I'm Touring The United States! Starting in June, I'm conducting private events in 23 American cities. Click here for full details.

Post Reply 
How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
Author Message
BBinger Offline
Chubby Chaser
**

Posts: 457
Joined: Apr 2015
Reputation: 8
Post: #26
RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
(06-10-2019 05:50 PM)Kelent Wrote:  Peace Corps might not be the best of options, but it's certainly not the worst. Staying home is much more detrimental than going abroad and getting paid (even if its only a stipend, and only amounts to 4k every year) due to the lack of opportunity where my parents moved to. I'm virtually cut off from any real work due to an inability to drive. The closest major road is something like 10 miles away, and its a large highway. Staying with the family would mean staying in abject poverty without the ability to learn anything new or get out of the house. For the last few weeks I've basically just been going to work and coming home, because there's very little to do.

In terms of time, I'll agree that spending time in Latin America in a language intensive is much less expensive (time-wise) than 2 years in the Corps. In terms of money? I'm unconvinced. Plus, I don't want to learn Spanish. Maybe you do, that's great; I don't. I also wouldn't want to learn Chinese in LatAm through Spanish speaking instructors. If I have 4k in the bank out of college and student debt, why would I want to add more debt on top of it to spend less than a year in LatAm when I can spend two years (effectively) rent and food-cost free while waiting for bonds to mature, learning a language, and come back 8k richer? Are there other options to go abroad that would be much easier and likely yield more money (such as teaching English in Korea)? I imagine there are, yeah, and I'm still considering things.

I guess I should've put in the original post that the goal for me isn't to retire by 35, but to lead a full life. I'm not expecting to get massive amounts of wealth. If that is your goal, and it seems to be the goal of the vast majority here, I wish you all nothing but the best in it. While money is great, and a lot of money is better, it isn't the be all end all to life, as I maybe falsely assume you're making it out to be.

You mentioned some things in the Beltway being more traps than opportunity. Please, enlighten me with some examples.

Money and wealth are their own sort of freedom. No, it isn't everything in life, but it is involved in everything. Having money is a great way to alleviate feelings of being poor related to being poor. If your posts are honest, you are richer than most Americans simply for having a positive, rather than negative net worth. Your net worth mentality is good.

As far as the Beltway being full of traps, there are a lot of jobs that pay very poorly in relation to the local cost of living. It's a similar situation to New York. There is no reason to pay New York costs of living unless you are a banker. There is no reason to pay beltway living costs unless you are a top lobbyist drawing seven figures. Many jobs in the Beltway with incomes enviable most other places simply won't justify the cost of being there.

Teaching English in Korea is probably a better option that the Peace Corps. I suspect the Peace Corps isn't deploying people to places that speak Mandarin or Cantonese. Mind that many people going abroad to teach English end up not learning the local language during their stint. Anyways, South Korea is a big economy and there's probably demand with the three letter agencies for US citizen speakers of Korea.

The problem with the Peace Corps is that you see an opportunity to go up 8k USD. That's a positive net-worth move. The two years however is a substantial opportunity cost that could have been spent doing just about anything else.

If you want to make money while working in Government and learn a language, most of the military services have some sort of enlisted "Linguist" specialty where you have to qualify for a serious clearance, pass some tests, and they send you to learn a language of their choosing. Or you could go the officer route, roll the dice, and on a long enough timeline you could get slotted in to learn a language at the same school. Plenty of people through history with interesting lives have done the military thing, and coming out of the service with a clearance is a way into later government gigs.

I understand the desire to get out of the US. I did it. It's an adventure and leaving the US upgraded my overall quality of life.

