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How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
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Kelent Offline
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How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
Let me start off by saying I am aware everyone at some point in our lives struggles with money, this is not about going broke so much as it is thinking I'll always be liquid poor. Even then, my definition of "liquid poor" might be skewed, since apparently most Americans can't cover a $500 emergency.


I keep hearing day after day that the US economy is at a standstill despite growing short-term markets, that similar to China we're in a different kind of bubble where the old will not retire and the transferable wealth that might have been obtained through an earlier end to life will go away due to end of life care and people getting older. It pretty much looks like doom and gloom, from where I'm standing.


As a person about to graduate college, although my family supports my undergrad studies (which I am eternally grateful for), I have this nagging feeling that no amount of money will ever be enough to make my life stable in this country. Maybe it's because I haven't graduated yet and have never drawn a salaried job, all my work has been hourly, but my thought process is right now I have to save up all my money (realistically I'm looking at 80% saved per paycheck) for rent when I graduate, or for seed money to spend when abroad.


Is there anything I can do to stop worrying about these things? Not like I shouldn't be concerned about my financial wellbeing; making sure I have enough saved up, that my paycheque covers everything and that I enjoy myself is important, however I feel I put too much importance into it. For instance, in my head I feel like 20k would be an ideal starting point for my savings to finally feel "comfortable", but no matter how much I've worked since 18, had I saved up every penny I'd likely only be shy of 7k at this point.


I feel like growing up during the Great Recession really impacted my view of money. My family nearly lost everything, and not because our house went underwater. I rarely eat out to treat myself, I haven't gone on a vacation in years and feel slightly guilty at the prospect, haven't fixed my computer outside of putting in a donated graphics card. Meanwhile I have friends who despite having less than $400 to their name will gladly drop $100 at a club or bar for one night. I knew a guy who when his parents lent him money, he spent 80% of it in 24 hours.

Is this type of thing something I should even be worried about at my age?
06-08-2019 09:29 AM
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RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
(06-08-2019 09:29 AM)Kelent Wrote:  Let me start off by saying I am aware everyone at some point in our lives struggles with money, this is not about going broke so much as it is thinking I'll always be liquid poor. Even then, my definition of "liquid poor" might be skewed, since apparently most Americans can't cover a $500 emergency.


I keep hearing day after day that the US economy is at a standstill despite growing short-term markets, that similar to China we're in a different kind of bubble where the old will not retire and the transferable wealth that might have been obtained through an earlier end to life will go away due to end of life care and people getting older. It pretty much looks like doom and gloom, from where I'm standing.


As a person about to graduate college, although my family supports my undergrad studies (which I am eternally grateful for), I have this nagging feeling that no amount of money will ever be enough to make my life stable in this country. Maybe it's because I haven't graduated yet and have never drawn a salaried job, all my work has been hourly, but my thought process is right now I have to save up all my money (realistically I'm looking at 80% saved per paycheck) for rent when I graduate, or for seed money to spend when abroad.


Is there anything I can do to stop worrying about these things? Not like I shouldn't be concerned about my financial wellbeing; making sure I have enough saved up, that my paycheque covers everything and that I enjoy myself is important, however I feel I put too much importance into it. For instance, in my head I feel like 20k would be an ideal starting point for my savings to finally feel "comfortable", but no matter how much I've worked since 18, had I saved up every penny I'd likely only be shy of 7k at this point.


I feel like growing up during the Great Recession really impacted my view of money. My family nearly lost everything, and not because our house went underwater. I rarely eat out to treat myself, I haven't gone on a vacation in years and feel slightly guilty at the prospect, haven't fixed my computer outside of putting in a donated graphics card. Meanwhile I have friends who despite having less than $400 to their name will gladly drop $100 at a club or bar for one night. I knew a guy who when his parents lent him money, he spent 80% of it in 24 hours.

Is this type of thing something I should even be worried about at my age?

It is normal to be worried about the things you are writing about. Its the kind of stresses that people on the conservative end of the spectrum have. I've been where you are as well.

Here are some things that helped me along the way:

- don't compare what you are doing, to what other people are doing. Compare yourself to your own goals. The majority of people are irresponsible with money, and will look at you as strange for wanting to save and avoid debt.

