I often wonder how I stumbled into this crazy world of personal finance. Sure, the main reason was that when I was a fresh new grad with no job and a student loan to pay, I started reading personal finance blogs to see what other people in similar situations did to better their circumstances. The other reason I would have to say was actually the recession. When I got out of university in 2009, that’s when the recession hit, and although we’re apparently out of the recession now, it’s three years later and it’s still a pretty sh**y time to be a young adult. Sure you could argue that there’s no World War happening or that things are still pretty good in North America compared to the struggles that those in the Third World have to deal with on a daily basis, but looking at a few stats from 20 or even 30 years ago will show you it’s no cake walk living in your 20s in 2012.
Yesterday I just so happened to read Rob Carrick’s article on how he thinks young adults really do have it tougher than their parents who were young adults in the 80s. He outlines how everything was more affordable, including tuition, cars, and housing, so the dream of being a new grad and being a homeowner with a job and a car really wasn’t that far fetched. Fast forward to 2012 and this dream might actually just be a dream. In this other Globe and Mail article, it was deduced that it will take the average young adult 20 years to buy a home of their own. 20 f***ing years people! That’s not ok!!!!
On top of all of that, what’s equally frustrating is that our parents’ generation just don’t seem to understand or believe that us young adults are living in tougher times than when they were in their 20s. Jordann from My Alternate Life wrote a great post all about this. But seeing as we probably can’t change the older generations’ opinions, or change how expensive things are now, or how hard it is to find a job after graduation, the only thing left to do is to be smart, keep positive, and not give up.
If you want to have the adult life you thought you would have when you were a kid, then it’s time to work baby! It’s time to make a budget, time to save as much moolah as possible, and time to set some realistic goals. If you want to own a house or a condo, then start calculating how much you’ll need for a down payment and how long it will take you to save it. If you want to stop being strapped for cash, it’s time to get a side hustle and say goodbye to some weeknights and weekends. If you want to get rid of your student loan or consumer debt, then f***ing do something about it! What’s that saying again? Let your haters be your motivators? Well how about let your naysayers be your motivators!
There may be no guarantee that despite how hard you work you may never get to experience all of the same luxuries that your parents had (IE. house with a yard, multiple cars, paid off mortgage by 50) but I don’t think we’ve got to be the generation that just got dealt a bad hand. I’m sure as hell gonna try my damnedest to afford the lifestyle I thought I would have when I was younger, and you should too. But God help my children if things don’t take a turn for the better. Let’s hope one of them is Zuckerberg smart otherwise it’ll me trying to pitch my kid for some Honey Booboo-esque reality show, southern drawl and all.
Do you think young adults have it hard these days? If you’re a young adult, what is your game plan for having a comfortable adult life?
-Mo’ Houses out!