5 Common Money Mistakes to Avoid in Your 20s

One hundred dollar notes are seen in this photo illustration at a bank in Seoul January 9, 2013. Japan's drive to weaken the yen poses a threat to big South Korean exporters such as Hyundai Motor, but Koreans may benefit as the new president aims to shift policy away from supporting big exporting conglomerates. The yen's tumbling by some 10 percent to the dollar in the December quarter at a time when the won has been on the rise sent the shares of big exporters falling and raised concerns among the policymakers in Seoul. Picture taken January 9, 2013.  To match Analysis KOREA-CURRENCY/  REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won (SOUTH KOREA - Tags: BUSINESS) - RTR3CGGO

Your twenties are an exciting, albeit nerve-wracking and stressful time. Whether it’s school, work, or a budding relationship, it can become alluring and easy to shell out large sums of your hard earned cash. Keep your future financially secure by avoiding these 5 easy to make money mistakes.

1. Withdrawing your savings and trying to buy Haiti.

haiti

We’ve all been there. You just got your first “grown-up” job and now you have more money than you know what to do with. So, you ask yourself, what do I do with all of this? Unfortunately for an increasingly large amount of millennials, the allure to try and buy the Caribbean nation is strong.

I was able to sit down with Christina Diaz, a waitress here at the Norman Red Robin, and she was able to provide some context to this situation:

Hi, my name is Christina and I’ll be taking care of you today! Can I start you off with something to drink? Some tea? Water? A Freckled Lemonade? 

My advice? Don’t try to buy Haiti. Save your money for something else.

2. Throwing your credit cards at strangers like Gambit from X-Men.

gambit-x-men

It is a statistical fact that Gambit is the coolest member of the X-Men. If you don’t believe me, look at this study conducted by the University of Toledo:

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Adding to the fact that Gambit is a total boss in the video game Marvel vs. Capcom, it is easy to see why so many young people these days try to emulate him. However, as cool as Gambit is, there are pitfalls that can arise when one tries to do this. There has been an increase in the reports of young people running around yelling “CREDIT CARD!” and throwing their credit cards at strangers on the street. There are two major reasons why this is a problem:

1. Sometimes people don’t like having credit cards thrown at them.

2. If you listen closely in Marvel vs. Capcom, Gambit actually says, “KINETIC CARD!” and not “CREDIT CARD!” This is due to Gambit’s ability to create, manipulate, and control kinetic energy. 

This misunderstanding is becoming increasingly common and it is a dangerous one.

3. Putting money in a blender and drinking it.

money_blender

The pressure to look good has always been present in American society. Yet, through the power of popular culture and the media, that pressure is stronger than ever. Some young people have responded to the societal burden of looking thin by taking the seemingly logical step of blending and consuming their money.

While this may seem like a good idea on the surface, digging deeper into this activity reveals that blending your money and drinking it isn’t a smart move.

A recent study performed by the University of Phoenix revealed that blending dollar bills can be hazardous to your blender’s health. The fibers in the dollar bills can quickly cause wear and tear on the blades, making it less effective and ultimately costing you money.

The solution? Fill up your kitchen sink and let the dollar bills soak for about 30 minutes. Then, using your hands, tenderize the bills into a nice, mushy pulp.

pulp

What the end product should roughly look like.

This saves you money and hand-tenerizing your bills releases enzymes that makes it taste great!

Yum!

4. Funding a militia to storm the Kohl’s at the local strip mall. 

militia

There is perhaps nothing more American than hating the department store Kohl’s. It’s a tradition as old as America itself. Sitting at home, having the vein on your forehead bulge out in anger while thinking about them greedily hoarding all of those really cool jeans and backpacks is something we’ve all done at least once in our lives.

Kohl's

The face of tyranny.

The temptation to declare war and arm the men of the village with muskets is a normal and ever-present one. However, I must caution against this. Why? Because the price of muskets has risen dramatically in the past few years. See the chart below:

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As you can see, the price of Charleville muskets (the best kind of musket) has increased heavily in recent years. In fact, it’s risen so much that the price is hovering slightly over 6!

6 is a big number. It is bigger than 2. Because of this, I must advise against someone trying to overthrow Kohl’s.

5. Building a rocket and going on a solo mission to find out where the Universe ends.

universe

If there is one thing that the 1995 film “Apollo 13” succeeded in, it was ingraining into the collective American psyche that space can be really cool and fun. The fictional account of Jonathan Lerman (played by Tom Hanks) and his robot companion Kooby (voiced by Tobey Maguire) landing on a comet and getting into shenanigans across the galaxy captured our hearts and resonates with us even today.

apollo 13

It’s only natural to want to replicate what you saw on the silver screen. However, let us remember that Apollo 13 is, in fact, a movie. The Apollo 13 mission is completely fictional and didn’t actually happen. No human has ever been to space.

