I took a personal finance class before graduating so I’d know how to function like a real adult. Sadly being an adult is hard, even with a class about how to function as an independent person. Yes I know how I’m supposed to budget, how I’m supposed to save, and how I’m supposed to invest, but knowing how to do things doesn’t make the actions any easier.
It’s a tough world out here for twenty something’s. I know that. I’m making a pitiful salary, eating canned soup like fruits and veggies cease to exist, and constantly wonder if ill be able to afford the bills. But beyond all that, the toughest part for me has been learning how to ration off my giving. Now is the part where I’d seem like a good person if I said I was giving to a charity, but no, I mean giving my money away to friends.
Again, I know what it feels like for bills to be tight, so when people come to me asking for a bit of help, I always say yes. $20 to a friend who is missing a bit of cash flow. Dinner for a friend because he can’t afford it. Drinks for my other friend who seemed like they weren’t enjoying themselves. Hell, I am about to invest in buying theme park tickets because I felt bad that the person said they needed the money desperately. Helping people is wonderful, but it all adds up.
So here’s what I’ve learned as a young adult. Be generous, but watch for a return. I don’t just mean returning money. I mean returning the favor down the line. If you’re constantly picking up the tab, that’s not right. If you’re constantly paying and not hearing a genuinely grateful thank you, just stop. That’s called being used. And that’s a black hole that you will just keep throwing money into until the end of time.
Give money to people that will pay you back. Give money to people that return the favor occasionally. Cook dinner for your roommates that are super sharers with you. Or at least give your money and foodstuffs to people that care about you and would be there for you on a darker day. Just make sure your investing your money in people worth eating canned soup for.