As a 23-year-old, I find it helpful to pick the brains of people older than myself to gain financial wisdom, so this past week I reached out to 30 financial bloggers to ask them a simple question:
What is one piece of financial advice you would give to your 23-year-old self?
…but I gave them one restriction: The piece of advice has to be the size of a tweet (140 characters) or less.
Here are the responses I got…
Don’t let emotional spending rule your life. Figure out what’s causing you to spend, solve the problem, and be happier!
-Michelle from Making Sense of Cents
TRACK YOUR NET WORTH!!! Your future self will french-kiss you for it!!
-J. Money from Budgets are Sexy
Every woman you meet in the next 5 years – don’t worry about them. You won’t meet The One til you’re 29. And drink better beer. Miller Lite?
-PoF from Physician on FIRE
Investing tweet to 23 y/o self
A:$16.35/day from 25=$1million@65
B:$33.02/day from 35=$1M@65
C:$50/day from 23=$1M@48
-Matt from Distilled Dollar
Don’t trust anyone else with your money. Investing isn’t difficult (thanks to index funds!) so do your own research and take full control.
-Brandon from Mad Fientist
Compound interest will be magic! Trust the process and ignore the skeptics who say it’ll never amount to anything. Just 10yrs to FI!
-Jillian from Montana Money Adventures
Your boss isn’t your career advocate, you need to take control and responsibility for your future. If you don’t do it, no one else will.
-Jim from Wallet Hacks
Get stupid spending out of your system now; then, start living like you give a crap about your future.
-Steve from Think Save Retire
Investing in yourself and your career is the best money move you can make at 23. Learn everything, be indispensable, and watch your $ grow.
-Amanda from The Dumpster Dog Blog
Read I Will Teach You to be Rich by Ramit Sethi. Nothing motivated me to get my money act together until I read that book.
-Luxe from The Luxe Strategist
Don’t buy something until you have the cash saved.
-Fritz from The Retirement Manifesto
Working and saving for 40 years to reach retirement is for suckers. You can do it in much less if you start today.
-Joshua from The Biglaw Investor
Wait to buy a house! Rent a few more years. Save at least 20% and make sure you know where you will be living for a while.
-Amanda from Centsibly Rich
That girl that you’re dating… Don’t brush off the fact that she never has two cents to rub together. Financial infidelity is all too real.
-Derek from Life and My Finances
Don’t spend $11k on that Subaru. Buy $4k Camry instead. And you were right not to get those bangs gurl, they just don’t work for you.
-Piggy from Bitches Get Riches
If you’re scared they’ll laugh you out the door, then you’re asking for the right salary. And take that boxing class, the future has nazis.
-Kitty from Bitches Get Riches
Your only financial goal should be using your money to create happiness both today and in the future. Nothing else matters.
-Matt from Mom and Dad Money
Don’t rent that apartment for $650/month right out of college. Live at home a little longer & invest the money.
-Bert from Dividend Diplomats
Max out your retirement contribution. Early retirement is way sweeter than the avocado toast and bottomless mimosas you had at brunch.
-Andrew from Sneaky Falcon Enterprises
Amazon is not just the book game, it is the game; bet the farm on it.
-Torg from Sneaky Falcon Enterprises
Now’s your time to make mistakes w/o effing everything up. Quit talking about starting something and just do it.
-Sean from Sneaky Falcon Enterprises
Pack a lunch every day. Use the savings to buy Ethereum and extra time to decide what color Lamborghini to buy.
-Jordan from Sneaky Falcon Enterprises
Invest 10% of everything you make in a VTI ETF and increase investing rate 1% every 3 months until you get to 40%+, you won’t feel it!
-Grant from Millennial Money
Don’t marry her just because you have a child together. Your spouse will have the greatest impact to your financial well-being!
-Menard from Millionaire Before 50
Slow down. Don’t let ambition cloud your judgement. Think through any possible downsides & come up with an exit strategy BEFORE diving in.
-Miss Mazuma from Miss Mazuma
Stop trading stocks and picking mutual funds. You’ll save time, have less stress, and do better investing in basic index funds.
-Mr. Crazy Kicks from Mr. Crazy Kicks
Do not buy that sexy red powerboat. You don’t need it, you won’t use it, and it’ll bring you nothing but misery!
-Rich from Deep Dish
Comics, toys and trading cards will not appreciate the way you think. Stop wasting money. Save cash, buy some real estate, and repeat.
-Colin from Building-Income
For the love of Warren Buffett…when the stock market crashes, buy, don’t sell!
-Robbie from Stock Street
To all the bloggers who contributed to this post – THANK YOU. You all made this post worthwhile. It was fascinating to hear advice ranging from investing to saving to relationships to daily habits and everything in between. I know this post will serve as a helpful resource for 20-somethings out there just starting out on their financial journey along with myself.
Zach is the author behind Four Pillar Freedom, a blog that teaches you how to build wealth and gain freedom in life.
Zach's favorite free financial tool he's been using since 2015 to manage his net worth is Personal Capital. Each month he uses their free Investment Checkup tool and Retirement Planner to track his investments and ensure that he's on the fast track to financial freedom.
His favorite investment platform is M1 Finance, a site that allows him to build a custom portfolio of stocks for free, has no trading or maintenance fees, and even allows him to set up automated target-allocated investments.
His favorite way to save money each month on his recurring bills is by using Trim, a free financial app that negotiates lower cable, internet, and phone bills with any provider on your behalf.
His favorite micro-investing app is Acorns, a free financial app that takes just 5 minutes to set up and allows you to invest your spare change in a diversified portfolio.
His favorite place to find new personal finance articles to read is Collecting Wisdom, a site that collects the best personal finance articles floating around the web on a daily basis.
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