Financial crisis delays adulthood, creates new financial benchmarks

While doing chores last night, I had fleeting thoughts of where I am in life. When comparing myself to another friend the same age, I thought, “I’m way behind.”

She’s married and just bought a new house. I’m single, in an apartment and drive a car that seems to get uglier by the second. And a new “Check this now!” light comes on every few months. I was comparing financial benchmarks without knowing it. I started questioning my adulthood.

That’s the crux of this article and video from Yahoo! Finance— Financial crisis delays adulthood for millennial.

Heidi Moore, The Guardian’s U.S. finance and economics editor: “They “just aren’t earning and saving the money that they could, and it is not their fault…This is a generation that has grown up with heavier student loan debt than any previous generation. So what’s happening — some have called it a failure to launch — but it means benchmarks to adulthood… have been pushed back.”

More and more stories are popping up these days about millennials, our debt, our inability to buy a home as soon as the previous generation, etc. It’s sad, but true. We have to redefine what it means to be an adult and successful.


Preparing for Fall Spending

It’s the end of summer, but not the end of spending. As I type, my car’s getting repaired. It’s sick and the bill comes to $409.44. Phew!I had braced myself for worse than that. And I will be paying with cash! Glory Hallelu!

The fall seems to be shaping up to be super busy. Here’s what else is going on:

  • I’m planning a friend’s birthday party
  • I’m going to a concert out of town
  • I’m going out of state right to support a friend
  • I plan to attend two homecomings, including my own at my undergrad institution.

But on the bright side, I was able to pay off a credit card by my mid-September deadline. So that’s the second of three short-term goals that I’ve achieved. Woo hoo! It felt so good to see that encouraging email from ReadyForZero acknowledging that achievement. And I made an extra deposit in my emergency fund. Filling that up to $1,000 is the third and last short-term goal for the year.

To help with budgeting, I also signed up for the Equal Payment Plan for my gas bill. That’ll prevent me from getting hit with bills of $120 or higher. I didn’t like that last winter. Instead, I’ll the same amount each month.

Perhaps, I should implement No Spend September to curb extra spending. That means not buying any:

  • clothes (Although, I’m coveting a new trench coat.)
  • shoes
  • jewelry
  • Groupons or Living Social daily deals

I’ll also try not to eat out if I can help it, so my homework includes making a meal plan for the upcoming weeks. Gotta tighten up.