The 4 Hard Truths about Money
… that Every Young Person Needs to Hear (But No One Talks About)
Hard Truth #1: Everyone tells us that we have to be rich.
… Or at least look like we’re rich.
They tell us that we have to sport Daniel Wellington watches, Kate Spade purses, white iPhones and Calvin Klein underwear.
Our kicks have to be Yeezys, Jordans, Adidas Ultraboosts or Nike Flyknits.
Our laptops have to be MacBooks.
Our coffee has to be from Starbucks (or at least from some photogenic, hipster coffee shop).
And preferably, we’d have a nice Instagram or Snapchat filter for everything (plus a punchy, on-point caption).
Reading the news and the blogs only fuel our craving for more, more, more.
Much of the stuff online is about the lavish lifestyles of entrepreneurs who strike it big, or celebrities who make millions of dollars a year.
You know what I’m talking about:
Waterfront condo views.
Trips all over the world.
Lots of expensive alcohol.
We’re told that, to be cool, we have to live it up like these people on our newsfeeds. (Or at least, look like we do.)
But the thing is…
Hard Truth #2: Most of us can’t afford to keep up with the Kardashians.
… But we try to, anyway.
And don’t get me wrong when I say we can’t afford it because most of us succeed in looking the part!
I’m not even going to mention asking for money from our parents… Let’s just focus on what we spend on with our own money:
We go out to the hottest parties, eat at the tastiest restaurants and shop at the trendiest stores. Then we document everything on social media and wait for the likes — and lowkey-envious comments — to pour in.
We keep up.
Or at least, we look like we do.
But you see, there’s a world of difference between those celebrities and us.
Those celebrities don’t worry when their credit card bills come at the end of the month.
Those multi-millionaires don’t throw their phone bills in the corner and hope they go away.
Those successful business-people don’t start check their bank accounts online to see if they have enough cash to live on before their next payday.
Which brings us to…
Hard Truth #3: Some people actually have money to burn.
… But most of us DON’T.
Most of us don’t have the means to keep up with the lifestyle of the rich and famous.
Most of us live paycheck to paycheck.
Most of us are screwed if we lose our jobs (or if our parents kick us out) tomorrow.
And it sucks that no one wants to talk about saving money. (Except for this guy.)
I get it.
It’s something our parents told us to do. (And it’s only natural that we rebel against everything our parents tell us to do.)
And we don’t like limits. We’d like to think that as a generation, we have no limits.
To be more specific, we’d like to to think that we don’t have credit limits… Until our card gets declined at the cashier.
Which brings me to…
Hard Truth #4: We have to swallow our pride and make peace with looking not-rich and not-cool.
… For now.
We have to be OK with our deflating ego deflate so that 5- or 10-years down the road, we won’t have to worry about affording most things in life.
We have to learn to prioritize and think long-term. And by long term I mean, asking yourself this question whenever you want to buy something:
Would I rather look rich now or actually be rich one day?
Now, I’m not saying that we should never have fun or that if we make enough, we have the license to spend money mindlessly.
But my point is, we want to make sure that we can afford the big-ticket items in life down the road.
We want to afford the things that have longer term benefits than the newest DJI drone.
We want to have the means to pay for bucket list things like a walkabout around the world, a house by the lake or a degree at a prestigious school.
We want to have have the financial capacity to go after the right opportunities when they come knocking at our door.