When your impulses don’t match your income

Young Money - Vanessa Kunderman
Young Money – Vanessa Kunderman

Photo by Luiz Sousa

Millennials can be lauded for a lot of things. We are great at manipulating technology and we’ve pioneered a lot of new ideas in the business and creative worlds. But one of the biggest misconceptions we have is that we think we are entitled to certain luxuries.
An annual vacation outside the province is a must-have, and our mornings won’t start on the right foot until we snag our daily mochaccino. Once we land our first “real job” after two to four years of college, we tell ourselves anything to justify having a brand-new vehicle or really expensive apartment.
After all, we rode the bus for sooo long.
“I’d rather spend money on experiences than on things,” many a millennial will say – but this is such bologna.
So many of them drive new cars, have brand new phones, and spend money on things over experiences. We spend so much so frivolously, we actually struggle to recognize just how much we have.
Yes, our twenties are a time for self-discovery and exploration. But we can also be really stupid with our financial choices, ultimately setting ourselves up for a more difficult time later. It can take years to get ourselves out of a mistake we didn’t think twice about making in the first place.
According to The Principles of Psychology by William James, our habits are practically solidified once we turn 30. It becomes exceptionally hard to relearn or teach ourselves something new.
We need to stop lying to ourselves and take a long hard look in the mirror if we want to enact change. Once we realize we want a lot of things but don’t need them, we can make better choices.
Many millennials grew up having a lot – at least more than our parents had. For the sake of our financial habits, this is unfortunate. We’ve lost the drive to work at a reasonable pace for the things we want, then buying them when it makes financial sense. We want things now. Heck, we want things yesterday.
But it feels so good to save for something and buy it when we can afford it. There’s no stress in the back of our minds that our credit cards are getting out of control, and the pride we get when we really own something is hard to shake.
We need to curb the lustful distractions we feel when we really want something.
We need to take a cue from James and get a grasp on our desires soon. And quickly – before it’s too late.
Vanessa Kunderman writes every month on money issues facing millennials. Email her at: hello@vanessakunderman.com

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