- set small goals for yourself for saving. Make it something you can achieve in 6 months for example.

- don't view college as helping you at all in life. It may even have been a waste of time. A willingness to work hard and teach yourself is what will differentiate you and your generational peers.

- If you are not addicted to something or have mental problems it is virtually impossible to starve and be homeless in america.

- Opportunity and loss is swift in America, you just have to be able to act on it. I work with a number of wealthy individuals and I would say their fortunes accelerated in 3-5 year periods when opportunity came along. The best way to be able to act on it is to not be in debt. Vacations, legal or illegal drugs, beta hobbies, girlfriends/wives that want to spend all of your money on status etc. are what keep you 'liquid poor'

- Get right with Jesus and pray about what worries you. Read Matthew 6:25-34

- Learn to cook for yourself (find the slowcooker thread), eat healthy (bad health will keep you poor)

- If you ever have cash to spend, spend on things that will make your life easier vs. "fun". I dropped my video game habit for a few years and instead spent the money on a house keeper that also did my laundry. I used the free time not doing housework to work on my side business and go to bed early/sleep well. I also started to dress better as I didn't have to iron my own shirts or launder it.

Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing? Psalm 2:1 KJV
06-08-2019 10:10 AM
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RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
There's a lot of variables to this question so I'll keep it simple with a few key points:

- The person you are at 20 and the things you worry about at 20 are vastly different to who you are and what worries you at 30 - so yes, you most probably are worrying too much
- A huge tip to stop worrying about money if you do nothing else is to learn to live and be content with a minimalist lifestyle
- If you focus really hard on developing money making skills, you learn to save, and learn the basics of passive return on your money and taxes in your 20's - you'll be ahead of 98% of people by the time you're 30
- If you can, try to take a big trip overseas (for close to 6 months) in your 20's (preferably by the age of 25 or so) ... it might change your life priorities for the better

Overall, worrying has it pros and cons. Worrying and taking action can produce huge results. But, on the flip side, worrying about things out of your control constantly will lead to all the happiness draining out of your life and you'll also push people away as you'll put out a negative vibe.

Just give your best effort in life, balance long term and short term strategy, and things tend to work out as well as they can. Sounds cliche - but it's been precisely true from my experience and my life has turned out better than most people I know from an objective standpoint.
06-08-2019 10:12 AM
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RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
OK there's a lot to unpack here. Obviously we don't know your whole situation but if I had to give you only two tips, here they are:

1. Stop worrying

Acknowledge that you have no direct influence on the economy. The governments, banks, and corporations of the world will keep doing what they want no matter what you think.

They could push us into a recession. Correct.
They could also keep printing money forever (MMT), bringing in more decades of financial prosperity.

Both of these outcomes are possible, but do you know what ties those wildly different futures together? You should work your ass off no matter what. Recession or not, stacking cash fixes most problems. You know this already, now start living it.

Two books that have helped me deal with anxiety are Gorilla Mindset, and a Guide to Rational Living. Control your thoughts, control your life.

Accept that these globo-political decisions are out of your control, and instead, focus on what you can control. That includes your career path and spending habits. It seems you don't spend frivolously, but are you making money?

2. Make a plan and execute

Besides saving money, you haven't mentioned anything you're going to DO.

You're about to graduate, and you have $7k saved. And then what? What are you going to do to MAKE money?

Choose a career, hustle, or job, and go down that path. Instead of channeling your energy into worrying about the economy, focus on doing something. Focus on building so much cash, that the global economy does not impact you.

Put the blinders on and start running.

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06-08-2019 10:17 AM
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redbeard Offline
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RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
Also this Cernovich podcast is a classic, I think about it all the time.

https://soundcloud.com/cernovich/mike-ce...ore-energy

When you have a vision of your ideal future, you have something to run to. When you have a target you're aiming at, it's hard to pay attention to anything outside of your goal (like the news).

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06-08-2019 10:19 AM
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RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
(06-08-2019 10:17 AM)redbeard Wrote:  OK there's a lot to unpack here. Obviously we don't know your whole situation but if I had to give you only two tips, here they are:

1. Stop worrying

Acknowledge that you have no direct influence on the economy. The governments, banks, and corporations of the world will keep doing what they want no matter what you think.

