Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
I turn 30 today. Yes, I know it is as if I have lived half of my life already. And only a few hours remaining before it is over. But trust me, everyone, who had ever turned 30 all felt this way. I am sure some felt the worst of this as well. As I was thinking I thought to write what I have learnt in these 30 years. And what I wish that I knew before. More like what I would ask my 18-year-old self to do. I know I know. Maybe it is even sad that I am writing this on my birthday and boring you. But I wanted something to be there so that when I am a year older from now on I can reflect and see what mistakes have I corrected and what I have repeated.
Why are you not celebrating you ask? Well, that is not my thing so to speak. One of my fellow readers had asked me about the same question and I had written this at the time. It has been a few years since then but I plan on going back to that article every year and updating it if there is anything that I could add value to. You can go ahead and read it here. I would appreciate it if you could give it a thumbs up as well while you are at it if you like.
Without delaying any further let’s dive in. What I exactly wish I knew before I was 30 years old. There are a lot of learnings and a lot of things I wish I knew before I was 30. But here are the major ones that have haunted me for a very long time.
Learning 1: Tax, I wish I knew how to do tax
I can not emphasize this enough. I am even flabbergasted that why in the world school curriculums do not even have this in this era as well. It is so important for every one of us to know how to do our own taxes. This is one of the primary things that if you understand then your financial life will be much more secure than you want it to be. I seriously wish that I knew how to do taxes properly when I was 18 so that I could have had a better financial understanding and stability much sooner in my life than where I am today.
Learning 2: I wish I started more side hustles
Trust me when I say this. I really wish that I knew all the things that exist that helps you get a supplemented income. You can always get a job but this supplemented income is something that you get out of your own creativity. Not by trading your time and efforts for money. You see, when we do a job all that we do is we have some expertise and we trade time and efforts in exchange for money.
But the problem is that we have to always do something that is expected of us. We do not have our own freedom there. This is exactly why if you have something of your own you would be freer to experiment with stuff and do as you please. No matter which role you play in a corporate environment you will always have to play by the books and the margin of error in that set-up is much much less than it is in another.
When I was going to college I did some side gigs such as I was doing some tutoring and I was also doing some other freelancing stuff on my own but I did not have any idea of such a big economy that exists outside of that. This was part of a location problem as well. But I am to blame myself and I know that if I did some more research I would have identified all that extra stuff which I would have easily pulled off. I wish somebody told me or there was some direction from anyone or at least I would have spent some time to identify myself the things that could make money for us and I wish I did take all those actions to make a successful outcome of it.
Learning 3: I wish I had wasted less time
During college time I spent a lot of time gaming and I did not use my time correctly. Even though I do not regret that time which I used in gaming I wish I spent more time doing things that are more productive. sometimes it’s very important for us to focus on things that matter rather than focusing on our immediate requirements. At the time it was very easy for me to play and spend time gaming but I did not focus on my future which is what I sometimes regret. Not that I would change any of that time that I have spent but I wish there was some way or somebody who would have told me that there is a better way of spending time and I wish that I would have spent that time being more productive which would have helped me in the long run.
I know for a fact that if I would have spent the time gaming as well as using that time productively possibly I could have recorded a video and then uploaded that back into the YouTube and I would have made much more outcomes from the time that I’ve spent only in gaming but there would be some outcome from YouTube as well which would help to get a side hustle or a side income. so I regret not spending that time positively but not regret that I have spent the time playing games with my friends.
Learning 4: I wish I explored the world more
When I say I wish I explored the world more I do not mean that I would have gotten more visiting places but what I mean is that I wish I would have spent more time exploring what are the different options that are available for income. What are the different options that are available for investing? What are the different options that can make our time more productive?
During my college days, I used to understand that the world is limited and it is only limited that you get a job and then you get promotions in your job and then that’s it. But the world is not limited there are so many options which can be taken. if I meet the 18-year-old of myself I would strongly advise exploring the world more in terms of doing things that really matter. Not to watch porn using the Internet but use the Internet on productive things which are going to get better results or which is going to get better over time. Which is going to help in your career which is going to help in your life which is going to help you live a life that you can be proud of.
Learning 5: I wish I invested more money than save it
Everyone who comes from a middle-class background knows that we are always told to save money. and that should not be the case ever. at least until when you are thirty you should always try to invest your money and only save the person that is required for one year of survival. after that parties met any saying that you get on top of your survival amount you should always try to invest because as you grow your responsibilities increase and you do not get more opportunities to have your investments in order.
I’m not saying that when a person reaches thirty they should not invest but what I am saying is that the risk-taking capacity that 18-year-olds have is different than a person who is already thirty and is having responsibilities. When you have responsibilities you basically cannot take the chance which you would have taken if your age was lesser. Considering you do not have much responsibility when you were younger. There are some cases where your responsibilities could substantially increase even before you’re 30 but excluding those cases usually, when you were younger your risk-taking ability is much more than when a person is already 30. I wish I had not fallen into this trap and invested my money than saving it.
One Life. So No Regrets.
Add with this I wouldn’t change a thing about how I have spent my 30 years so far. But if I was asked what I could change then these are the five major things I would say I want to change. And if anyone is reading this before they’re 30 years old then I would like to suggest to them that you do implement all these and you will thank me later. If anyone is reading who is more than 30 years old then I would like to tell them that you got this. It’s okay the mistakes have already been made we cannot do anything about it. But from now on we can always change the course and take action which is going to help us in the long run.
Do let me know in the comments below how you felt when you reached 30 or if you have not then what changes would you make in your life so that your thirties are happier than your twenties.
I am a 31-year-old dude from a lower-middle-class family hailing from a small village Narasinghpur in Cuttack, Odisha, INDIA. I have a post-graduate degree in M.Tech from BITS Pilani. I started blogging back in June 2014. You can check out my journey and all that I have learnt all these years on my website.