I am not here to tell you how to live, but if you’re already here, you mind as well stay here for the perspective. But wait, what is a millennial? Depending on who you ask, will likely depend on what reply you get. I will save you the time. This BuzzFeed article does a decent job of characterizing the millennial lifestyle. Let’s be honest, millennials are often negatively stigmatized for their lack of preparedness by the mainstream media for not being acutely ready for adulthood as prior generations were. Some may read that statement and believe there is truth in that statement and others may feel quite the opposite. I welcome both viewpoints.
The truth is, millennials are subject to vastly different societal norms, economy, and general lifestyle than their parents were. The globalized economy and the emergence of technology has altered almost every facet of American life—mostly for the better. However, like many millennials, we live in a world where the academic pathway to success forces the individual to take on large amounts to debt in order to secure an active income stream (i.e. career). Success can be achieved in many ways and a higher education is not for everyone. Moreover, money does not define success—however, society has a tendency to often attribute it to success.
Ask yourself what success means to you in your life and what you can do to make it better? This site is intended for you to learn as much about yourself as it is about learning from myself and others. I encourage everyone to do self-reflection and identify areas that need to be improved. Each and every person should have goals and if you do not, sit down and think about where you want to be one year, three years, and five years down the road.
Develop a Basic Plan to Secure Your Future
A basic plan should look something like this:
- In one year I want to save $1,000.
- By year three I want to have $3,000 and be almost done with college.
- By year five I want to have stable job and be making X amount in salary.
Understanding what your goals are, recognizing how to achieve those goals and planning the pathways to achieve those goals are vital to success. However, the most important aspect of success is execution. Every successful person in history got where they were by their ability to continue and execute.
If you want to optimize your life you must ultimately look within. There are also a few things you can do to improve your life right now and secure your future.
Change Your Mentality
Let’s be honest, we livein a market where goods and services run our life. In today’s society, wecannot change the broader economic environment. Yet, we can change the way weview it. My advice is to live more frugally. It’s okay to be cheap and buy yourcloths at Target. Sure, it’s not fancy, but it’s cost-effective. We live Iworld where costs are rising and the only way to survive is to spend ourhard-earned money efficiently. While it is easy to give in to pressure andenviously feed off your friends and family, AVOID IT. If you want to besuccessful, do not become a materialist and if you think you already arematerialistic, reflect on the things in your life that really matter.
As I said, money does notdefine success, however, it does provide opportunity and quality of life.Therefore, financial management is necessary if you want to able to achievecritical milestones such a buying your first car, having children, buying ahouse, etc. Every rich person always pay themselves before they pay out theirdues. For example, if you make $1,000 a month, 50% should be used for bills,30% should be used for needs and wants and 20% (at a minimum) should beallocated for savings. This strategy follows the commonly known 50/30/20budget rule.
Debt = Last Resort
Did you know onein five Americans has more credit card debt than savings?
Credit cards are ususeful tool for establishing credit and prove to creditors that you can managedebt. However, this is often abused and Americans use them for live outside oftheir means. Getting into debt is easy, but climbing out can be a ferociousbattle that causes strain and stress on yourself and a family. There are toomany articles on avoiding debt, yet it is worth mentioning because there are millennialswho are making this mistake.
Lifestyle is aboutmentality and habit. If you optimize your mentality, you can easily become whoyou want to be.
If you would like to become more minimalistic. See my article on “Minimalism as a Financial Strategy and Lifestyle.”