The Money Tips You Wish You Could Give to Your Younger Self

These should look familiar from all those times you've said, "If I'd only known!"

Life doesn't offer a lot of do-overs -- unless you're one of those reality TV contestants the producers love and keep inviting back. ("Boston Rob is on Survivor again?")

Instead of getting a do-over, what if you could go back and give your younger self some financial advice, maybe to prevent a money blunder you've made? What would you say?

Here's a likely top 10. These are tips people often wish they could give their younger selves to protect their behinds later on -- when they wound up kicking themselves over money.

10. Start saving for retirement ASAP

Hand putting Coins in glass jar for with retro alarm clock  for time to money saving for retirement concept
pinkomelet / Shutterstock

You'll want to open a retirement account and put away as much money as you can. If your boss offers you the chance to save in a 401(k) retirement plan through work, grab it!

You won't even feel it as you put away a portion of your income before taxes are taken out, and your company may match your contributions up to a certain limit.

Your savings will grow through investments, which you choose. You'll be able start taking the money out after you turn age 59 1/2 — which, yeah, is a long way away for young you! But there will be penalties if you make withdrawals too early.

9. Don't treat yourself so much

Picture of a shocked young brunette woman in white summer dress wearing sunglasses posing with shopping bags and looking at camera over pink background.
Dean Drobot / Shutterstock

As you earn more money, you might feel tempted to spend more on little presents for yourself. You deserve to have nice things! Right?

But don't give in to those urges to splurge! Making lavish spending a habit can just leave you feeling empty.

Buying stuff doesn't buy you happiness. Younger Self, Cornell University researchers will find that experiences bring more long-term contentment. Save your money for that trip of a lifetime instead of blowing it on something frivolous.

Use our calculator to find out how much you need to save each month to reach your savings goal.