My big point is... not every anxiety is pathological thing that ought to be addressed by papering over it with a change in mindset. You describe an anxiety that seems to be well founded, and the way to alleviate it in a healthy way is to change the circumstances setting it off. We have world we have to live in, and this world only accommodates one system of arithmetic. You have the insight to know you are relatively rich though poor in absolute terms, and to have been living accordingly while you are young. Embrace it. Find yourself and all that, but don't let marketing and "authenticity" gurus misdirect you into doing it in "popular" or "respectable" ways if the numbers don't make sense.
06-10-2019 07:08 PM
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Kelent Offline
Beta Orbiter
*

Posts: 109
Joined: Jun 2017
Reputation: 1
Post: #27
RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
(06-10-2019 07:08 PM)BBinger Wrote:  
(06-10-2019 05:50 PM)Kelent Wrote:  Peace Corps might not be the best of options, but it's certainly not the worst. Staying home is much more detrimental than going abroad and getting paid (even if its only a stipend, and only amounts to 4k every year) due to the lack of opportunity where my parents moved to. I'm virtually cut off from any real work due to an inability to drive. The closest major road is something like 10 miles away, and its a large highway. Staying with the family would mean staying in abject poverty without the ability to learn anything new or get out of the house. For the last few weeks I've basically just been going to work and coming home, because there's very little to do.

In terms of time, I'll agree that spending time in Latin America in a language intensive is much less expensive (time-wise) than 2 years in the Corps. In terms of money? I'm unconvinced. Plus, I don't want to learn Spanish. Maybe you do, that's great; I don't. I also wouldn't want to learn Chinese in LatAm through Spanish speaking instructors. If I have 4k in the bank out of college and student debt, why would I want to add more debt on top of it to spend less than a year in LatAm when I can spend two years (effectively) rent and food-cost free while waiting for bonds to mature, learning a language, and come back 8k richer? Are there other options to go abroad that would be much easier and likely yield more money (such as teaching English in Korea)? I imagine there are, yeah, and I'm still considering things.

I guess I should've put in the original post that the goal for me isn't to retire by 35, but to lead a full life. I'm not expecting to get massive amounts of wealth. If that is your goal, and it seems to be the goal of the vast majority here, I wish you all nothing but the best in it. While money is great, and a lot of money is better, it isn't the be all end all to life, as I maybe falsely assume you're making it out to be.

You mentioned some things in the Beltway being more traps than opportunity. Please, enlighten me with some examples.

Money and wealth are their own sort of freedom. No, it isn't everything in life, but it is involved in everything. Having money is a great way to alleviate feelings of being poor related to being poor. If your posts are honest, you are richer than most Americans simply for having a positive, rather than negative net worth. Your net worth mentality is good.

As far as the Beltway being full of traps, there are a lot of jobs that pay very poorly in relation to the local cost of living. It's a similar situation to New York. There is no reason to pay New York costs of living unless you are a banker. There is no reason to pay beltway living costs unless you are a top lobbyist drawing seven figures. Many jobs in the Beltway with incomes enviable most other places simply won't justify the cost of being there.

Teaching English in Korea is probably a better option that the Peace Corps. I suspect the Peace Corps isn't deploying people to places that speak Mandarin or Cantonese. Mind that many people going abroad to teach English end up not learning the local language during their stint. Anyways, South Korea is a big economy and there's probably demand with the three letter agencies for US citizen speakers of Korea.

The problem with the Peace Corps is that you see an opportunity to go up 8k USD. That's a positive net-worth move. The two years however is a substantial opportunity cost that could have been spent doing just about anything else.

If you want to make money while working in Government and learn a language, most of the military services have some sort of enlisted "Linguist" specialty where you have to qualify for a serious clearance, pass some tests, and they send you to learn a language of their choosing... Plenty of people through history with interesting lives have done the military thing, and coming out of the service with a clearance is a way into later government gigs.

I understand the desire to get out of the US. I did it. It's an adventure and leaving the US upgraded my overall quality of life.