They could push us into a recession. Correct.
They could also keep printing money forever (MMT), bringing in more decades of financial prosperity.

Both of these outcomes are possible, but do you know what ties those wildly different futures together? You should work your ass off no matter what. Recession or not, stacking cash fixes most problems. You know this already, now start living it.

Two books that have helped me deal with anxiety are Gorilla Mindset, and a Guide to Rational Living. Control your thoughts, control your life.

Accept that these globo-political decisions are out of your control, and instead, focus on what you can control. That includes your career path and spending habits. It seems you don't spend frivolously, but are you making money?

2. Make a plan and execute

Besides saving money, you haven't mentioned anything you're going to DO.

You're about to graduate, and you have $7k saved. And then what? What are you going to do to MAKE money?

Choose a career, hustle, or job, and go down that path. Instead of channeling your energy into worrying about the economy, focus on doing something. Focus on building so much cash, that the global economy does not impact you.

Put the blinders on and start running.

Yes! Do not be paralyzed by fear or indecision. Here is an example from another client of mine that runs a sizeable metal fabrication operation.

"Don't people want to make money anymore? If you can show up on time and not be on drugs you'll be ahead of half the people on my payroll right now"

Thats it. There are many pathways to success. Being a recent college graduate the only ones that seem obvious to you are the same ones that are bottlenecked by your classmates trying to use the same obvious pathways. Don't be afraid to try something different.

Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing? Psalm 2:1 KJV
06-08-2019 10:43 AM
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Kelent Offline
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RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
Redbeard- Thanks so much for the advice, I'll take it to heart. I do have a short term goals, like joining the Peace Corps, living abroad, learning a foreign language. A lot of my academic study has been in state development, so I guess it's natural for me to worry about things that are naturally out of my control but still have weight to them. I'm currently working on a paper related to soft power in East Asia, for instance. I don't have 7k saved, I'll likely have 5 or even 2k, but I see your point in planning for the future and setting realistic goals. At times it seems difficult to focus on those, but I'll keep at it.

In general to other posters since I'm on mobile, I'll take the advice to heart. As people grow older our priorities and goals change. For all I know I could be living in China or even the US with a midrange position at 30, living well. I love cooking for myself, so that's a plus.

to the person who dropped their gaming habit, I have as well. I haven't bought more than $100 in games in the last two years, mostly playing older games or things I've had for a while.
06-08-2019 10:45 AM
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RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
You will probably feel the same when you have 20k as you do now. You are probably conservative with your money. Ive been that way my entire adulthood. Almost no one has fuck all in their 20s even late 20s. Those that do often scored on a rapidly appreciating real estate market in which they entered because their payments made the down payment. Just by thinking about saving you will be miles ahead of your peers.
06-08-2019 11:08 AM
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Kelent Offline
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RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
(06-08-2019 11:08 AM)lavidaloca Wrote:  You will probably feel the same when you have 20k as you do now. You are probably conservative with your money. Ive been that way my entire adulthood. Almost no one has fuck all in their 20s even late 20s. Those that do often scored on a rapidly appreciating real estate market in which they entered because their payments made the down payment. Just by thinking about saving you will be miles ahead of your peers.

Fair, yeah. I wouldn't necessarily call myself conservative with money... granted, I don't get into the antics others my age seem to where they somehow manage to travel across the country with only $200 to their name and make something work. I've seen it happen, and it wasn't a military recruitment bonus that saved them. A lot of my friends are ex-military, but even they have trouble given how fucked the economy can be, some are considering re-upping into a different type of job in order to get another 4-6 years of secured employment.



(06-08-2019 10:43 AM)Dr. Howard Wrote:  Yes! Do not be paralyzed by fear or indecision. Here is an example from another client of mine that runs a sizeable metal fabrication operation.

"Don't people want to make money anymore? If you can show up on time and not be on drugs you'll be ahead of half the people on my payroll right now"

Thats it. There are many pathways to success. Being a recent college graduate the only ones that seem obvious to you are the same ones that are bottlenecked by your classmates trying to use the same obvious pathways. Don't be afraid to try something different.

