The social media age has advanced the world in ways we may not fully understand just yet but it also has it’s fair share of drawbacks. One of the most evident pitfalls of social media is that anyone can post whatever they like. This allows users to post what I like to call “spin”, this “spin” is what user posts to force others to make certain assumptions about their lives. This could be something as simple as posting a fancy night out at a restaurant, an extravagant night out partying or a vacation to a desirable destination. Some people take it so far as to fake an entire lifestyle but if you were to meet them in person, you quickly realize things are not as they appear and it is all apart of their “social media show”.
When you are in your 20’s and beginning to gain real world experience, it can be easy to compare your life to those around you who currently appear more successful. This can lead to what is known as “keeping up with the Jones’s” or living outside your means to impress others. Living outside one’s means is one of the easiest ways to get into financial trouble. Instead focus your efforts on these three areas; such as your career, current financial outlook and the future.
Career: Most people in their 20’s are in a struggle to land the career of their dreams. The reality is that most will never land that dream gig. The next best move should be to find something that pays enough to cover your expenses and then some but also has opportunities for advancement. Never find yourself in an employment situation that does not offer growth. You must be able to find pleasure in your work, even if you may not love what you do, or else going to work will be a routine of torture. Do not be afraid to change jobs or career paths until you find the correct fit.
Current Financial Outlook: Although your 20’s may not offer the most glamorous or high paying job, what you do with your coins will have the biggest impact on your future. If your employer offers any type of retirement plan, you must enroll and begin to contribute immediately. This is also the time to begin to build credit while setting aside funds to grow your emergency fund. Taking care of these areas will pay dividends down the road.
Your future: Providing you take care of the previous two areas mentioned, things will start to look bright for you. Remember, it gets greater later. You will eventually pay down student loans, get a promotion or two and have that credit score that has taken you years to build. All of this will make purchasing a home or buying a car easier down the line. Making smart decisions today while keeping the future in mind is vital to your long term development.
Conclusion: I often have conversations with fellow 20-somethings that tell me how bad they want this or that and are frustrated that this or that is not how they would like it to go. My main objective is then to remind them that things are going just how they are supposed to. Be patient work on your career and finances, continue to work hard and things will be great in the very near future.