My big point is... not every anxiety is pathological thing that ought to be addressed by papering over it with a change in mindset. You describe an anxiety that seems to be well founded, and the way to alleviate it in a healthy way is to change the circumstances setting it off. We have world we have to live in, and this world only accommodates one system of arithmetic. You have the insight to know you are relatively rich though poor in absolute terms, and to have been living accordingly while you are young. Embrace it. Find yourself and all that, but don't let marketing and "authenticity" gurus misdirect you into doing it in "popular" or "respectable" ways if the numbers don't make sense.


The Peace Corps actually does deploy to PRChina. They put you in a university setting and you get 3 months of language training, the local stipend, 8k at the end, whole bit. It's one of the only reasons right now that I'd want to join PC, outside of spreading a positive image of the US abroad. Korea would definitely mean a larger salary, as well as more savings/cash to spend down my student loans. I've considered 2 years in Korea, then going to China with PC, but life is uncertain and only what we make of it. Would you say that learning Korean (or whatever local language) while doing my stint would be optimal if I ever come back to the US?


I am unable to join the military due to a disability. Trust me, I've tried and looked into it multiple times. Every recruiter I've talked with has said they appreciate my drive, but it wouldn't get cleared through medical.

There's no reason to live in New York unless you're a banker, yet millions of people call the city home whether for a year, a few months, or even their whole life. Most cities are like that. In absolute terms, I think it largely depends on your social network and the fabric of the immediate area.

I didn't have the best upbringing, and so when I came to the Beltway the first thing I did was find friends. As a result I've had an amazing few years here, despite realizing that yeah I likely won't be able to afford living here unless I get a CS job or something in lobbying that pays the bills. I have started to recognize that I can always come back if I do leave, and my friends have told me I shouldn't tie myself down to the city so young (they're primarily late 20s, a lot of them former military).

What do you mean by being richer than most in terms of my net worth? I've done volunteer work in communities that are in dire poverty so I understand I'm fortunate to have grown up in a relatively more well-off situation, but I guess to every person with a thousand in the bank, a hundred thousand means rich, to that person a million, and so on until you get to Jeff Bezos. Its all relative, is what I'm trying to get at.

I save something like 80% of my paycheck because there's simply nothing to really spend it on, and I enjoy seeing the number rise to know I can pay for things when they come up. Even if it's just $300-$400 every few weeks it adds up. Once I get a real salaried job, I know those savings will hold me over if anything goes south.

I really appreciate your last paragraph. Not letting marketing gurus or others influence my decisions, but to live life and find myself all the same- whatever that even means these days. I wouldn't call myself a minimalist, but if I had to I think I could easily pick up, move to the Balkans or wherever life took me, and live out of a backpack for a few months. Not as a backpacker but like, literally one of those travelers who lives out of a backpack whether out of necessity or desire to do so (is that the same thing? I've always considered backpackers to strictly be hiking/hitch-hiking rather than staying semi-sedentary)

Where did you end up going abroad, how did you manage to get out?
(This post was last modified: 06-11-2019 12:28 PM by Kelent.)
06-11-2019 12:25 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
BBinger Offline
Chubby Chaser
**

Posts: 457
Joined: Apr 2015
Reputation: 8
Post: #28
RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
(06-11-2019 12:25 PM)Kelent Wrote:  The Peace Corps actually does deploy to PRChina. They put you in a university setting and you get 3 months of language training, the local stipend, 8k at the end, whole bit. It's one of the only reasons right now that I'd want to join PC, outside of spreading a positive image of the US abroad. Korea would definitely mean a larger salary, as well as more savings/cash to spend down my student loans. I've considered 2 years in Korea, then going to China with PC, but life is uncertain and only what we make of it. Would you say that learning Korean (or whatever local language) while doing my stint would be optimal if I ever come back to the US?

I would be very wary about going to mainland China as an agent of the US goverment. While you may not be interested in problems or tit for tat drama, drama may still be interested in you. While patriotism may fuel a desire to spread a good image of the US abroad, the US government is unpopular abroad.

