What’s your relationship with money like?
I know, sorry. If you just sighed, laughed facetiously, and/or cried a little, I understand. Money is a stressful thing. It seems to me that so many people, especially millennials and young people, have a negative relationship with money. It’s hard to save money these days, and many of us struggle to find jobs that’ll pay a decent wage, despite all the college degrees and credentials we thought would be the key to a happy–or at least amicable–relationship with da cash.
In reality, after we got those degrees, we had to watch those entry level or “new professional” (read: kinda low pay) jobs scoff at our lack of the prerequisite 5-7 years of post-degree, full-time experience. So some of us became frustrated. We shifted our gaze to other things (read: lower pay jobs). Things like unpaid internships. Things like slightly above minimum wage jobs. Things like “just getting by” enough to afford the next meal and pay the damn electric bill. I’m not here to provide my take on the merits of these things, or my thoughts on the state of the U.S. job market, or even a rebuttal to a Boomer’s accusation that millennials generally lack grit–perhaps some other time. I’m here to talk about the relationship between young adults and money.
Doesn’t it seem pretty bad?
Just the mention of the word “money” generates a flutter of excitement, followed by a wave of anxiety and stress for so many people who have actually already given up hope, not for a relationship with money, but for a good relationship with money. I’m no expert, but that sounds unhealthy to me. Anyway, I feel like that dynamic tends to contribute to the formation of pretty sour feelings toward money, in general. At least from my observation. It’s a strange dynamic because everyone wants it, but most people are totally jaded by it. It’s a vice. Talking about it is taboo. It’s a shallow pursuit. Those who fervently chase it are greedy. Right…?
Genuinely curious here, but is it possible to change our relationship with money from unhealthy to…great? Even given the state of the job market in the U.S. What would that look like? How would we pursue it? How would we perceive it? How would we perceive ourselves? And before you go there, no I’m not talking about what we perceive as value or valuable or wealth. Health is wealth, family/friends is wealth–I get all that. But I’m talking about actual cash right now.
I remember reading that money is an expression of energy. Think about that one for a while.