You’re Not As Behind As You Think

Are you breaking even on your budget? Are you still eating ramen after college even though you thought you’d be eating steak and lobster? Are you renting a modest 2-bedroom apartment with your best friend?

That’s okay. You’re doing okay.

As a full-blown (and proud) millennial, the realization that it takes us a little bit longer to grow up than it did our parents has been eye-opening. While we stumble through our student loans, stagnant wages, expensive home ownership dreams, and bill payments that cannot be stopped — it hit me.

I didn’t consider myself a full-blown adult until I started to pay ALL the bills. And yes. I mean — all. the. bills. 

Including removing yourself from the “Telus Family Plan” cell phone bill that your loving parents started when you got your first flip phone.

So, really — some of us become adults even sooner than our parents did.

I mean, for me it was the day after starting my first big girl job. I suddenly had to figure out how to pay rent, make minimum payments on my maxed out credit cards I thought were “free money“, and still afford groceries on a seriously sad salary.

We are all working towards giving off the appearance that we are adults. Some of us are really good at pretending, while others are actually pushing themselves to the limit. Sometimes it’s frustrating watching your friends complain about expensive bills, all the while still receiving a monthly “gift” from their folks to help pay their bills.

The bright-side, though? You are totally going to be ahead of the game even though you think you’re going to be behind.

Although you’re currently struggling — you know how to struggle. Although you’re currently living modestly — you know how to live modestly. Although you’re on a tight budget — you actually know how to budget.

I truly hate the term “adulting”, but the fact of the matter is — we are becoming responsible human beings with each passing payday, retirement plan, and mortgage payment.

The fact that you’re seeking information on how to prepare for the future, how to save money, how to pay off your debt, and how to get by being a completely lost human (like me) is awesome.

So, if you’re feeling super behind compared to the rest of your friends, here are some things I’m sure you can relate to. Maybe some, maybe all — but either way you’re getting there. You’re becoming a financial superstar, and I’m extremely proud of you.

You might feel behind, but…

You’re learning to prioritize, and admitting that you have priorities in the first place
Growing up means that all of a sudden, out of nowhere, your brain decides that your priorities are changing. Night clubs become less important, setting up an RRSP or 401k seems very important, and meal prepping while you watch Netflix (because you cut cable) is a regular Sunday.

You’re spending more money on things you actually need
Like, oh, I don’t know, groceries and tylonel.

The only person you rely on to make your decisions is good old you
As good as your friend Becky-Ann is at giving advice about whether you should swipe left on Tinder or whether that extra shot of tequila is a good idea — she’s probably not the best person to go when you’re considering a new job offer, deciding where to invest an extra $500, or whether financing a vehicle is a smart financial decision.

You’re used to making mistakes, and you’re also okay with it
Literally none of us are perfect. So, it’s perfectly acceptable to eff up and move on as though nothing happened. It’s also okay to take responsibility for things too. We’re learning, and that’s one of my favourite parts of our generation — we want to learn and take accountability.

Feelings are kind of relevant to how you, well, um, feel
Ironic, right? You actually have to take care of your feelings so that you can be this full-blown functioning adult that you’ve come to love. The best part of growing up? You start to know what these feelings mean about the people you surround yourself with, and the personal relationships that make you who you are.

You’re more health-conscious and aware of your personal appearance
Sometimes you’re wild and get a salad, you love to floss, and you’ve even used an iron or steamer before an important event.

You’re financially responsible for yourself
You can’t fall back on anyone else if you’re struggling making ends meet. It’s so scary, but it’s also so liberating.

Your savings goals seem astronomical
Rather than saving for a night at the bar, a new video game, or a lipstick (because yes, that once required saving), you now need tens of thousands of dollars to achieve your financial goals. It’s a well-worth-it-struggle.

Sleeping in is a waste of time
And also, sleeping in is like, 8am. You feel like a literal piece of dirt if you miss any part of a day because you have errands to run god dammit.

Cheers to being the best version of yourself, and doing it with all of the crap that this world continues to throw at you each and every day.

Just remember, no matter how hard things get — there will always be a bright-side (that cynical you hates), there will always be a friend to cheer you up on your down days, and there will always be a tomorrow that brings new opportunities.

Look at me, being all inspirational and shit.

What is a piece of advice you can give someone else who feels like they’re behind? Or what is something that makes you feel right on track? Let me know in the comments! 

5 Responses to “You’re Not As Behind As You Think

  • Love this. I plan on showing this to anyone who tries to talk down to millennials. We KNOW how to hustle, save, and budget, because we haven’t had much of a choice. Sure, some of us aren’t exactly the brightest when it comes to money, but most of us have learned to be smart with it (more than I can say about the boomers and x’ers who are still taking out loans and have no retirement savings…. but what do I know?)

  • Most of the time, as I speak with other entrepreneurs, is that when things get tough, that’s when most leave the business. But if you push just a bit more, you’ll learn the key things that will separate you from most.

  • We are all definitely getting there! I have to remind myself that 5 years ago I was renting an unheated room in my brother’s basement. Now I have a business, and am easily handling my rent and obligations. This year has been rough on the credit cards due to business needs plus medical needs, but I am still going to be ok. Eventually, I will be more than ok.

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