It’s pretty common to make one or two questionable financial decisions when you’re young.
But while some money mistakes are just a bit of fun and part of growing up, others can hang around like a bad smell.
Here are five which, like those high school selfies, will come back to haunt you.
Not learning how to manage money
While everything is young and fun right now, living pay check to pay check and spending more than you earn can cause problems down the track.
Ultimately it means you’re not setting yourself up for the future…think paying for a holiday, car or wedding, or even saving up for a home deposit.
That’s why it’s crucial to learn how to budget and live within your means from an early age.
Think about what your financial goals are to give yourself something to work towards.
Borrowing Money You Can’t Pay Back
Taking on an unmanageable debt can cause long-term problems.
Even on big salaries repayments can significantly drain income and loans can take years to pay back.
And don’t forget about the thousands of dollars you’ll still be forking out in interest long after the joy you get from that shiny new toy/car/holiday has faded.
Plus, if you get into trouble and can’t make your re-payments, the black mark against your credit score will impact what you can do financially for a long time to come.
Not Sorting Out Your Super
Got four different super accounts and no idea where your money’s invested? Chances are your savings are just being eaten away by fees.
That’s why it’s important to take an active interest in super from a young age.
Make sure you know what the fees are on your account, where the money is invested and what the insurance cover is. You could even look to make extra contributions through salary sacrificing.
And if you have more than one account, it could be worth consolidating them instead of paying multiple sets of fees.
While it might seem like a long way off, saving for retirement actually begins as soon as you start working.
Keeping up with the Kardashians
Everyone’s got a couple of mates who always seem to be flush with cash, are never without the latest clothes or gadgets and live large seven days a week.
But if you can’t afford it then trying to keep up with them will send you broke.
If you’re mixed up in the wrong financial crowd, don’t be afraid to make your own decisions about what to do with your money. Real friends will understand.
Peter Pan Syndrome
Many people think they’re invincible when they’re young; that they’ll never get sick or have any serious financial commitments.
But as every adult can attest, real life is expensive and it creeps up on you pretty quickly: it’s wise to have some kind of plan.
So start taking your finances seriously and planning for later in life early. That doesn’t mean spending your life glued to a computer screen watching little numbers dance around, it just means taking an interest in your future.
Otherwise those money mistakes from your youth could come back to haunt you.
What’s your worst money mistake? Let us know in the comments.
Image courtesy Paul Schadler via Flickr