I’m 25. That may seem young to some of you, but all I can think about is how I’m 5 years away from 30 and I need to seriously get my act together. When I was growing up I always had it in my mind that 30 was the age where I’d have everything figured out. I’d be in a serious relationship or married, I’d own my first condo, I’d have a great paying job and I’d have a bunch of money in the bank. 

Well, I’m engaged, so that’s a check, but I definitely don’t see me owning a place of my own — especially in Vancouver — for at least another 10 years.

As for the job, well I’m only 2 years out of school so I’m still at the start of my career (meaning I make a very base salary). And I definitely do not have a bunch of money in the bank. I’ve got some, but not a bunch.

Things You Should Focus on in Your 20s

Then again, maybe I’m putting too much pressure on myself. I mean, your 20s are really the beginning of your adult and financial life, and sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of that.

I think the main things you need to focus on at this age is getting out of debt and starting a nest egg. It’s time to start an RRSP even if you can only contribute $50 a month, make a budget you know you can stick to and start setting your long-term goals to work towards.

I think it’s also important to make a list of things you want to do before you are more settled. When you’ve got a mortgage to pay or a baby on the way, a month-long backpacking trip through Asia probably ain’t gonna happen.

You Won’t Always Be Poor if You Have a Plan

Above all, I think the most important thing to remember when you’re in your 20s is that although you’ll probably be the poorest you’ll ever be during this decade, you do have time on your side. You’ve got many more decades to save, invest and make more money.

And honestly, it’s crazy to expect to have everything figured out, even your finances, before you hit 30. You’ve only been out of school for a few years and in the workforce for even fewer.

Give yourself a break, but at the same time make a plan and start now. The earlier you start paying down your debt and saving for the future, the better off you’ll be.

So embrace your poverty, make a plan, start saving and those dreams of owning your own place and having stacks of cash in the bank will follow. Or just marry rich. Totally kidding, just had to get that in there.

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