I've noticed in the kitchen I work at that, bar none, I'm the primary dishwasher. Other people they bring on have lasted maybe a few days tops, while I've been working week after week, now been at the job for almost a month working 4-5 days a week.
06-08-2019 11:36 AM
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RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
(06-08-2019 09:29 AM)Kelent Wrote:  Let me start off by saying I am aware everyone at some point in our lives struggles with money...
Not necessarily. If you play your cards right, & hedge your bets, you can make it pretty early

(06-08-2019 09:29 AM)Kelent Wrote:  I keep hearing day after day that the US economy is at a standstill despite growing short-term markets, that similar to China we're in a different kind of bubble where the old will not retire and the transferable wealth that might have been obtained through an earlier end to life will go away due to end of life care and people getting older. It pretty much looks like doom and gloom, from where I'm standing.
Eliminate such sources of information from your life. It's easier than you think, just get a website/web page blocker. No, you won't "lose out" on anything

(06-08-2019 09:29 AM)Kelent Wrote:  I have this nagging feeling that no amount of money will ever be enough to make my life stable in this country. Maybe it's because I haven't graduated yet and have never drawn a salaried job, all my work has been hourly, but my thought process is right now I have to save up all my money (realistically I'm looking at 80% saved per paycheck) for rent when I graduate, or for seed money to spend when abroad.

Is there anything I can do to stop worrying about these things? Not like I shouldn't be concerned about my financial wellbeing; making sure I have enough saved up, that my paycheque covers everything and that I enjoy myself is important, however I feel I put too much importance into it. For instance, in my head I feel like 20k would be an ideal starting point for my savings to finally feel "comfortable", but no matter how much I've worked since 18, had I saved up every penny I'd likely only be shy of 7k at this point.

I feel like growing up during the Great Recession really impacted my view of money. My family nearly lost everything, and not because our house went underwater. I rarely eat out to treat myself, I haven't gone on a vacation in years and feel slightly guilty at the prospect, haven't fixed my computer outside of putting in a donated graphics card. Meanwhile I have friends who despite having less than $400 to their name will gladly drop $100 at a club or bar for one night. I knew a guy who when his parents lent him money, he spent 80% of it in 24 hours.
1) Stop overthinking. Get the grades, get a decent job (preferably sales, mgmt. consulting, high-end coding, or investment banking M&A), work on your physique and diet, & fuck pretty girls

2) You need to come out of the "poverty" mindset and develop a "producer/businessman's/rich" mindset. The easiest way to develop this is to start a low-investment, low-maintenance business (e.g.: blogging, dropshipping etc.). Can be easily done on the side of your studies and work
PS - These are not to make money, but to develop the mindset. As you create wealth, your view of the world changes. Better to do this by yourself and make shitloads of mistakes to learn from (please, don't break the laws)

3) IDK which field you're in, but get to networking with people in that sector. In today's world, relationships are as important as the skills themselves
(This post was last modified: 06-08-2019 12:07 PM by maharajj.)
06-08-2019 12:06 PM
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Kelent Offline
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RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
(06-08-2019 12:06 PM)maharajj Wrote:  
(06-08-2019 09:29 AM)Kelent Wrote:  Let me start off by saying I am aware everyone at some point in our lives struggles with money...
Not necessarily. If you play your cards right, & hedge your bets, you can make it pretty early

(06-08-2019 09:29 AM)Kelent Wrote:  I keep hearing day after day that the US economy is at a standstill despite growing short-term markets, that similar to China we're in a different kind of bubble where the old will not retire and the transferable wealth that might have been obtained through an earlier end to life will go away due to end of life care and people getting older. It pretty much looks like doom and gloom, from where I'm standing.
Eliminate such sources of information from your life. It's easier than you think, just get a website/web page blocker. No, you won't "lose out" on anything
{/quote]

Eh, I'll limit it day by day, I still need to stay connected. I think what would be better is to take an objective view, to see these things in isolation as a potential hazard. Climate change, for instance. We need to act within the decade to stop potentially catastrophic climate alteration- how we act and when is not up to me it is up to those in charge of the purse strings. All I can realistically do is vote, talk to people, and gain a perspective outside of the often alarmist or willfully ignorant views we see on both sides of the aisle.

