The choices you make in your 20s can pave the way for the rest of your life. It’s always better to start early than to try to catch up when life’s opportunities have already passed you by.

1. Paying off debt. Technically this isn’t a purchase but it will enable you to make more purchases. The less debt you have the more cash you have – and that’s always a good thing.

2. A classic, good-quality handbag that you can use every day for work. It doesn’t need to last you forever and a day, but it does need to last you a good few years.

3. An amazing pair of investment heels that will always give you the boost and confidence you need. They are a bit more pricey, so look after them.

4. A little black dress that will last you a lifetime. It might be hard to find but when you do, hold onto it and read the wash-care label.

5. A reliable car. You’re an adult with an apartment and a real job – and you need a real car too. That doesn’t mean you have to go out and get yourself in trouble with a monthly payment that you can barely afford – be realistic and stick to your budget. There are amazing small cars on the market that aren’t too expensive and that are extremely fuel-efficient. Bonus!

6. An investment of some sort, like unit trusts or a 32-day savings account.

7. Property, if you can afford it. Property is always a good investment but stop thinking about property as a place for you to stay and start thinking about property as a way for you to earn money.

8. Insurance and medical aid. Why? Because you now own things of large value that you will not be able to replace immediately if you don’t have insurance. Life happens, which means, unfortunately, accidents sometimes happen.  You might think it’s a good idea to skip on car insurance and to use that R500 for something else, but you won’t feel the same way when something crappy happens.

9. A good laptop or tablet. You need to take your work and playtime seriously, and since laptops and tablets have kind of replaced TVs, it’s a good thing to invest in.

10. A set of suitcases – you’ll appear as if you’ve got your sh*t together, literally and figuratively, even if you don’t.

11. A plane ticket to explore a place you’ve never been. Because, why not?

12. A membership to a gym/yoga class/running group. Try to find something that you can enjoy, whether it’s going to the gym or doing CrossFit. Join a club and get fit.

13. A nice mattress, because sleep is vitally important and you should be spending 33,33 % of your time sleeping.

14. A notebook in which to write down a list of goals. Stop thinking about your life in weeks and start planning in years. Time goes by so quickly and if you don’t have goals and plans, you will end up being 60 and wondering what happened to your life.

15. Cooking classes. By the time you reach 30, you should have an amazing signature dish that you could whip up with your eyes closed.

It might all seem like a lot but remember, you don’t have to do it all in one year. You have 10 years to try and accomplish it all. What would you add to the list?

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