Budgeting/Living With Debt

9 Women On The 20-Something Milestones They Totally Gave Up On

By | Wednesday, July 27, 2016


Everyone has financial milestones they want to hit, but what happens when those milestones fall off track and they’re impossible to regain control over again? It happens. We’re human. For me, it’s important to remember that just because you set your sights on something and it doesn’t necessarily pan out, it’s never too late to reclaim that goal at a later date. Some things take me triple the amount of time to complete than I originally planned for, and that’s okay. Below are nine other 20-something women who reveal their own financial goals that they totally gave up on for one reason or another. Take a look.

1. “By the end of the summer I wanted to have $3,000 saved up. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. I set my savings goal way too high, and didn’t properly plan ahead of time with a detailed and strict schedule for myself. I didn’t realize how easy it is to slip up when you aren’t paying close enough attention to your progress. I thought I could achieve my savings goal by simply swiping extra money I made waitressing into the separate account, but it wasn’t that easy. When times were really good on the weeknights when I made a ton of tips, it was all too easy to save ‘yes’ to my coworkers when they wanted to go out after work — then I’d blow $50-$75 on shots and drinks to unwind after working the late shift. By the time all was said and done, I only had $100 left to put into savings. I have a month of summer left, and I only have $1,000 in there…sigh. Next year, I’ll need to step up my strategy and save smarter.” — Lena

2. “So, I have a difficult relationship to this because one of my financial goals that I technically ‘failed’ at was the fact that I told myself I wanted to buy a car this year. I’m almost 30, and being the person who owns a car feels like something a ‘grown up’ person would be able to do, and a marker of ‘adulthood’ I’ve always longed for. Since forever, I’ve been driving secondhand cars that were passed down to me (but I paid for them) by family and friends who had moved on to better ones. I felt like it was MY turn to finally drive something that felt sleek and new. However, when I really sat down to think about it, I realized that when I reflect on what really matters to me and where I feel like my money is best used, it’s not on a car. I feel like it’s something I should care about more, but I actually don’t. I’d rather spend my money on traveling, fabulous meals out, and great clothes that make me feel beautiful and put together. A car is big, ugly, requires maintenance, and is generally a huge pain in the ass. Instead, I’m now looking into renting an apartment that’s closer to public transportation, so I don’t need to rely on a car to get to work. It’s a financial/life goal I’m failing at, yes, but it’s one I perfectly okay with for now.” — Jessica

3. “My wedding fund. Seriously, I pressured myself and my fiancé to have enough money saved up so that we could get hitched and pay for a ceremony for about 40 people. But, the job I recently got was not what I expected it to be, and I’d rather have flexibility with my work, and do something that doesn’t make me feel like I want to kill myself, than hoard all of my money for a wedding. I realized that I had set an arbitrary timeline on myself to get married by the end of 2016, when in reality, no one cares if I get married next year. I was stressing myself out for no reason, and putting unnecessary pressure on us to save, save, save. Now, we’ve bought ourselves an extra six months or so, so we’ll have plenty of wiggle room to save. I don’t want to end up getting married and being stressed out as fuck beforehand.”  — Veronica

4. “So, my husband and I live in a very tiny apartment and one of our major financial goals was for me to get a higher paying job so we could afford a higher rent and a bigger place. Well, I’ve been job searching for the last four months and no such luck. The deadline to put forth our application is coming closer and closer, and we’re still not in a position to afford a more expensive place. After a lot of back and forth (and a lot of tears) we finally decided to extend the lease on our current place and suck it up — yes, it’s a small apartment, but we’ll make it work. I figured that the best possible outcome, which would actually be hella beneficial in the long run, would be me securing a higher-paying job while we’re in the midst of another year-long lease, and throw all the extra money into our savings account! It would be a built-in way for us to ensure we’ve topped up our savings fund before moving to a bigger place…which is kind’ve the more responsible thing to do anyway.” — Emily