(06-08-2019 09:29 AM)Kelent Wrote:  I have this nagging feeling that no amount of money will ever be enough to make my life stable in this country. Maybe it's because I haven't graduated yet and have never drawn a salaried job, all my work has been hourly, but my thought process is right now I have to save up all my money (realistically I'm looking at 80% saved per paycheck) for rent when I graduate, or for seed money to spend when abroad.

Is there anything I can do to stop worrying about these things? Not like I shouldn't be concerned about my financial wellbeing; making sure I have enough saved up, that my paycheque covers everything and that I enjoy myself is important, however I feel I put too much importance into it. For instance, in my head I feel like 20k would be an ideal starting point for my savings to finally feel "comfortable", but no matter how much I've worked since 18, had I saved up every penny I'd likely only be shy of 7k at this point.

I feel like growing up during the Great Recession really impacted my view of money. My family nearly lost everything, and not because our house went underwater. I rarely eat out to treat myself, I haven't gone on a vacation in years and feel slightly guilty at the prospect, haven't fixed my computer outside of putting in a donated graphics card. Meanwhile I have friends who despite having less than $400 to their name will gladly drop $100 at a club or bar for one night. I knew a guy who when his parents lent him money, he spent 80% of it in 24 hours.
1) Stop overthinking. Get the grades, get a decent job (preferably sales, mgmt. consulting, high-end coding, or investment banking M&A), work on your physique and diet, & fuck pretty girls

2) You need to come out of the "poverty" mindset and develop a "producer/businessman's/rich" mindset. The easiest way to develop this is to start a low-investment, low-maintenance business (e.g.: blogging, dropshipping etc.). Can be easily done on the side of your studies and work
PS - These are not to make money, but to develop the mindset. As you create wealth, your view of the world changes. Better to do this by yourself and make shitloads of mistakes to learn from (please, don't break the laws)

3) IDK which field you're in, but get to networking with people in that sector. In today's world, relationships are as important as the skills themselves


1) I'm focusing more and more on that now, thankfully. Just have to keep the mindset going and not lose it.

2) I've started a few blogs in my time at college, I can certainly try to start another. I think I still have a Wordpress Premium account, come to think of it. I might get back into that. I used to review tea and coffee. I'd say there are starts and stops to the businessman mindset- I have an idea, I'll act on it for a few months... then something comes up (school, family issue, whatever) and I take so long of a hiatus that I don't feel I can safely come back. I have hundreds of little side projects whether they're stories or research papers or apps... I've done a lot, I just need to finish something or stay on it for more than a year of consistent updates/work. I finished a 60k novel once, but never published it.

3) I'm in the Beltway, primarily NGOs and international relations. Networking is vital, I just can't find an appropriate time given my schedule- a lot of these events I do find are geared towards people in their early 30s for some reason, as a guy who will be hitting 22 I don't feel I'd be wasting time so much as not connecting with equally motivated peers, if that makes sense. I also have experience programming, but have no network to draw on in my area. I'd be fine working from anywhere in the world on app development if the opportunity struck.
06-08-2019 12:21 PM
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RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
Worrying is pointless but always have a gameplan. What is your degree in? If you are concerned about financial stability I don't see why you would go into the Peace Core where you get paid nothing. Time value of money is extremely important - saving money for retirement when you are young is your most powerful tool.
06-08-2019 12:30 PM
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RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
Why are you working as a dishwasher if your about yo go to graduate school? You should be looking for internships that will look good on your resume or give you valuable experience. At this stage of life, you should be focused entirely on making more money in the future, rather than penny pinching a measly few thousand now.
06-08-2019 12:35 PM
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RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
(06-08-2019 12:30 PM)Thomas Jackson Wrote:  Worrying is pointless but always have a gameplan. What is your degree in? If you are concerned about financial stability I don't see why you would go into the Peace Core where you get paid nothing. Time value of money is extremely important - saving money for retirement when you are young is your most powerful tool.

