If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what it would be? Do you look back at your days of youth with regret, and would you act differently knowing what you do now?
Bright Grey recently carried out a study looking into the decisions taken by adults and found nearly 22 million Brits’ most common mantra and key to a successful life is to ‘believe in yourself.’ The research also revealed the top ten most common pieces of advice Brits aged 35 and over would give to their twenty year old selves and the results are below:
Whilst not making the top ten, the research also showed that some nine million Britons would take more of an interest in their personal finances if they were twenty again.
1. Believe in yourself more (55%)
2. Travel more (48%)
3. Buy a house as soon as possible (39%)
4. Exercise more (38%)
5. Get more qualifications (36%)
6. Stop smoking (31%)
7. Learn a new language (26%)
8. Spend more time with your parents/friends (24%)
9. Take risks (21%)
10. Change your lifestyle habits (18%)
We then asked a number of finance journalists what advice they would give to their twenty year old self and here are their responses:
Ian Cowie, Head of Personal Finance at the Daily Telegraph:
“If you don’t have fun now, you never will. But don’t forget the importance of making money. You may be able to live on love and fresh air in your twenties but cash will come in handy later. It’s not about making a fortune, it’s about having enough. The best reason to think about money is it means you shouldn’t have to worry about it.”
Paul Robertson, Editor at COVER:
“My twenty year old self was still getting to grips with the whole being an adult thing and in the main doing a decent job of it. I had a good, fun job, the drinking practice was coming along nicely and my social life was acceptable.
It is possibly the norm that the older self would like to impart some gem of wisdom or hard earned experience to the nascent self. But, speaking as someone who wakes up each birthday to immediately conduct a quick internal scan for the onset of any degree of maturity and fails miserably to find any, I’d feel a bit of a fraud.
“I would probably just tell myself to buy Apple shares and leave it at that. Oh, and to stay away from the worm at the bottom of a bottle of Mescal. And the thing in Borneo…don’t do that either.”
Helen Pridham, Freelance Journalist:
“My main message to my twenty year old self would be to enjoy yourself as much as possible while you are young as long as it doesn’t involve getting into debt. I was studying at the time and I think I took life rather too seriously. I would probably also tell myself not to worry about my appearance because as you get older you realise that nearly all 20 year olds look beautiful just because they are young, even though they may not realise it at the time. As far as future career advice is concerned, I would advise my 20 year old self to look for a job with a very good, preferably final salary, pension scheme. Having been freelance for most of my working life, I will probably end up with a much smaller pension pot than I would like.”
Over to you: What piece of advice would you give your twenty year old self? Please leave a comment below