There's a well-known piece of writing by Nadine Stair, an 85 year old from Kentucky, USA, called 'If I had my Life to Live Over Again'.
Get into the habit, right from your very first pay, of not spending everything you earn. Saving is not the only way to build wealth, but spending more than you earn is a fast way to lose what you have.
Nadine talks about how, with the benefit of hindsight, she would have taken more risks, dared to make more mistakes, and taken on more challenges. It is rather tragic that we don't acquire the knowledge we need to live our life in the best way until it is too late. Here are the key pieces of financial advice I would give young people to enable them to enjoy life more.
Have clear goals for how you want to use your money and manage it proactively. You can choose how and when you want to spend your money, so do it in a way that will achieve your goals.
Take your time to enjoy life and build wealth. Those who acquire wealth slowly and spend it slowly do better in the long run.
Wait as long as possible until buying your first car. Taking on debt to buy a car that needs a high level of maintenance means high outgoings and less ability to create wealth.
Take out life and health insurance while you are still healthy. That way, you will avoid exclusions or premium loadings later in life.
Buy your first property as soon you are able to, even if you rent it to someone else. Property grows in value over the long term and you can use other people's money (from the bank) to invest in it.
Liz Koh is an Authorised Financial Adviser. The advice given here is general and does not constitute specific advice to any person. A disclosure statement can be obtained free of charge by calling 0800 273 847. For free eBooks, go to www.moneymax.co.nz and www.moneymaxcoach.com