I work in an office with a lot of young 20-somethings. Not to sound like a weird stalker or something but listening to and observing a bunch of fellow millenials is really interesting to me. I work in the beauty industry so the young 20-somethings I work with tend to be a little more superficial than average. Don’t get me wrong, they’re generally all nice people but there is always someone talking about either shopping or how broke they are. I have a general idea about salaries in the industry so it really amazes me how someone making that much can be employed and broke. I appreciate nice things too but I like not being broke more. Here are some sure-fire ways to be young and broke:
1. Buy lunch everyday
Most people in my office buy lunch everyday. I work in Midtown Manhattan, where the average salad will cost you $13. I have to admit that I buy lunch more than I should too but I’m trying to be better about bringing my own. There’s also a juice bar and Starbucks downstairs so everyone seems to be buying a smoothie or latte at least 2 times a day (those are like 5 bucks each). So lets do the math: $23 a day, $115 a week, $460 a month…on LUNCH.
2. Wear designer everything
I like to shop more than I really should and it would be nice if I could afford some designer items but I really can’t justify it (other than a purse that I’ll use everyday). I notice a lot of designer clothing, shoes and handbags in the office everyday. Personally, I think its fine to buy expensive things if you can afford it, but if you’re complaining about how you’re broke, that leads me to think you can’t afford it?
3. Go out every other night
New York City can be one giant playground for a 20-something. There is always some party or event to go to. I’m more low key so I tend to stay away from those type of things but the nightlife can definitely be tempting. The mornings at work always seem to consist of someone talking about how much fun they had the night before (even on a Tuesday). A night out in NYC can get really expensive, from dinner, drinks, and taxis. You can easily drop $100. Ouch.
I realize I sound judge-y in this post and I kind of am judging some of the 20-somethings I know. But I feel like one of the first things you need to learn in your 20s is to not live above your means. Spending all your money on partying and shopping might be fun now but it’ll make your 30s kind of miserable. Financial stability requires some sort of sacrifice – even if it means eating ramen and staying home watching TV.
Do you know any young 20-somethings with bad money habits?