Skip to Content

5 Money Mistakes I’ve Made In My 20s

Being in my late twenties has me reflecting on how I spent my early twenties. The memories, the achievements, and even the mistakes. One of the mistakes that I regret the most is the way I handled money. It’s a lesson I’m still learning, but I’m not giving up. I’m committed to turning the last half of my twenties around. 

The first step to doing that is to own up to my mistakes. It can be hard to do sometimes, but it’s necessary for growth. I hope that by reading the mistakes I’ve made, you’ll be able to avoid making them. Maybe you have made some money mistakes yourself—it’s not too late to fix them. In fact, clicking on this article was a great first step.

5 Money Mistakes I’ve Made In My Twenties

1. Not Staying True To My Budget

I have a budgeting system that I like to do, both monthly and weekly, in my bullet journal.  At the beginning of the month I’ll create a calendar and circle the days I owe bills and put a square around the days that I get paid. Once that is done I will write down the bills I owe each week. 

The day before, or the morning of, payday I’ll write down the amount of my paycheck. Next I’ll subtract my bills and add any other categories needed in my weekly budget. Some of those categories are groceries & savings.

In theory this system works. However it only works if you follow it each week. Which is where my issue comes in. I may write it down each week, but week after week I find myself not staying true to it. 

In order to fix this I plan on setting reminders throughout the week so that I make sure I am sticking to my budget goals.

2. Getting Into My Savings Account Too Much

There have been countless times where I have transferred money from my savings account to my checking account because I overspent. Each time I do this I not only encourage my bad spending habits, but I also hurt my future self. 

As many times as I have unintentionally transferred money out of my savings account, I’ve also needed extra money, only to find it wasn’t there. Emergencies happen, which is a big reason to have a savings account. Not having money there has hurt me on many occasions. 

To avoid making this mistake moving forward I plan on setting money rules for myself. I’ll put these in places I reference often, like my budgeting bullet journal and even my wallet. Here are a few I will be implementing.

  1. Unless it’s an emergency, don’t touch your savings account
  2. Only make plans after all bills are paid 
  3. Log it before you spend it

3. Buying Too Much Of What I Don’t Need

Whether it’s makeup, clothes, fast food, or even services like getting your nails done, everyone has their thing. That thing that you spend your money on over and over again, even though you know you don’t need it. I do this with fast food more often than I’d like to admit.

Being able to master budgeting will help me make unnecessary purchases less often. What type of purchases have you taught yourself to stop buying excess of? How do you plan on controlling your excess spending habits?

4. Having An “I Don’t Make Enough” Mentality

This has been my most used excuse ever since I started working. At my first job I was only making minimum wage. I justified not saving my money by saying I didn’t make enough to make a difference. In reality, I could have not spent money on subscriptions, dinners out, and other non-essential activities.

My savings account may not have had thousands of dollars, but some is better than none. I wish I could say that mentality went away when I got a better job, but I wouldn’t be writing this article if that was the case.

5. Not Educating Myself Sooner

If I would have been more serious about learning to budget and become more knowledgeable about topics like investing and retirement, I don’t think I would have made the mistakes I have made. My fellow GenTwenty contributors have written some great blog posts about finances. I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge from them both before I started writing for GenTwenty, and recently. 

My game plan to educate myself through the finance section of GenTwenty, as well as reading books on the topic. 

As you can see I’ve made a lot of mistakes when it comes to my finances. However, all is not lost. I’m taking the last few years of my twenties and devoting them to learning more about, and having a better relationship with, money. I hope that you can learn from my mistakes as you navigate your finances in your twenties.

Do you relate to any of these money mistakes? What are you doing to turn them around? Let us know in the comments  below.

About the Author

Kelly Clark

Kelly graduated from Liberty University with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations and a minor in Journalism. Even though it took her a little while to find her career path, she was always meant to be in Communications. She remembers writing poems and songs when she was a little girl and pitching to my parents the reasons why I should have a cell phone when I was a teenager. She currently has a blog ( where she talks about her weight-loss journey, mental health and personal development. Her hope is to encourage and inspire readers and let them know they are not alone. Reading blog posts like that are what helped her in tough times and she wants to pay it forward. She loves dance fitness, listening to music, and creating layouts in her bullet journal. She's a big fan of planning, especially when cute notebooks and pens are involved. Her dream job has changed so much over the years; right now she'd love to co-own a dance studio.