and the Beach September 11, 2013 at 11:25 am

I somewhat disagree about being loyal to your employer. Yes, I absolutely think you should be loyal while you are there and do the best you can, but I also think you have to look out for yourself because I don’t think employers are often very loyal to employees. The advice I’d give to myself is too long to name here. :) I think it would be to stop worrying so much. And of course all the typical stuff about money, credit cards, etc.

6 Crystal September 12, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Hmmm, my advice to myself 15 years ago:

1. When you meet your husband to-be in 3 years, make sure he starts taking care of his teeth immediately and while he is on his parents’ insurance. That would have saved us about $14,000 total.
2. Start investing in a Roth IRA as soon as humanly possible. I think I wasted 3 years after college before figuring out what that was…
3. Don’t invest in a friend’s business in 2007! That would have saved me $15,000.
4. Network more! I could have skipped the 6 years of cubicle work if I had known better contacts, but I may not have discovered blogging. Hmmm…maybe I wouldn’t change that after all…

7 Kristina September 12, 2013 at 9:24 pm

Being loyal to our employer doesn’t mean that we have to live and breath our employer, it just means that we have to stick out the bad times to get to the good.

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