My degree is in political science. I tried to take a CS minor, but it turns out I would need 10 classes, and I'm almost graduated. In the Peace Corps you get paid nothing, yet you do get a stipend every month which covers food, rent, and incidentals. At the end of your 2 years, as I understand it, you get 6-7k as a relocation fund intended to help you get back on your feet in the US. The way I see it, considering I want to work internationally; having experience abroad in something like PC is beneficial. It shows I can learn another language and integrate, work with a team in said foreign language, leadership, etc. If I want to make bank and teach English in Korea while learning Korean afterwards or opposed to PC service, that's another option. I have until I'm 65 for the Peace Corps anyways, but many choose to go into it after college graduation.
(This post was last modified: 06-08-2019 12:37 PM by Kelent.)
06-08-2019 12:36 PM
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RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
(06-08-2019 12:35 PM)Repo Wrote:  Why are you working as a dishwasher if your about yo go to graduate school? You should be looking for internships that will look good on your resume or give you valuable experience. At this stage of life, you should be focused entirely on making more money in the future, rather than penny pinching a measly few thousand now.

I was unable to find a summer internship that would have been financially beneficial. Most internships I found were unpaid, and wanted me to work 30-40 hours a week on a campaign for only $500 afterwards. Average rent where I was living was about $1,200/mo for a two bedroom with roommates, plus factor in that there's zero public transport. Monthly costs easily would've been 2,000. I have an internship secured for the fall, which is good, and I have multiple programming projects down the pipeline to fill in my time at home. I didn't want to give a book-length OP, but I guess I should have added a few more things.
06-08-2019 12:39 PM
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RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
(06-08-2019 12:36 PM)Kelent Wrote:  In the Peace Corps you get paid nothing, yet you do get a stipend every month which covers food, rent, and incidentals. At the end of your 2 years, as I understand it, you get 6-7k as a relocation fund intended to help you get back on your feet in the US.

(06-08-2019 12:39 PM)Kelent Wrote:  Most internships I found were unpaid, and wanted me to work 30-40 hours a week on a campaign for only $500 afterwards. Average rent where I was living was about $1,200/mo for a two bedroom with roommates, plus factor in that there's zero public transport. Monthly costs easily would've been 2,000.

Jordan

Long-term, is this the life you want for yourself?

Do you really think you will become independently wealthy working for NGO's?

Will you be able to support a family on a monthly stipend?

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06-08-2019 01:07 PM
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RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
(06-08-2019 01:07 PM)redbeard Wrote:  
(06-08-2019 12:36 PM)Kelent Wrote:  In the Peace Corps you get paid nothing, yet you do get a stipend every month which covers food, rent, and incidentals. At the end of your 2 years, as I understand it, you get 6-7k as a relocation fund intended to help you get back on your feet in the US.

(06-08-2019 12:39 PM)Kelent Wrote:  Most internships I found were unpaid, and wanted me to work 30-40 hours a week on a campaign for only $500 afterwards. Average rent where I was living was about $1,200/mo for a two bedroom with roommates, plus factor in that there's zero public transport. Monthly costs easily would've been 2,000.

Jordan

Long-term, is this the life you want for yourself?

Do you really think you will become independently wealthy working for NGO's?

Will you be able to support a family on a monthly stipend?

Long term, I think I'd take a life well lived than a life with hundreds of millions being retired at 35. Ten years down the line? I think it would have been a great experience that can translate into other sectors besides NGO work.

I don't think I can become independently wealthy working for NGOs, but you do get some nice tax breaks and federal aid. More importantly, I don't think becoming independently wealthy, however nice it can be, is realistic in your 20s unless you started in your early teens. Define "independent wealth", and we might find ourselves on different wavelengths of what that actually means.

As for supporting a family on a monthly stipend in Peace Corps, of course I wouldn't be able to. Although as I understand it the Peace Corps does allow couples to serve in the same host country and/or post, depending on the location. By proxy it could be said when you live with a host family you support them (as PC helps them in order to house you), but obviously that is not in the scope of your question.

