NOT HAVING FINANCIAL GOALS
This is probably the biggest mistake I made and one I was continuing to make until the last few years. Having a financial goal can be absolutely transformative and in many ways can take care of other mistakes, because having a goal that means something to you will help stop spending carelessly.
Since I set myself a financial goal of saving for a deposit for a potential house purchase, I've shocked myself at how much I've managed to save, sums I would never have thought possible on my salary. Had I had a financial goal back in my 20's, even something as simple as simple as saving just £350pm - between the age of 25 and 35, I would have saved in the region of £42,000! That sort of money would have come in very useful!
NOT CONSIDERING MY FUTURE SELF
I think a lot of this comes with just being young, living for the moment, and I had had a few people I knew sadly pass away quite young so I think that that somewhat influenced me into not thinking too far into the future and to live for the here and now. But I think I could have had a better balance.
A lot of the time now I think of my future self when it comes to money - and I don't just mean retirement funds - although lets face it, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world! But if living through a pandemic has taught us anything, it's that anything can happen and you cannot predict the future. I might have children in the future and want to take a few years off work whilst they are small - savings could make that happen. I could find myself ill and unable to work for a period of time, savings would certainly help then.
Even when I think of my current situation, where I'm trying to save in the hopes of purchasing my own home - back in my twenties, we'd had the global financial crash and mortgages were difficult to secure and it all just seems a bit pointless. But as noted earlier, had I just saved a relatively small amount each month, knowing that things and circumstances change in time, that would have made a huge difference to me now.
So overall, looking back at my twenties, I wish I had just taken a little more interest in personal finance and saving, educated myself a little more - which is something I have done in my thirties - but if I had done it just a little earlier, saved consistently a little sooner, even just a small manageable amount, it would have but me in a much better position now.