Add to the fact that recent studies have determined that the Universe is actually really big, building a rocket to go see where space and time ends might not be the best bang for your buck.

I was able to sit down with renowned astrophysicist and NBA superstar Kevin Durant to get his take on the matter:

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By simply avoiding these easy to make money pitfalls, you can ensure that your future is financially secure heading into your next decade!

21 Reasons Why I’m Better Than You

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Photo Cred: Matt Woods

1. I rode the Silver Bullet at Big Splash Water Park when I was 11 and wasn’t even that scared.silver bullet

I didn’t even cry when I got water up my nose.

2. I made a quesadilla once and it was pretty tasty. black bean quesadilla

It looked kinda like this.

3. I went on a mission trip once. sleepy

I hi-fived an orphan kid.

4. I read a lot of Hank the Cowdog books when I was little. hank

I probably read this one.

5. I’ve been to Universal Studios like 5 times. univ

I like going there.

6. I haven’t drowned yet. swimming

I can swim.

7. I’m not allergic to penicillin. penicillin

It doesn’t bother me at all.

8. I’ve kept a purple secretia plant alive for like 6 years now. IMG_5517

Here it is.

9. I saw Drew Carey in person once. Drew-Carey

It was in New York City.

10. One time I carried two McDonald’s cheeseburgers in my pockets for 8 hours and ate them when I got home. mcds-cheeseburger

I was wearing jeans.

11. I got 3rd place at the Mr. Mustang Pageant in High School.

mister mustang

It was cool.

12. I put Cholula Hot Sauce on my pizza.

hot sauce

It tastes good.

13. I know all the lyrics to “Can We Talk” by Tevin Campbell.

Tevin_Campbell_-_Can_We_Talk_song

All of them.

14. I can make fart noises by blowing into my knuckles. 

handfart

It’s pretty funny.

15. I take really big poops.

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Think this is a joke?

16. I’ve played a game of baseball before.

tee-ball

This isn’t me.

17. I have veiny hands.

IMG_8567

See what I mean?

18. I’ve been on a date with a girl.

date

It didn’t lead to anything but it went pretty well.

19. I have a poodle named Gracie. 

IMG_9144

She’s old.

20. I got called a “dumb mother-[expletive]” when I worked as a production assistant one time and it didn’t hurt my feelings that much.

PA

It was pretty hilarious in retrospect.

21. I choked on bacon fat three consecutive days in a row once and it didn’t stop me from eating it all the time.

bacon

It tastes too good to stop.

I’m pretty amazing but we can still be friends, I guess.

You’re welcome.

Answering Your Questions About Dating and Relationships

holding hands

I found this on the Internet.

Dear Jake,

“My boyfriend and I have been dating for about six months. It’s a great, healthy relationship and I love him very much. However, he wants us to start a sort of bible study/discipleship group together with just the two of us and I’m not sure how I feel about that. It just seems kind of early and a little rushed. What are your thoughts?”

From Amanda

Dear Amanda,

I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. However, I follow NBA superstar Kevin Durant on Twitter and here’s what he said about that particular topic recently:

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I hope his wise counsel gives you the answer you’re looking for.

Dear Jake,

“I have a crush on this girl from my college group at church. I want to pursue her and ask her out on a date but I don’t want to potentially risk our friendship and make it awkward if she doesn’t feel the same way I do. What should I do?”

From Tim

Dear Tim,

I believe you should step out in boldness ask her out if you have these feelings for her. However, I think you should be careful about how you approach that. I always use a 5 step process for when I ask a girl out on a date.

1. Find her in the lobby of the church.

2. Slap the cup of coffee out of her hand.

3. Grab her shoulders and look her square in the eye.

4. Scream “SCHWEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!!” in a really loud, high-pitched voice.

5. When you get released from prison, find her and ask her out.

I hope this helped, Tim!

Dear Jake,

“I went on a date with a friend from church recently and had a really good time but I still only see him as a friend. He’s made it known to me that he wants to take me out again but I don’t want to hurt his feelings when I tell him no. What do I do?

From Mandy

Dear Mandy,

Fake your own death.

Dear Jake,

I believe that I have come out of a season of singleness and that I am ready to start dating. But there are a few girls that I kinda have feelings for. Should I wait to see which one is the right one, or should I try to pursue each one and gauge interest that way?

From Oscar

Dear Oscar,

I too have been in the same situation that you are currently in. My advice is that you don’t necessarily pursue any of these girls in a dating sense right now. Try to spend time with them in a group setting or even ask them to get a friendly cup of coffee with you sometime. Just be sure to make the distinction that getting coffee is, in fact, not a date.  Those things are great ways to gauge potential interest from the girl and to determine if you should pursue her further. I think NBA Superstar Kevin Durant put it best when he tweeted this:

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Glad I could help!

If you have any questions or hate mail you want to send me, email me at arentjake@yahoo.com.