When I graduated college, I remember being so excited to leave. I thought that I was going to land my dream job the minute I walked off of that campus, leaving behind 20-page papers, failed relationships and my dreadful student loans. To my surprise, I hadn’t nearly prepared enough for the journey that I was going to embark on soon.
Going to school from the time we are 4, sometimes 3-years-old is a phenomenon that I’ll never understand. I can honestly say I wasn’t taught independence or freedom of expression from my public school educational experience. I was taught to read and do what I’m told. But what do you do when you are not told? I wasn’t at all prepared or cut out for this life and by the time graduation came, I was forced to suck up my insecurities and find my way on my own. The idea of having my own place, a good job and freedom was a lot more glamorous sounding than the actual experience.
At a certain point in my millennial life, I was stuck in a position of being uncomfortable. It wasn’t necessarily being broke that had me stuck, but more so being lost in a career that I had no business in. I was unhappy at my job, doing something that I was not interested in AT ALL. The only thing that kept me going was the consistent check that was directly depositing into my account bi-weekly. At that moment, I realized that adulting was really hard. Not only because you actually have to make decisions on your own, but because sometimes you have to do things that you don’t want to do because, well…that’s life. And it gets rough at times.
In New York, there’s no such thing as living comfortably. According to Business Insider, the average apartment in NYC has recently climbed to approximately 3,400. Even making $68,000 a year, which is an average salary for a Marketing Manager, it would still leave you struggling to break even with your rent and other necessities. In an article by Forbes Magazine, it has been noted that you are only supposed to spend 25-30 percent of your monthly earnings on rent.. In reality, A 1-bedroom in NYC hasn’t been less than $1000 in almost a decade.
At 24 years old, I definitely find myself struggling to budget income. On any given day, I am either cautiously choosing between shoes and transportation fares or gourmet lunch and my ready-to-make house burgers. Eating has become a luxury that I can’t even splurge on without being super careful. I try my best to find bargains every chance I get, but it’s definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
We put a lot of value into the money that we make and how we are spending it, but the truth is, money is going to be spent regardless and I have learned that not everything you want is a necessity. By weeding out those damaging indulgences, I have learned to be a much better saver. However, I’ve also learned that no matter how much I save, I will always have to spend. It’s a domino effect.
Recently, I’ve developed new ways to improve my spending habits in order to benefit from my earnings. Every two weeks I budget my earnings by writing down my expenses that I have to make as well as the ones that I want to make. Everything is spent in level of importance and urgency. Rent always comes first. I’ve turned over a new leaf to save money sufficiently without depriving myself of natural indulgences i.e the nail salon once in a while and maybe a shopping trip every now and then. However, adulting doesn’t get much easier after this and there isn’t enough money in the world that could help fund bad habits. Take it from me, it’s best to start young.
A struggling millennial