The main reason I started this blog was to develop some personal accountability around my finances – I need to confess some of my greatest financial missteps and track my progress as a recovering financial flake. A second aim of the blog, however, is to further the conversation about some of the damaging narratives regarding Millenials, money, career, and lifestyle that continue to be perpetuated. The reason I think this Millenial sociocultural dynamic is so compelling and warrants more attention is because I completely fell into the trap.
It’s this “30 is the new 20” philosophy that makes your twenties seem like a write-off decade where you shouldn’t preoccupy yourself with menial tasks such as building a solid career or saving for retirement. You should travel, volunteer, hook up with countless people, soulsearch, and wander aimlessly for as long as you can – you’ll have time to adult later!
Imagine my surprise when I stumbled across this TedTalk and Dr. Meg Jay schooled me on how 30 is not, in fact, the new 20: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhhgI4tSMwc
That was a tough pill to swallow since I only found out about all this at age 29…gah.
So why do I need some financial accountability in my life? Confession time: I went full-on Millenial Mode for the last decade. After finishing not one, but two university degrees (man, those pieces of paper are expensive), I ran off to live abroad at 23 and spent almost every disposable dollar I had on travel, food, drink, parties, and adventure. Then I went back and got another degree!
What was my rationale? You only live once. Weekend in Paris? You only live once. Countless happy hours at rooftop bars? You only live once. Obscene gym membership at the most expensive hotel&spa in the city? It’s good for me – and you only live once.
Before YOLO was even a thing, it was my catch-all for feeling okay about recklessly spending every dime I had. And just about everyone (I am so guilty of this) feeds into it. What are some things I heard on repeat during my six years of travel and work abroad?
“Better do it now while you still can!”
“Better do it now before you _______________(get married/have kids/settle down)!”
“This is what your twenties are for.”
“Your twenties don’t even matter! Your thirties are the new twenties!”
“What if you die tomorrow? Live life to the fullest.”
Ugh. It makes me cringe a little just reading it back. What makes me cringe even more is that I was often the one saying these things to others! I drank the Kool-Aid and I really believed your twenties were a decade that didn’t matter much, financially or otherwise. What I have only started to learn is that this narrative can be super destructive. Your twenties do matter, and in hindsight, I wish there had been more of a balance during that part of my life. Life is meant to be enjoyed. Adventure and travel are rewarding. But so are financial stability, meaningful relationships, and a fulfilling career.
I loved my carefree twenties so much and I don’t regret them. But I think I could have still enjoyed them and not used “being in my twenties” as a license to be irresponsible and wasteful. The cold, hard truth is that my twenties plunged me into horrible financial patterns that I am only now starting to escape.
This blog will document my road to financial awesomeness, and hopefully provide others with some insights and inspiration to take charge of their own financial lives by reading about some of my big f*ck-ups. Even though my twenties were a bit of a financial disaster, it’s never too late to take the reins and get it together.
The time is nigh – let’s make it rain, people.