I turn 25 this year (next month, in fact!). 25 – a quarter century, does feel like a milestone, and makes you ponder over “Am I where I wanted to be at 25?” And that got me thinking, how important is it really to be aligned to your age-goals?

When I turned 21, my 25-year old goals were: to be independent, and justify the costs of my education. I feel I have achieved both. But considering, how our goals evolve with time and age, one has to wonder how difficult or easy it would be to achieve the goals of my 35-year-old self?

Being married with kids, or having traveled to at least 7 new countries, or becoming a VP of a company, could be the goals of my 35-year old self. But how do I achieve these, so that when I turn 35, I don’t look back at my 20s with regrets…?

What I need to do

To not regret, I will have to accomplish. And to accomplish anything, I would need money. At 25, I might feel invincible and treat the world as mine to conquer, but a decade more of experience, would teach me that everything comes at a price. As, whatever I may wish to do in life, could be determined by how financially sound or independent I am.

For instance, if I wanted to be a musician, I would have to work a day job to firstly survive my art, and then spend my earnings towards buying instruments and setting up a studio of my own. But what’s interesting about this situation is that, whether I sacrifice my time for money (in the day job), or set up my dream studio (pursue my passion), both these choices are determined by my financial position.

What this really means

In simple words, having the choice about how you wish to spend your time in life, will be determined by how much money you have at that age.

Why? Because time like money is a resource too

Think of time as a resource, and you will understand how rare it is. Some people even go on to say that a key to success in life is to treat your time like a CEO treats his. You only get so many years to make money actively, and your needs only increase with age.

So, at 25, I may feel complacent, as I have anyway achieved what I set out to, and feel the abundance of time. But eventually, I will have to think about managing my money for my older self, so that at 35, I am not dependent on anyone for money.

As of now, I have a certain amount saved up for the rainy days, and it gives me the peace of mind, that I am neither dependent on my parents, or friends, in case of emergencies. And, for that feeling of contentment, money should be your priority too at 25.