Your 20s – an interesting transition point in life where you’re still supposed to be having loads of fun but also expected to be slightly more responsible with it. It can be an incredibly confusing and challenging period, with your first years as a “proper” adult spent trying to figure out what you want to do in life and setting the foundations for it, all while still trying to live carefree and in the moment.
Wider societal pressures may dictate that we should all be at least some way along with things like our careers, money and relationships by the close of our 20s, but the truth is there’s no set expectation to where you should be come the day of your 30th birthday. With relative financial freedom often accompanying years 20-29, however, there are a few things that are great areas to invest in – items which can really set you up for the rest of your adult life.
“Your first car” will likely be the first big ticket item you spend your hard-earned cash on, typically in your late teens or early 20s. Whether it’s a bank of mum and dad sponsored shiny new hatchback or a banger akin to Simon’s tropically styled Fiat Cinquecento in the Inbetweeners, getting a car affords you a sense of mobility and freedom like you’ve never experienced previous.
Owning a car means you can go for that job you want that’s a little more out of the way or take road trips with your mates to distant lands previously thought unreachable. It’s a legitimate quality of life improver from both a professional and social perspective, so the sooner you can get yourself a four-wheeled friend, the better. If you can’t buy a car, remember there are other options to get hold of one, like financing and loans.
An education & career
Attending university is a natural progression point for many of us coming out of college, so a lot of early 20-somethings will have already ticked the further education box. However, education doesn’t have to end there, nor does it need to have gone through those typical channels, and your 20s offers the perfect window to expand your knowledge in a variety of different ways.
You might want to study online classes while you work, start university a little later on or invest in a masters to complement your degree. You could invest in a whole new life skill and take extra curricular classes in relation to that. All of the above are hugely rewarding endeavours and ones that could help set you up career wise, as well as on a broader basis.
A healthy lifestyle
With a youthful, svelte figure and a far-too-efficient metabolism at work, you could be forgiven for being fairly relaxed with your diet and exercise plan in your 20s. However, they say what you do now you’ll pay for later, and you really should be using your 20s – a time when your body is working at its athletic peak – to stay fit and look after yourself.
How do you buy a healthy lifestyle? A gym membership is one example, and the good news is eating healthily tends to be quite cheap thanks to the price of fruit and veg. Your 20s is also a great time to join a sports or activities club of some form and enjoy a hobby your passionate about. To do that, you’ll usually need some financial support for membership fees and the relevant equipment.
These days, you’re doing extremely well for yourself if you’ve bought a house in your 20s. Usually, you’ll only be able to get one if you’re already shacked up with a long-term partner and able to pool funds, but buying a house in any capacity in young adulthood should be considered a huge achievement and a massive financial advantage moving forward into later life.
With modern young adulthood living typically being a bottomless pit of rent money being thrown into the abyss, securing a house early is a huge investment, but one that offers huge savings in real terms. In fact, your first step onto the property ladder will likely be the most important financial step of your life.
Your 20s shouldn’t be a period of worry about life and boring adult things, but responsible purchasing during this time is definitely an advisable practice. The more foundational bits you’ve bought early, the less you have to worry about them later, so you can keep having fun into your 30s, 40s and beyond.