10 Bad Habits People Start Developing in Their 20s

Source: @manancfc23 on Unsplash.

Whether you’re reading this when you’re in your 20s, about to be in your 20s, or your 20s have passed, you’re either

  1. guilty of these things.
  2. going to be guilty of these things.

A part of getting on track means accepting responsibility. The other part requires action.

Here are those things you’ll need to be wary of.

I’m going to live now, save later.

Believe it or not, the sooner you put money toward some index-tracking fund the more money you will make later. Saving money earlier is actually the key to investing, other than setting money aside consistently. The earlier, the better.

Vanguard, Fidelity, and even Charles Schwab all have S&P index trackers. If you had purchased them going into the recent collapse, you would have seen a 50% jump in your portfolio in the last month or two.

We know about the power of compounding. However, the true power in compounding is in accumulating a large proportion as early as possible. Putting the first $100,000 toward a 401(k) or a personal brokerage account is the first step. After that, growing the initial gets easier.

10% of a million is $100,000.

10% of ten thousand is $1,000.

Proportions matter. Invest early.

Drinking.

It starts out as fun.

The thing is, you start having a bad week? I’ll stay out drinking a bit later with my friends.

You having trouble at home? I’ll just distract myself with more alcohol.

You’ll start to develop reasons to be drinking, and then it becomes an unhealthy stress reliever.

Drugs.

This doesn’t have to be hard drugs, but it can be. I didn’t know how many people did drugs until college. Then, I witnessed cocaine and adderall. People become hooked because they feel like superman when they’re on it. Without it, they feel like they have no power to study. It becomes a need. When you come off this stuff, it feels terrible. The withdrawal is crazy. Skip it while it’s early. It’s not worth it.

I’ll only invest a small amount toward my 401(k).

If your company matches 100%, this means that they are matching every single dollar you put toward your retirement. This means that if you put $100, they put $100. The market eventually goes up. Always. Look at the recent recovery that occurred. Max out that 100% match (if your budget allows). Don’t be dumb. Money is made by making wise choices as early as possible. Everybody thinks they can start a little bit later. You should never think like that.

Biting your nails.

I’m guilty of this still. I’m working on it, but it’s often a reflex. The longer the habit, the harder it is to break from it.

This isn’t specific with nail-biting, but you get the point. We often know they are bad habits — yet, we still stick to them.

Recognize, acknowledge, and take action. As early as possible.

Gossiping.

Look, you might feel like your friends care about what you are making fun of, but think about their conversations when you’re not in them. They’re probably about you. Gossiping is terrible for your mental health and it is usually a sign of mental immaturity. It’s bad for you and it’s bad to be involved in. People who gossip will also gossip about you. If you gossip, ask yourself why you’re doing it.

Binge-watching.

I fall guilty every 6 months. I try to keep my intervals of succumbing to this as long as possible. Watching a new show can feel amazing, but you need to realize that it’s not doing anything for you. Try to revolve binge-watching shows around things you are celebrating personally. That way, you can see it as rewarding yourself for hard work. Binge-watching on its own can turn into an awful habit rather fast.

Ghosting people.

I’ve had friends disappear. I don’t understand why, but I also don’t question it. It’s silly. You shouldn’t be scared to tell people you don’t want to see or talk to them anymore. You’re in control of your time. Don’t leave them in a state of limbo, though.

Being scared of traditional gender roles.

I love washing dishes. It’s therapeutic. It gives me a sense of completion in the day. Don’t look at things that your significant other does for you as things that are strictly for them. A lot of your relationships with people can be developed doing what is usually seen as trivial. Laundry, washing dishes, cleaning your home, etc.

Overspending.

The life of credit lines and credit cards begins here. With this power comes a lot of irresponsibilities. I think a majority of the people I know have fallen in debt because they thought they could dig themselves out of the hole of their debt. Credit card companies are profitable for a very good reason. If you don’t believe me, look at Discover, American Express, Visa, or Capital One stock.

Written by

UC Berkeley, mathematics. Los Angeles. Long-time runner. Top writer on Quora, 100M+ total content views. New to Medium. Inquiries: Moumj@berkeley.edu

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