While doused in boredom, I found myself scrolling through articles of “why millennials aren’t buying diamonds” and “maybe millenials should stop eating avocado toast”. Honestly, I am pretty sure I am part of this generation but somehow feel both connected and disconnected to it.
A couple years back, I complained without censorship about the financial hardships that my bank account was facing than that of my parents’ when they were my age. Car payment, car insurance, rent and utilities, phone bill, gas, groceries, entertainment….
I began to wonder how on earth people my age were even entertaining the idea of having a baby…where were they getting that kind of money? According to Time.com, the cost of raising ONE child to the age of seventeen totals to $233,610, so that is excluding all college finances to come. To push it further, the average student loan debt is roughly $37,000 (taken from Forbes.com). No wonder people can’t pay for themselves to live.
I got to thinking, how did my generation get stuck in this (for lack of a better term) shit storm? I feel like we had incredible childhoods: the best cartoons, our long days spent playing outside, Gameboys that had connection cables so you could play against your friends, and Warheads Sour Candy. Our childhood was almost…too good. In fact, it was so good that we didn’t see this shit storm coming, the one that was brewing for us as we were young. I bet you, if someone had warned this generation of what was to come, we would have been far more proactive.
Right now, my average cost of living for one month totals to over $1,600 and that includes rent, car insurance, car payment, netflix, spotify, itunes, adobe, groceries, gas and dog food. Not too bad right? Here’s the catch, I make only $1,700 a month. I have less than $50 in my savings account which used to have $1600 in it, at all times. My checking account? HA, I am lucky to keep it in a three-digit range.
I cannot complain, I mean, I can and I am, but overall, I have a safety net that understands how hard I am trying to provide for myself (and not succeeding in doing so). Yes maybe I am in debt to my parents at this point but it’s better than being in debt to myself via the bank. My credit score has been dropping since I moved away from Utah in February and last month I was not able to pay off my whole bill so there is another tick against me.
It’s such a bizarre concept to me, that we stress out so much over these aspects, that we feel like we can’t breathe today because we need to save half of it for tomorrow. Half of our generation is out chasing their wild in a van, not paying a dime in rent, and probably experiencing a better overall life while the other half are strapped to what society told us we should do: 9-5 job = career. But wait…..you mean to tell me that we all die? That when we die, the money we made won’t matter? That when we die, the only legacy that remains is the good we put into the world around us? Where’s that college 101 course?
So no, no I am not going to stop eating my avocado toast but you also won’t see me buying a diamond ring for my finger, nor will I ever let someone do that. I will spend my money on experiences more than I will spend it on the decor in my home; on my dog more than the clothes in my closet. Am I scared about the mishaps and misfortunes that will present themselves along the way? Like my car going completely dead in the middle of a four day rain storm in a town with only one auto body shop that can’t actually fix anything so you have to take it an hour to the nearest major town for work…..yeah, it scares me. But it’s life.
I would rather die happy, in debt, than die with my pockets full of money and not a damn thing to show for it. Chase your wild, the money will come.