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.

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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.