You know how hangovers get worse with age? Well, something similar happens with lots of other bad habits beside drinking too. Missteps and unhealthy indulgences that feel consequence free at 23 are multiplied in effect by an aging body or additional responsibilities at 33.

That's why it pays to quit bad habits early, before they start causing you to stay in bed for three days or startle in horror when you check your bank balance at the end of the month. But which problem behaviors should you target?

Writing for Greatist recently Locke Hughes offered a whole lot of suggestions. His 29-item list of all the unhealthy, unkind, financially imprudent things we all sometimes do when we're young and inexperienced is a great place to start for 20-somethings committed to getting their lives in order. Here are a few ideas to whet your appetite.

1. Flaking out on friends

No, if you're an actual adult, being stressed and exhausted isn't a valid excuse for cancelling plans with friends at the last moment. Hughes points out that "research shows hanging out with a friend can boost your mood and decrease stress."

2. Buying cheap clothes

Buy fewer, higher quality items and you'll not only look better but end up spending less in the long run. (Plus, the planet will thank you.)

3. Being too scared to ask for a raise

What, you're just going to settle for being underpaid your whole working life? It's time to woman (or man) up and just ask for what you're worth. "Asking for a raise (that you've truly earned) isn't that scary," insists Hughes. "Here's some advice that'll help you feel prepared and calm your nerves."

4. Overusing the word sorry

Hughes isn't the only one telling young people to cut this out sooner rather than later. "No need to apologize for responding to a text two hours later. Or for staying in on a Friday to save some money and get some sleep," he reminds those prone to reflexive apologizing.

5. Not saving money

There will always be tempting baubles to buy, but "socking away cash is one of the smartest things a 20-something can do, experts say." Hughes goes on to offer specific savings targets: "In your 20s, aim to save 10 to 15 percent of your paycheck; in your 30s, try to put 15 to 25 percent in your savings account."

6. Not pursuing your passions

Science says you're going to regret not giving your passion a shot and Hughes agrees. "Reading, writing a blog, knitting, doing Zumba--whatever it is, don't let someone's judgment stop you from pursuing your passions," he writes.

7. Waiting around for "the one"

"It's tempting to swipe endlessly on apps, but if you're not actually open to giving someone a chance (even if they don't look like the guy or gal of your dreams), then you're not going to find someone," Hughes reminds young people.

8. Checking your phone during meals

"Whether you're with friends, a date, or your family, it's not cool," Hughes bluntly states. "Whatever is so intriguing on your phone can wait." Amen to that!

What other bad habits would you add to this list?

Published on: Jul 21, 2016
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