Regarding the internship post you quoted- I don't think it would have been wise to spent at minimum $6,000 over 14 weeks when I have work that pays me quite well for the area. Even though I'm hourly, my wage is about 40% above the state average. Is it ideal? Hell no, but its money and its better than living in thousands of debt.
06-08-2019 01:51 PM
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RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
(06-08-2019 01:51 PM)Kelent Wrote:  
(06-08-2019 01:07 PM)redbeard Wrote:  
(06-08-2019 12:36 PM)Kelent Wrote:  In the Peace Corps you get paid nothing, yet you do get a stipend every month which covers food, rent, and incidentals. At the end of your 2 years, as I understand it, you get 6-7k as a relocation fund intended to help you get back on your feet in the US.

(06-08-2019 12:39 PM)Kelent Wrote:  Most internships I found were unpaid, and wanted me to work 30-40 hours a week on a campaign for only $500 afterwards. Average rent where I was living was about $1,200/mo for a two bedroom with roommates, plus factor in that there's zero public transport. Monthly costs easily would've been 2,000.

Jordan

Long-term, is this the life you want for yourself?

Do you really think you will become independently wealthy working for NGO's?

Will you be able to support a family on a monthly stipend?

Long term, I think I'd take a life well lived than a life with hundreds of millions being retired at 35. Ten years down the line? I think it would have been a great experience that can translate into other sectors besides NGO work.

I don't think I can become independently wealthy working for NGOs, but you do get some nice tax breaks and federal aid. More importantly, I don't think becoming independently wealthy, however nice it can be, is realistic in your 20s unless you started in your early teens. Define "independent wealth", and we might find ourselves on different wavelengths of what that actually means.

As for supporting a family on a monthly stipend in Peace Corps, of course I wouldn't be able to. Although as I understand it the Peace Corps does allow couples to serve in the same host country and/or post, depending on the location. By proxy it could be said when you live with a host family you support them (as PC helps them in order to house you), but obviously that is not in the scope of your question.

Regarding the internship post you quoted- I don't think it would have been wise to spent at minimum $6,000 over 14 weeks when I have work that pays me quite well for the area. Even though I'm hourly, my wage is about 40% above the state average. Is it ideal? Hell no, but its money and its better than living in thousands of debt.

I don't think you get tax breaks working for an NGO. It is actually the worst organization to get any tax advantages. You can't get stock in the business.

On the downside, I would consider your degree in the 'not worth anything' category. Politics, NGOs and contracting with them is about connections and does not require a degree. I worked inside the highest levels of state government and those that had degrees had law degrees. Many elected officials had no degrees or no related degree. Senior staffers had masters or PHD degrees and had to tow the liberal line (you cannot be an 'out of the closet' conservative and get anywhere as a government employee)

The upside is that you seem like you are a good worker (able to stick with dishwashing) and have self control over your spending.

My advice would be to pretend like you have no degree and follow opportunities that seem appealing...in maybe anything but politics and NGOs. Being successful in either of these ventures poisons your soul because you have to agree with extremely corrupt and liberal people. You can work in politics and NGOs but will be stepped on by soulless ladder climbers.

I would also advice against Peace Corps. People that come back from that seem to have a weird air of superiority about themselves. You can do the same work/travel via Church Missions and not funded with government money/waste. They also offer shorter trips that you can do on vacation type schedule instead of burning off many productive months via peace corps.

If you are making pretty good money at the dishwashing and can handle it, keep with it while you look for your next opportunity. Talk to people at your workplace that aren't dishwashers, maybe the supervisor, HR people, maintenance people, delivery people and let them know that you are done school and are looking for more work. If you have a good reputation at work they may keep an eye out for you.

Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing? Psalm 2:1 KJV
06-08-2019 06:24 PM
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RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
Yea what is the upside of a political science masters degree? Seems like a waste of money. If setting yourself up financially is the goal this plan needs to be re-thought.
06-09-2019 05:47 PM
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RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
Just quit worrying about it. Think about how you're going to spend or save when you're actually earning an income. Then you can plot how to make more, invest more, or pay down on debt more effectively. Right now your brain is going in circles trying to solve a problem only money can fix, and you dont have any. So getting a job is your first priority.
06-09-2019 06:01 PM
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RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
I didn't read your post and am just responding to the title.

Stop being a young professional and start a business.
06-10-2019 01:28 AM
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RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
(06-08-2019 10:12 AM)GT777733 Wrote:  Overall, worrying has it pros and cons. Worrying and taking action can produce huge results. But, on the flip side, worrying about things out of your control constantly will lead to all the happiness draining out of your life and you'll also push people away as you'll put out a negative vibe.

