From Our Readers
September 17, 2015 12:48 pm

A vast majority of people seem understand the struggles of being a broke 20 year old. However, few people tell you just how much judgement you will still have to deal with in the process. We are here to debunk some seriously common myths about being broke in your 20s.

You’re miserable or you’re having too much fun

It’s either “where did all your money go” or “you make terrible money at your job so you must just sit at home and wallow in self-pity.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Of course there are some extreme cases on either end of the spectrum, but most of us live somewhere in the middle. We know when to spend a few bucks to go out and have a good time and when to just relax at home.

You’re not skilled

What 20-somethings lack is usually experience, not skills. Just because you’re broke doesn’t mean you don’t have any skills. Think of all the hidden talents your friends have. Some of us are closet artists or maybe we are crazy good at cooking. You can never judge a book by its cover.

You don’t know how to save money

Okay, so my savings account is not the most impressive thing I’ve ever seen, but I do know when my budget can allow for savings. A lot of 20-somethings are working 2 or 3 jobs at a time just to pay the bills. Not all of us are irresponsible with it. Unfortunately, frequently we have to give away our money as soon as it comes in.

You have no stability in your life

The only reason I have not had stability in my life is because shady leasing agencies decided to raise my rent on me and thus I had to move house more than I’d like to admit. While a couple of moves were my fault, most millennials are stoked to not have to jump ship every six months.

You’re wasteful

One of the first lessons I learned when I moved out of my parent’s house was that nothing can go to waste. You just can’t afford to throw away food when you’re hoping a few bucks will allow you to eat for the next week. Not only that, 20-somethings are craftier than ever. Turning old used items into new ones is kind of our specialty.

You’re a frivolous spender

I’ve been lucky enough to have some pretty decently paying jobs in my 20s. However, I rarely buy things for myself (outside of food). If someone is struggling to pay my rent each month it is not because of overspending. It’s probably because they chose to buy a reliable car, are paying off student debt, took a much needed (and cheap) vacation or are trying to live in the not-so-scary part of town.

You don’t take care of yourself

With scarcity of money comes responsibility to take care of yourself. Not being able to afford a gym membership is pretty common. A lot of us still make time for things like running and hikes. Also, learning to cook some well balanced meals is kind of forced upon you unless you want to eat fast food everyday. Sure, 20-somethings can make some unhealthy choices now and then, but who doesn’t?

You’re lazy

Quite the contrary actually! With most of us having multiple jobs on top of trying to get some kind of education, who has time for anything else? Luckily, we are an understanding bunch and lunch dates, movies, and coffee quickly become our means of social interaction.

You don’t care about the future

This has to be a joke. Most 20-somethings are so scared about the future that we feel neurotic. For many of us getting an ‘A’ on that exam doesn’t mean anything until we’re actually holding that degree. Earning a good job with stable pay and starting to save for retirement are up there at the top of our worries.

You mooch off of your family/friends

Friends don’t let friends go homeless or hungry. I’ve known many friends and family members that needed help when things were rough. Younger folk still know how to fend for themselves. We know how much work goes into earning that dollar so most of us will pay you back and then some for anything we are forced to borrow.

You’re not ready to settle down

I would have given anything to buy a home at 23. By that time I was so sick of moving all the time and having awful roommates that marrying the next guy that asked me out seemed appealing sometimes (just kidding). Sadly, finding your forever job and partner in crime at such a young age is pretty rare. When it comes we’ll be ready for it.

You’re not ready for a healthy relationship

True love isn’t the same for everyone. However, being treated right is almost universal. Knowing that there is so much that lies ahead scares the heck out of a lot of 20 somethings. So, though we may not want to (or be able to financially) settle down right now we’re probably open the thought of a committed relationship. We understand that everyone deserves respect.

You don’t care what others think

Sometimes I wear comfy clothing for fashion or because it’s laundry day and I don’t have the cash to get 9 million quarters in order to wear my “professional jeans.” I probably care too much about what people think.

You don’t have ambition

When I was very little, probably between 6 and 8, I decided that I wanted to be a cartoonist. I carried that goal with me into high school. Now that I “grew up” a bit and started to look into other areas that I was interested in. Dreams are what you make them.

You’re lost

Although I will always love the show Lost, I don’t feel like I’m stranded. Millennials are figuring out what kinds of things they will or won’t stand for in their lives. I don’t think I’ve ever met one person that had every little detail figured out at such a young age, but most of us are getting there. Just because I wander doesn’t mean I’m lost.

You’re afraid of getting older

Hitting the ripe old age of 25 does give you some perspective, but it’s also a wonderful and exciting milestone. No one could pay me enough money to go back to being 20 years old…nobody. 20-somethings are usually excited to move on to bigger and better things.

You’re careless and wild

My boyfriend and I had a whole conversation about what kind of tea I’m going to drink in the morning and why. Most days are so thought out that we don’t have time to get too crazy. Yeah, we like to party as much as the next person, but we also schedule days to do nothing at watch Netflix – at least that doesn’t cost much money.

You don’t appreciate the value of a job

20s people are incredibly thankful to have a decent paying job. Some others of us are just so thankful to have a job that we run out and get more than one job. However, we won’t stand for unfair treatment, even if we are young. If a job doesn’t treat me well I will find one that will.

You’re entitled

This is one of the worst ageist and stereotypical remarks I’ve ever heard. 20-somethings have to work so hard to get so very little. Paying for four measly little years of college in 2015 means going into debt for the rest of your life. Let’s put this idea to rest once and for all, huh?

You don’t have anything figured out

A lot of millennials will relate to all or some of the following: I have figured out how to make myself dinner for fewer than 5 dollars. I figured out what kind of traits I want in a life partner. I figured out where I might enjoy living. I figured out what materialistic items are important to me. I have a slight idea about what I’d like to do for a career. I have figured out what I want to wear today. Am I totally sure about everything? No. But I’m not that clueless, either.

Trisha is a freelance writer from Boise, ID. She is a dedicated vegan and promotes and all around healthy lifestyle (including financial health!). You can check out her blog thatdangvegan.com and find her on twitter @thatdangvegan

[Image via HBO]

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