Having more languages is a good thing. It's probably the healthiest thing you could do for your brain.* Aside from communicating with other speakers of the language, the differences in grammar and logic of the language offer you a new set of tools for breaking down problems. One serious caution about the Chinese language is that it is structured to insulate against the future. A Chinese speaker can make a statement that seems to offer a strong commitment if you are applying English language assumptions, but from a Chinese perspective the statement meant nothing of the sort.

Note: By learning a language I mean understanding it to the point you can at least construct you own intelligible sentences and such. I do not mean the flashcard or "language hacker" perspective of memorizing scripts or building a broad set of canned conversations and declaring mission accomplished.

Quote:There's no reason to live in New York unless you're a banker, yet millions of people call the city home whether for a year, a few months, or even their whole life. Most cities are like that. In absolute terms, I think it largely depends on your social network and the fabric of the immediate area.

Many people make bad decisions or simply decide not to make any decisions at all.

For most of human history the norm for the bulk of humanity was either some sort of bonded servitude or poverty. In the US and other modern democracies a system emerged in which everyone was suddenly burdened with the responsibility of making decisions which used to be reserved for the lordship. Faced with this new responsibility most people elect to either not make decisions or outsource their decision making to gurus. They go wherever the winds carry them and demand indemnity for the consequences of their decisions or lack thereof.

Quote:I didn't have the best upbringing, and so when I came to the Beltway the first thing I did was find friends. As a result I've had an amazing few years here, despite realizing that yeah I likely won't be able to afford living here unless I get a CS job or something in lobbying that pays the bills. I have started to recognize that I can always come back if I do leave, and my friends have told me I shouldn't tie myself down to the city so young (they're primarily late 20s, a lot of them former military).

A good and healthy realization.

Quote:What do you mean by being richer than most in terms of my net worth? I've done volunteer work in communities that are in dire poverty so I understand I'm fortunate to have grown up in a relatively more well-off situation, but I guess to every person with a thousand in the bank, a hundred thousand means rich, to that person a million, and so on until you get to Jeff Bezos. Its all relative, is what I'm trying to get at.

I save something like 80% of my paycheck because there's simply nothing to really spend it on, and I enjoy seeing the number rise to know I can pay for things when they come up. Even if it's just $300-$400 every few weeks it adds up. Once I get a real salaried job, I know those savings will hold me over if anything goes south.

What I mean is that if most Americans add up their assets and subtract their liabilities they end up with a negative number. Often a profoundly negative number. One of the great lies spread by social engineering and marketing in the US is that income rules everything. Income is nice, but that matters is net worth. This is related to popular film and television never being depicting "normal" characters in lifestyles that represent their economic condition.

Quote:I really appreciate your last paragraph. Not letting marketing gurus or others influence my decisions, but to live life and find myself all the same- whatever that even means these days. I wouldn't call myself a minimalist, but if I had to I think I could easily pick up, move to the Balkans or wherever life took me, and live out of a backpack for a few months. Not as a backpacker but like, literally one of those travelers who lives out of a backpack whether out of necessity or desire to do so (is that the same thing? I've always considered backpackers to strictly be hiking/hitch-hiking rather than staying semi-sedentary)

Where did you end up going abroad, how did you manage to get out?

Minimalism is good and healthy.

I ended up in Uruguay. After drinking away the bulk of my twenties, I started working on digging myself out of that hole. Eventually the work I was doing for people (as opposed to the work I was doing for a company) lead to an opportunity. I took it.

Let me close with a story.

One day Pepe Mujica decided to create program to assist the poor folks in Uruguay who go around in horse carts and digging through dumpsters looking for things to resell. Mujica decided this folks needed to receive aid so that they could live like the trabajadores earning steady pay.

