The 14 Best Purchases You Can Make in Your 20s

Fresh out of college and working in your first job, it can be hard to figure out what to do with your money. Sure, the basics—rent, food, going out—are obvious, but what about the other things in life? When should you splurge on something at West Elm and when should you save by getting it at IKEA? A recent Business Insider article discusses just this and lists out the 14 smartest purchases you can make in your 20s. You should think of these purchases as investments toward your future.

  1. New experiences. From skiing lessons to that trip to Costa Rica, your 20s are an opportune time to spend on life-enriching adventures. “Now is the time to get out of your comfort zone and try something new,” the story says.
  2. Freedom from student loans. Pay off more than the minimum each month. You don't want to have to worry about student loans later in life when you might have to pay for a mortgage or children. 
  3. A respectable work bag. You want to look professional at your work place, right? So splurge on a nice work bag. The same theory applies if you travel for work. Get a presentable weekender or rolling suitcase.
  4. Protection for your digital files. It pays to back up your work, so if you have to buy an external hard drive or online storage, do so.
  5. A nice interview suit. In order to succeed at an interview, you need to feel confident in yourself, and how can you do that if you don’t look the part? Shop the sales and make sure it fits well.
  6. Self-improvement. Even though you are finished with school, you don't have to stop learning. Take that public speaking or calligraphy class you always wanted to take.
  7. A good mattress. Plain and simple: It’s the foundation for a full and restful night’s sleep.
  8. A home. If you can afford it and know that you will be in the same location for at least five years, look into what it takes to buy a home.
  9. A reliable car. Don’t buy the most expensive car, purchase the one that you can count on to get you around.
  10. Investments. Start to put money away for retirement, and consider investing in low-cost index funds.
  11. Insurance. Health insurance is crucial to avoiding exorbitant medical costs. Other insurances that are essential: home, car, renter’s and disability.
  12. A quality set of pots and pans. Eating at home is an effective way to reduce costs, so outfit your kitchen with the essential tools and then use them.
  13. A laptop. You need a computer to answer emails, job search, Facebook, etc. 
  14. Access to some kind of workout. Make an investment in your health, and work out regularly.

Want to get a head start on these smart purchases? Here’s a stylish rolling suitcase.

What do you think of this list?