5. “Recently, I got a pretty big freelance check from a client that I was doing freelance interior design for. Originally, I had budgeted the money to fund a pretty large financial goal. I wanted to start a 401k, and begin saving for my retirement. I really wanted to look at the several thousand dollar chunk of money and reap the sweet feeling of security and financial success by going something very ‘good’ with my money. However, by the time the actual project came to an end, ‘exhausted’ didn’t do how I felt a justice. I felt drained — emotionally, physically, and psychologically. The idea of throwing 90% of the money straight into an account I wouldn’t be able to access for years, made me want to fall on the floor in a sad, distraught heap. So, instead of putting all the money away, I put half of what I intended to in. I took the other half and booked three nights for myself at an AirBnB by the beach (which is about a four hour drive from my place). I packed my car up with supplies, books, and the like, and headed down for some much-needed R&R. Yes, spending money on vacationing might sound silly, but I 100% believe in the kind of self care that recharges you and helps to keeo you going. You can’t expect yourself to continue to do good work if you’re completely bruned out.” — Eva

6. “I really really wanted to be able to save up enough money to travel with my friends after college graduation, but I failed miserably. I knew that I needed to work longer hours at my job, but the hours simply weren’t available. One can only save so much money working at a coffee shop for near-minimum wage, and I did my best but I just couldn’t save up enough. However, I started proactively putting some money away to begin paying off my student loans (there’s a six-month grace period), and there was nothing left over to afford traveling with friends. It is what it is. I suppose not meeting one’s financial goals means making tradeoffs for others things, like anticipating the hellish responsibility of paying back student loans. Guh.” — Geena 

7. “Investing. I’d love to be able to say that since reading TFD I’ve been smarter with money, and have been able to start investing my money in the stock market. However, I can’t afford to work with an investment advisor, and I don’t know nearly enough about the stock market to handle it on my own. I told myself I’d dive into a few books and teach myself so I could start taking my finances to the next level, but I haven’t found the time yet. I hate admitting to myself that I’m STILL not investing and I’m over thirty, but I’m also not going to throw my money down the toilet when I don’t know what I’m doing. I know I’m behind the curve, but I just want to make sure I do it right — no mater how long it takes.” — Nicole

8. “It’s always been a dream to have enough money to afford a dog, and my boyfriend and I really wanted to buy one for ourselves. However, it’s not financially practical for us at the moment. The puppy breed we wanted was like, $800 to buy (???), which seems a little nuts. Plus the vet visits, food, care, medicine, shots, cost of dog-sitting care for when we’re out of town is just too much. I’m glad we did some recon work beforehand, so we knew what we’d be getting into, financially, before we brought the dog home and realized we couldn’t afford it. We had to be realistic. My boyfriend is still in graduate school, and I’m living off my $45,000 a year salary, which is just covering all my bills with a little leftover for savings. A dog just doesn’t fit into our financial picture right now even though we really wanted it to work this year.” — Molly

9. “My partner and I are 31 and 32, and we thought this was the year that we could afford to have a child. However we’re now realizing that we’re going to have to put it off another year. You see, we had crossed a few bridges a little while back in terms of where we were living. Long-story short, we were pretty reluctant to admit it to ourselves, but the cross-country move we went out on a limb to try was just not working out. The vibe of the new city wasn’t doing it for us, we were both unhappy with our social and work lives, and generally feeling off. We were hoping to spend a few years in a new place to acclimate ourselves before we planned to have a child there, but we’re a little bit behind schedule since we’re now moving back to the East Coast. It’s expensive as fuck to make a move this big, and we’re going to be depleting a good chunk of our savings to do so. That means taking a little extra time to make sure our savings account has been topped off before we bring a child into the mix. It’s of the utmost importance to both of us that we don’t experience any financial strain when we’re having a child, we both have enough to worry about that money can’t be something we lose sleep over. We’ve given ourselves a new deadline to have X amount of money saved.” — Luna

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