Money is a fickle thing. We want to flaunt that we have it, but we don't want to disclose how much we happen to have -- or rather, how much we don't have.
As a millennial, I feel as if one of the most taboo topics to discuss with one another is our finances. Sure, we may say, “Oh, I can't go out tonight. I'm broke until next paycheck,” or “Let me see how much I have in my account” before committing to something, but how often do we truly discuss our finances?
We live during a time where everything is on display. We longingly stare at Instagram accounts as we stuff Cheetos in our mouths wondering why we weren't born exceedingly wealthy, and consider finding sugar daddies to supplement the lives we think we were destined for.
But it's not just the rich and famous. We do the same thing to each other. It happens with people you went to high school or college with. You scroll through their social media and see this person went to Amsterdam and this person just bought a new car and this person has a flashy engagement ring and did you see her Louis Vuitton bag?
And we always text our friends, “What do they do that they can afford these things?”
In case you don't read anything on the internet, millennials are a generation that's lazy and entitled and never doing anything to further their lives.
But, contrary to this belief, I know a ton of people who have not one, but two jobs and are struggling to even scrape by.
There's rent, high-priced health insurance, school, a car (which also involves insurance), a cell phone bill and, you know, most people like to eat.
But this brings up an excellent question: Why don't we want to discuss our finances?
1. Student loans mean most of us are struggling.
Ah, the dreaded student loans. Most of the people I know are swimming in debt because of it. College costs a pretty penny and with interest rates through the roof, it's getting more and more difficult for members of this generation to pay them off.
Believe me when I say the student loan business is a damn good business to be in when people know that no degree means less money.
2. Responsibilities vary from person to person.
Everyone has a different set of responsibilities. There's your car payment, car insurance, health insurance, prescriptions, rent, internet, groceries, gas, credit cards, gym membership and the list goes on.
You never know what some people have to pay for and what others don't. Maybe your parents pay for your groceries or your landlord doesn't charge for utilities.
It would be rude to flaunt that you don't pay for something when someone else is struggling to get by.
3. Ignorance is bliss.
Similar to not knowing what responsibilities someone has in their financial life, you simply never know when someone is struggling.
We want to be able to work and play in equal measure, but with the job market requiring up to three years of experience for the entry-level job that would give us that experience, it's difficult to feel relaxed enough to talk about it.
Not being financially sound can lead us to make decisions that we don't want to discuss with anyone.
Did you opt to pay a bill instead of eating? That's not something you want other people to know. We can be ignorant of what someone else is going through and wind up upsetting that person without even meaning to.
4. My money is none of your business.
For me personally, I've never disclosed my financial situation. I'm very British (despite being American) in that way.
I don't ever want anyone to know how much I have and don't feel the need to let someone know when I'm struggling. Sure, I've divulged tidbits here and there to my closest friends, but it's still been surface-level and often quite vague.
I just don't see the need to discuss my financial standing with anyone unless it's absolutely necessary.
And I feel like that's why most of my friends don't want to discuss it either. It's frustrating to be working so hard, sometimes not even in our desired field as we gain work experience, without seeing the monetary results we were hoping for.
We don't want to let people know we can't go out because we'll overdraw our accounts or let our families know that saving just isn't as easy as they assume it to be.
Things are hard out there, my dudes. Do the best with what you have and hope for a better tomorrow.