7 Things You Won’t Regret Spending Money On In Your 20s
When you’re in your 20s there’s a whole lot of pressure to get your life and your finances sorted. You’re supposed to be saving every cent for that elusive house deposit, right? It can be frightening to part with your hard-earned cash but sometimes the expense pays off.
Here are seven personal recommendations from 20-somethings for the things you won’t regret spending your paper on.
#1 Your health
If this wasn’t a priority for you in your teenage years, your 20s is a great time to begin laying foundations for your health and wellbeing. Finding an exercise you want to participate in regularly can have tonnes of benefits for your physical and mental health. This can mean laying down a bit of cash for a yoga studio membership or dance classes but every dollar will be worth it when those endorphins hit.
It’s worth investing in your mental health, too by having a chat with a therapist or psychologist, even if you’re not struggling with any particular problems or illnesses. Emily-Alice, 29, recommends this one, saying “Just the very act of talking through your problems and anxieties with a third party is so helpful.”
#2 Your superannuation
Emily-Alice also rates diverting a bit of extra cash into your super. “I know it’s a little dry, but invest in your superannuation” she says. “ I can’t stress enough how important it is to put as much money in it as you can spare because it will make your old age so much easier.”
Superannuation probably won’t ever be a topic that we recommend bringing up on a first date, but we do recommend starting to think about your super in your 20s. If you’re not sure where to start, check out these tips from The Cusp financial expert Rob d’Apice.
#3 Your space
You’re an adult now; your bedroom should no longer look like you live at a backpackers. Investing money in a good quality bed will see you reaping the benefits when it comes to your sleep hygiene as well as impressing your dates. Ashlee, 23, says “I bought a queen mattress ensemble that is the comfiest and safest space in the world. No matter what happens I know I have a soft landing pad and I can’t put a price on the security it’s given me”.
While on the topic, Chantelle, 23, recommends whacking some top quality sheets on your new bed as well. “No joke!” she says, “Once you invest in two sets of 1000 thread count sheets you will be set for life.” Or at least for a long while.
#4 Your freedom
Being independent can be expensive but you learn so much about yourself standing on your own two feet. Rent is one of the expenses that Eleanor, 25, prioritises. “I meet so many people who are living with their parents,” she says. “ [That’s] cool if it works for them, but so many I speak to are doing it purely for the savings. Sure, rent is expensive and a drain on your income but there’s a price of admission for not living with your parents.”
Independence doesn’t just have to be about where you live. Hannah, 28, says that “investing in a car provided me with priceless freedom… the costs were totally worth it!” Spending some money on transport options, whether it’s a GoGet membership, a bicycle or your own vehicle, gives you extra options whether you’re organising a trip to IKEA or to the beach.
#5 Your safety net
Part of being independent is building up a safety net for when things go wrong. Ideally, this includes a chunk of cash to act as your financial buffer – it’ll come in useful if you need to take the car you just bought to the mechanic. Insurance is another big part of investing money into your security. Evaluate your financial position and consider setting up a plan for Private Health Insurance and Income Protection Insurance, and animal owners should look into Pet Insurance. You’ll be glad you spent the money if you or Fluffy need to make a quick hospital visit.
#6 Your horizons
You’re building a safety net, so now comes the part where you’ve got to live your life in a way that makes you more than just the richest person in the graveyard. Investing in travel is one of those things that you’re never going to regret, as long as you save up for your trip right and don’t just whack it all on a credit card that you don’t have the means to pay off.
Expanding your horizons can be about investing in your brain as well – whether that’s through paying for formal education or buying a bunch of books on something that interest you.
#7 Your appearance
Sorry folks, this one isn’t a free pass to go on a shopping spree for a new wardrobe. Finding a bargain is exhilarating but be careful of anything that seems too good to be true when your appearance is concerned. Cheap tattoos or using box hair dye can mean you end up spending more money later fixing up your mistakes. It’s worth spending a little more money on making yourself look and feel good if the products and treatments are of a better quality (and therefore usually last longer).
And if you are thinking about doing anything permanent it’s a good eye to front up and see an experienced professional in the first place. Deals for beauty treatments like laser hair removal or waxing often end up on sites like Groupon – make sure you do your research before snapping one up. You probably want to read a review or two before you let anywhere near you with a tub of hot wax.
Ally Garrett is a Sydney-based writer and performer. Her writing has been published on Jezebel, The Wireless and The Guardian. Ally’s work often touches on body positivity, like her recent performance in Force Majeure’s dance-theatre show, Nothing to Lose. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @allygarrett