Millennial Life Plan [For Failure]

Millennial Life Plan [For Failure]

Here is the standard life plan for the average Millennial after they get through high school:

1) Pick a college and finance a degree.

2) Finance living expenses WHILE financing degree.

3) Graduate and find a starting salary job.

4) Ignore student loans during the 6 month grace period because…well…you can and it’s easier that way.

5) Get a new car!!!!!!! (Financed, but friends on Facebook congratulated you so it’s cool.)

 

6) BUY A SWEET HOUSE!!!! (financed way more than you can actually afford, but it looks nice and the kitchen is sick!! And, people congratulated you on Facebook so it’s still cool).

 

7) Student loan payments are due. Crap. Time to spend the next 30+ years in a cubicle that is about 2,490 square feet smaller than the reward castle you just bought.

8) GET CABLE AND MAKE BABIES.

 

9) FINANCE A MINIVAN FOR THE BABIES.

 

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You get the point. Unfortunately, this is the life plan that most Millennials feel like they need to follow in order to be “successful” and do things the right way in today’s America. I’m sure that if you are reading this you have some Millennial friends that followed my newly created 9 step program for Millennial [financial] failure, or YOU might have already taken the above steps. If the latter is the case…this may be an awkward article for you to finish out. You can try my Disney post instead, the babies will love it! 🙂

All kidding aside, there is still hope for you to make it financially…but it will take some hard work.

If I can get anything accomplished as the Millennial Money Man, hopefully it is to get people to understand that they don’t have to do things the same way as everyone else around them. Doing things differently with your money is awesome, and it gets results incredibly fast. In the interest of full disclosure, I want you to know that I successfully completed steps 1-4 on the above list. However, instead of continuing on the road to financial failure I decided to pay off my student loans really really fast. $40,000 in 1.5 years (on a teacher’s salary). This is how I did it:

I made my own life plan.

 

I decided to wait for some of the things on the list and grow my net worth now instead of later on. It’s weird, but by practicing delayed gratification, I’m getting instant gratification every time I look at my bank account. Who wouldn’t want that? If you want to have a good feeling every time you check your accounts, do exactly what I do every day. Look around, see that everyone has financed everything that they have, and then don’t do that. (It’s a little more in depth than that, but not by much). Check out this post for the details.

The average life plan for Millennials sucks. I want you to create your own plan like I have. I’m debt free and it’s freaking awesome.

 

I’m sure I left some things off the list, help me out. What else are Millennials doing to guarantee financial failure? The more we know, the more we can avoid the same things.

Live differently, your bank accounts will thank me later. ~M$M

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14 comments… add one
  • Hannah Mar 31, 2015, 4:01 pm

    Choice 10: Not believing that you can earn a high enough income to undo the net worth effects of choices 1-9; thereby insuring that you won’t work hard/smart enough to go swimming in the Benjamins.

  • Ashlee @ Save Money, Dammit! Apr 18, 2015, 12:54 pm

    Great post from a fresh, anti-entitled point-of-view!

    As a millennial, with millennial friends, I’ve noticed a general attitude of lackadaisical invincibility — not paying off debt as soon as possible (because we have the rest of our lives; it’s time to live it up), racking up more debt, on top of debt (because we have 30+ more years to pay it off), not saving for retirement (because we have 30+ more years ahead of us), not building an emergency fund (because youth and invincibility).

    • Millennial Money Man Apr 18, 2015, 3:20 pm

      Absolutely, I see it every day as well. I am starting to think that it stems from really clever advertising (you deserve a new car!, refinance your loans so you can afford a summer vacation, etc.) more than just a general attitude. Who knows…just trying to fix it 🙂

  • @LoveMyMacarons May 21, 2015, 12:28 pm

    Again, when it’s cheaper to buy than rent, financing a home (and not paying higher rent over the next 10 years like we did) seems to work better than not. Sadly we need cars to function in the city in which we live and so financing these things was our only option. Not everyone/Millennial gets into debt because they feel they have forever to pay it off. We chose to exhaust every effort to keep from accumulating it. Buying an economy size vehicle vs a high-end one, having a meager food budget for as long as we could stand it – this was a hard one, buying a one bedroom condo vs a McMansion are just some of the ways we “financed low…” – living well below our means until we have substantial savings to upgrade and have paid off the student loans is also better than just “living with debt” because “everybody has it.” We hope that someone will continue to show us ways in which we can get this debt down given that many of us do not make the money we were told we’d make after college. Life feels like one big lie at times, especially on bill paying day.

    • Millennial Money Man May 25, 2015, 12:04 pm

      I think you’re doing a great job. The reality is that there are times that you will have to finance things (like I did with my education). Living below your means gives you a strategy to get out of the debt FAST, which saves you money in the long run. Keep hustling, find some things you are good at and monetize those skills!!

  • Frugal Millennial May 25, 2015, 4:34 pm

    I would add that even if you can afford a new car/vacation/house/etc. without taking on credit card debt, you still shouldn’t necessarily do it if you have student loans. It frustrates me when people tell me I can “afford” something because I live with my parents. I make enough money to buy things, yes, but that money is going toward making extra payments on my student loans.

    • Millennial Money Man May 30, 2015, 12:57 pm

      Agree 1000%. I waited for all of that stuff while I paid off my student loans and couldn’t be happier that I did.

  • Brianna Jul 9, 2015, 5:46 pm

    This is interesting. We jumped right into baby making. We currently have zero debt (no student loans, credit, mortgage) except for our base model Van. We are working to pay it off quickly though while saving for a house and retirement. You can have kids young without going in the hole! I mean, if you want that is!

  • Janice Aug 24, 2016, 10:03 am

    I would also add that many people have expensive habits during their leisure time. Winding down at the end of the night with netflix while chasing a side hussle online (surveys, web testing, blogging etc) can feel so powerful as a way to take steps forward rather than swiping plastic towards more debt. I connect with the instant gratification that a stable bank account can bring.

  • Jen Oct 13, 2016, 11:47 am

    #4.5: Financing a wedding!

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