Thusly a program is outlined and great efforts are made preparing the program. Eventually it was time to "help" the horse cart recollectors. It turned out that being industrious folks, the horse cart recollectors typically outearned the average trabajadore with regular employment. The differences in incomes were frankly embarrassing, the incident got swept under the rug, and the entire thing is a very sore subject for the local trabajadores.

Quite a few lessons there.
06-11-2019 03:31 PM
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Thomas Jackson Offline
Chubby Chaser
**

Posts: 353
Joined: Dec 2016
Reputation: 0
Post: #29
RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
I still dont understand the cost/benefit of the grad degree. You dont need that to do most of the things you are mentioning, so why take on that debt? NGO jobs are largely shit too as mentioned above. I live in the area as well so am familiar.
06-11-2019 06:44 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Kelent Offline
Beta Orbiter
*

Posts: 109
Joined: Jun 2017
Reputation: 1
Post: #30
RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
(06-11-2019 06:44 PM)Thomas Jackson Wrote:  I still dont understand the cost/benefit of the grad degree. You dont need that to do most of the things you are mentioning, so why take on that debt? NGO jobs are largely shit too as mentioned above. I live in the area as well so am familiar.

It isn't a necessity, but when you're surrounded by people who are going to Georgetown, George Washington, John Hopkins... You can imagine the pressure, right? Grad degrees aren't required, but my thoughts going in are "okay if I want to work in my policy region someday, why not get a grad degree in it?" More than likely, I'd be going abroad at 25/26 for it. I'd get grants/scholarships to cover tuition/CoL, plus savings and/or work on the side if that's allowed. I've got a friend of mine who works in Taiwan doing some NGO work and loves it, for instance. They took a few years to go into PC, work on their research and hobbies, took the 8k and entered the labor force in Taiwan. I don't know how much they're making or if its any better than English teaching out of undergrad, but its what they did with their degree.

What is it that brought you to the area, Thomas? Do you see a lot of people in a similar situation to mine?
06-11-2019 07:06 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Thomas Jackson Offline
Chubby Chaser
**

Posts: 353
Joined: Dec 2016
Reputation: 0
Post: #31
RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
Understand the peer pressure, but make sure it's actually worthwhile, as it isnt cheap (especially the places you mentioned). Dont do it just because everyone else is.

I came here for my 1st job out of college, and haven't left. In the business/financial world though, which is why i think very much in cost/benefit terms.
06-12-2019 04:38 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
jimukr75 Offline
Game Denialist

Posts: 50
Joined: Sep 2018
Reputation: 1
Post: #32
RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
Back in the day the peace corps had some opportunities if you networked and had a useful degree. In Ukraine for example , in the day, there were some stationed in Kiev. Some ended up in POSITIONS, like the chamber of commerce,etc.
06-12-2019 07:31 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
stream26 Offline
Male Feminist

Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2016
Reputation: 0
Post: #33
RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
I grew up poor and with ZERO sense of what it means to save. On the contrary- when I first started making money I would spend it on things i considered tangible stuff because money felt fleeting. To this day i still do that. I found that monthly budget template works for me.
Its made to focus on giving you a monthly limit to your spending. Instead of focusing on where to allocate your money it works on the principle that as long as you remember to not go over your monthly spending limit, you will be saving money passively. It gives you a definite number to limit yourself to- allowing you to focus on allocating funds to what they are really needed for.
07-06-2019 06:45 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread: Author Replies: Views: Last Post
  [Making Money]  Professional Gambling ProGambler 33 12,218 05-08-2019 05:42 PM
Last Post: JohnnyBo
  [Making Money]  Any Professional Songwriters on the Forum? Beyond Borders 41 14,221 05-03-2019 12:03 PM
Last Post: Zoso
  Dale Carnegie audiobook: how to stop worrying and start living [email protected] 11 1,862 12-26-2018 07:04 AM
Last Post: tomzestatlu

Forum Jump:


User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)

Contact Us | RooshV.com | Return to Top | Return to Content | Mobile Version | RSS Syndication