It’s no secret that when you first start out on your own, you're not exactly “rolling in the dough.”
The good news is that you're not alone! Everyone around you is struggling. We're all figuring our sh*t out, we're all trying to make rent, we're all paying off loans and we're all trying to eat something for dinner that doesn't involve pre-packaged noodles or cereal.
You can be one of two people in your 20s: one is the person who has a self-imposed spending freeze in order to save all pennies to make a better life for him or herself in the future.
If this is you, it's okay — don't spend the money.
But, you also have a chance to be the person who accepts your less-than-stellar financial status. You know that for the next 10 years, you'll be poor as hell, living off restaurant leftovers and considering a bottle of wine to be a “liquid dinner.” So, why not splurge a little and enjoy the best years that life can offer?
We're in our prime. We're young. We're fun. We're extremely good looking. We have the world at our fingertips. If you're a big enough risk-taker to move out and live on your own, you can take another leap of faith and hope that everything works out in the end — you may just have to make sacrifices along the way.
You should spend the money.
You probably have a group of best friends situated right smack dab in your city’s radius — but, what about those scattered across the country? These are the ones who have been calling and texting, asking you to visit and you've continually denied them because you simply, “can't afford it right now.”
It may mean cutting back on those late-night pizza benders or limiting yourself to only a few mimosas at Sunday brunch, but those sacrifices will ultimately allow you to do something far better with your money.
There are plenty of ways to budget your finances in today’s digital universe. Phone apps, websites, and bank reminders that can help you remember when to pay bills and let you know when you've gone too far with your spending. Those alerts may scare you more as an adult than the dark did when you were a child, but when that notification screaming, "SAVINGS ACCOUNT DANGEROUSLY LOW," repeatedly pops up on your phone after an impromptu shopping spree, you will start to learn your limits and make the necessary adjustments.
There is no substitute for a weekend away with your best friends. The miracle of getting multiple people with completely different schedules to agree on one weekend is a feat that very few can overcome. In the event that this opportunity does arise, it would be foolish not to capitalize on it.
Spend the money.
Shell out a few extra dollars to fly across the country and reunite with a friend who you haven't seen in years. The beauty of social networking is that it allows us to maintain friendships that otherwise would have faded due to distance.
The memories you'll create when you’re making a trip come together out of nothing are far more priceless than the take-out you'll order because the bars are too expensive. The shock and awe on your friend’s face when you all come together and surprise one of them on their birthdays will monumentally outweigh the weekend when you stayed in to save a few extra bucks. The stories you'll get to tell over and over again about the housing accommodations you endured because it was all you could afford will be something that will keep your friends bonded for far longer than a Skype conversation over the weekend.
Spend the money.
Unless you're a firm believer in reincarnation, you will only live once. Later in life, are you going to be the kind of person who looks back and regrets not making the trip to see a sunrise on the opposite coast, climb a mountain range while your legs are still young or try onion rings at every restaurant while road tripping across the country?
Or, are you going to be the person who looks back on your life knowing that you made a memory that will stick with you for the rest of your life, saw a sunset so beautiful that you got it tattooed on your arm and actually found the country’s best onion rings on a road trip with your friends?
You won't be that person unless you spend the money.
Photo credit: Wolf Of Wall Street