Teens and college students make common mistakes.
By the time young adults reach 25, they have matured, and their “mistake years” are over—not.
There are still plenty of mistakes “out there” to be made.
Unfortunately, some have more lasting consequences than flunking that course or totaling that car.
Here is a list of 10 mistakes you will want to avoid at this pivotal time.
They usually revolve around:
And to remind you that everyone makes a mistake at some point, we have a collection of quotes about making mistakes.
Be sure to check it out.
Common Mistakes 25-Year-Olds Will Make
1. You stick with an unfulfilling job.
There may be security in the job you have, but you are not challenged, and you are not stretching yourself.
This is like a bad relationship that has ceased to be rewarding.
You are comfortable, however, because it pays the bills and provides a decent vacation every year.
If you stay where you are, you will hate yourself and your life by age 40.
To avoid this, have a conversation with yourself.
What would you like to be doing?
What kind of job would be fun?
How could you get a job like that?
Put in writing what you must do to get that job and take steps toward that goal.
You can take risks and try something new while you are still young.
2. You stick with the same friends who aren’t adding value
You may have had many friends in high school and/or college who have grown little.
They are content in their stagnation and want you to be as well.
You can choose to stay in that box with them, or you can choose to get out and develop friendships and relationships that force you to grow and challenge who you are.
Join some groups or organizations whose members are achieving more than you are now.
These are the people who will encourage you to grow and who will support your goals and dreams.
3. You stay addicted to screens.
TV, video games, and Facebook have their places in your life, but these are passive activities.
They don’t push you in new directions.
It’s time to develop the habit of reading.
A common mistake is thinking you must read certain types of books.
Read anything—fiction, non-fiction, history, biographies.
You become a more well-rounded person, will be exposed to new ideas and will develop solid general knowledge that will serve you socially and professionally.
The Internet can be a source for reading if you decide to use it for that purpose.
4. You have not started saving.
In the 1930s, a book was published titled The Richest Man in Babylon.
Three friends were nearing the end of their working years, and one had accumulated great wealth.
The other two, who were still barely making it, asked their rich friend how he had become so wealthy.
He explained his seven rules of wealth building.
The first rule was “Pay yourself first.”
By this, he meant to save a portion of your income regularly for later in life.
This is the time in your life to develop the habit of saving and investing.
Avoiding this common mistake will have a large impact on your future.
Whether you take part in the 401K at work or set up an IRA, you must start now.
If you wait until you are 40 or older, you will have lost 15 years of earnings, which is a lot of money.
Aim for 10% – that’s what the richest man in Babylon paid himself.
You might also buy the book.
As old as it is, many financially successful people swear by it.
5. You are hesitant or fearful about going back to school.
Think about that job you really don’t like.
Then, think about what you would love to do for your life’s work.
How can you get there?
Maybe you are a high school grad who should look at 2-year degrees; maybe you are a college grad who realizes you majored in the wrong thing; perhaps you are dreaming of a graduate degree.
You don’t have to drop everything and go to school full-time—there are online degree programs, weekend colleges, and evening courses.
With these options, you owe it to yourself to pursue those dreams while still young enough to do so.
Don’t let this common mistake stop you from living the life you want.
6. You are not taking care of your health
You are still living a teenager’s life—pizza, fast food, soda, and beer; you are also spending much of your free time in front of screens.
As you age, your body will rebel against this lifestyle, and you will put on those pounds, have less energy, and get sick more often.
It’s time to get a healthier lifestyle.
This means eating those vegetables, as your mom said; it means finding regular physical activity.
Developing the habit of nurturing your body now will pay off in the long run, and you won’t be dealing with blood pressure, cholesterol, or weight issues later in life.
7. You don’t take reasonable risks.
At no other time in your life will you be able to take risks like you can now.
Maybe you have dreamed of having a business or becoming a lawyer; maybe you yearn to travel.
Time is on your side now, so take those chances and enjoy the pursuit.
Avoid this common mistake by knowing that everything you do now is an opportunity to learn.
If you don’t, you will regret having had something on your bucket list that you could have scratched off now but chose not to out of fear of what others might think.
As Dr. Wayne Dyer, philosopher and author, once said, “Don’t die with your music still inside you. Listen to your intuitive inner voice and find what passion stirs your soul. Listen to that inner voice, and don’t get to the end of your life and say, ‘What if my whole life has been wrong?’”
8. You squander money on little things and forego the larger pleasures.
Do you have to have another new pair of shoes?
Do you really have to eat out 5 days a week?
However, this common mistake can be avoided by evaluating your relationship with money.
If you sit down and take a long hard look at your spending habits, you will probably discover how much money you are spending on “things” that won’t matter a year from now.
Spend your money on experiences, not eye candy.
If you think back to your childhood, chances are you cannot remember much about the birthday and Christmas gifts you got.
But you probably remember the family vacations you took.
Where would you like to travel?
This is the time.
Start a travel fund with the money you will no longer spend on things.
9. You get into a committed relationship before you are ready.
Some young adults at 25 are ready for a serious relationship and marriage.
Think long and hard about your readiness before you dive in, and remember that over 50% of marriages end in divorce.
If children are added to that mix, it is even tougher.
There is no need to rush.
Get to know yourself and pursue your dreams before taking on the responsibility of a permanent relationship.
10. You rack up credit card debt.
This is a common mistake because it is so easy to do.
Take that vacation with your friends; buy new furniture for your apartment; get that great leather jacket and that huge smart TV.
Pretty soon, you have 2-3 credit cards maxed out, and you are up to your neck in debt with those student loan payments.
The sooner you think about budgeting, the better.
It’s time for a huge reality check.
Making minimum payments will get those cards paid off in about 20 years.
Cut them up and put one in the freezer for dire emergencies only.
Then, figure out what you will give up to make more than the minimum payments and get it all paid off.
This is a hard lesson, but you’ll recover.
At 50, you won’t.
Will you avoid these common mistakes?
You are 25.
Your life is just beginning.
Never again will you have the opportunities and the options that present themselves now.
If you can avoid these mistakes (or fix them now), you can go after those goals and dreams and “play your music.”
Let us know which mistakes you feel are most common in the comment section below.