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.
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.