14 Financial Things You're Not Prepared For In Your Late 20s

It's easy to have a spend-it mentally in your early twenties. For many of us, it's the first time in our lives that we're making money and we want to spend it — can you blame us? And while our parents might warn us not to spend it all, and the importance of putting money away, it's hard to foresee the types of expenses that emerge until they're right in front of us —glaring us in the face in a red bold print at the foot of a bill.

There are things you can guesstimate: utilities, food, rent, transportation, wardrobe. But then there are things that you don’t see coming. And these are the types of things that are hard to save for, the incidentals. It’s almost as if allowing yourself to save money for them encourages the possibility that these things will happen. And it’s much easier to live in a mentality of "oh no, that won’t happen to me." But accidents happen. Unexpected bills arrive. Things you never ever considered would require your money, do.

And in your late 20s, when you’re trying to establish or maintain good credit, you have no choice but to figure it out and pay it off. These are the things that you will have to pay for — you should be prepared to tackle them. Because as my dad always says, "Of course you didn’t know it was going to happen — but you can’t leave yourself in such a vulnerable position that something happening can throw you off your whole life."

Loan Increases


You were probably reminded of this right after college, but you will probably forget: your student loans will increase when your salary increases. Be prepared to pay more as you get promoted with work.

Medical Bills

You will have to see specialists. The copays are more expensive and your insurance might not cover them all. Don't risk your health by avoiding doctor visits that worsen debilitating conditions.



If you’re freelance, you’ll have to pay taxes at the end of the years and join a union for health insurance. You'll have to put a side money in a savings account in order to be able to cover the owed taxes.

Dental Emergencies

You will have a dental crisis. You will be drunk and chip your took on a beer bottle or you will get hit in the face with a football at the park or get a massive cavity that keeps you up at night and you will need emergency dental care.

The Law

You will be fined or get a ticket. If you drive, you'll get towed and need to pay to have your car released and then pay for the fee. If you don't park you'll probably get a J-walking ticket or fine for playing your music too loud.

Surprise Bills


You will get stuck with a massive bill. Maybe it was a tapas dinner with your friends and everyone got drunk and left you with the bill. Maybe you got into a fender-bender. Maybe your dog peed on someone's expensive couch. There will be an ut-oh you have to pay for.

Unforeseen Trips

You will have to take a trip. A friend who moved away will have a baby, a relative will get sick, or you'll need to fly to Iceland to save a relationship. You will need to be able to afford a last minute flight.


You will be invited to weddings and have to buy gifts for the engagement party, the bridal shower and the wedding. Plus you'll have to buy a dress and go on a bachelorette trip. Now times that by all of your friends and get ready to afford it.

Tech Purchases


You will need a new computer or phone. You will accidentally drop your phone in the toilet and need a new one out of contract. You'll spill coffee on your laptop and it will die.


Something will break in your apartment. The shower, the toilet, the stove. You'll have to hire a repair man out of pocket in order to avoid flooding and further damage.


Something will be stolen. Probably your bag or phone at a bar. Maybe your bike. Maybe both. The world is cruel and unfair, be prepared to pay for it.



You will incur a late fee. You will forget to pay a bill or it will get sent to a old address and you will have no idea you owe anyone anything until you hear from a collection agency.


You or someone you know will get sick and you will need to miss work, just after you used your last sick day. Expect to get you pay docked.

Stupid Purchases


You will try to impress someone you like by purchasing something you can't afford. Maybe it will be a $500 dollar bottle of wine. Maybe it will be tickets to a Knicks game. Maybe you'll get drunk and buy tickets to see Hamilton in the year 2099. Either way — forgive yourself, and be prepared.

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