Quoted for Truth!

As an example - it definitely sucks when your buddies want to go to concerts and pubs every weekend and you're the Debbie Downer trying to save money or having to work night shifts.

Same with wife / girlfriend wanting to do fun things or go on expensive holidays.
I've definitely been struggling with that and a lot of it is due to mental stress about my job, expenses and savings rather than the activity itself.
If you don't manage that it can kill your enjoyment of life and push others away.
06-10-2019 06:07 AM
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RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
(06-09-2019 05:47 PM)Thomas Jackson Wrote:  Yea what is the upside of a political science masters degree? Seems like a waste of money. If setting yourself up financially is the goal this plan needs to be re-thought.

Well, considering I'm in the Beltway there's a lot of opportunity. You can make a lot of money with consulting, politics, languages, it just depends on how you use your skillset. Like with anything, really. I have knowledge of a few programming languages to fall back on. The goal isn't really to retire by 35, its to live a full life.
(This post was last modified: 06-10-2019 03:04 PM by Kelent.)
06-10-2019 03:04 PM
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RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
(06-08-2019 09:29 AM)Kelent Wrote:  Let me start off by saying I am aware everyone at some point in our lives struggles with money, this is not about going broke so much as it is thinking I'll always be liquid poor. Even then, my definition of "liquid poor" might be skewed, since apparently most Americans can't cover a $500 emergency.


I keep hearing day after day that the US economy is at a standstill despite growing short-term markets, that similar to China we're in a different kind of bubble where the old will not retire and the transferable wealth that might have been obtained through an earlier end to life will go away due to end of life care and people getting older. It pretty much looks like doom and gloom, from where I'm standing.


As a person about to graduate college, although my family supports my undergrad studies (which I am eternally grateful for), I have this nagging feeling that no amount of money will ever be enough to make my life stable in this country. Maybe it's because I haven't graduated yet and have never drawn a salaried job, all my work has been hourly, but my thought process is right now I have to save up all my money (realistically I'm looking at 80% saved per paycheck) for rent when I graduate, or for seed money to spend when abroad.

Honestly this seems like a healthy source of anxiety, but you need to take action to address it. Saving most of your income is good. What would be great is if you could grow your income while maintaining that savings rate.

There are three ways to spend money:

  1. Necessary expenditures, the stuff that keeps you alive and sheltered
  2. Discretionary expenditures, the stuff that's fun.
  3. Productive expenditures, this is the spending that brings in more money.

If you don't have much money, it is easy for the first two categories to dominate your budget. It can also be hard to find opportunities to make productive expenditures. Not having money sucks so you need to position yourself to make more money. That 80% savings rate is valuable as habit to keep, even your pile of money isn't growing very fast. If, in the absence of opportunities to make productive expenses you keep it going forever you are getting rich. This is the actual get rich formula.

Now the problem with the Peace corps and their stipend is that the stipend is based around living like the locals. This means a Peace Corps stint will kill the high savings rate habit and whatever relocation compensation the offer at the end isn't worth it.

Spending a few thousand to do a language immersion course in Latin America is a much less expensive way to learn a language than spending two YEARS with the Peace Corps.

Quote:Well, considering I'm in the Beltway there's a lot of opportunity. You can make a lot of money with consulting, politics, languages, it just depends on how you use your skillset. Like with anything, really. I have knowledge of a few programming languages to fall back on. The goal isn't really to retire by 35, its to live a full life.

There's a lot of traps in the beltway that look like opportunity. It would take some incredible gig to keep up your savings rate given the costs of living in the beltway. If you don't get one of those however, there's little reason to stay in the beltway.

Coming out of college you want to aggressively pursue maximum net income (your pay - what you spend, keep that high savings rate). This may mean staying with the family for a couple years working in IT.

As your income and your wealthy grow you ability to engage in discretionary spending without diminishing your wealth grows.

And yes, most people in the US are poor in liquid, absolute, and relative terms.
06-10-2019 05:24 PM
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RE: How to stop worrying about money as a young professional?
(06-10-2019 05:24 PM)BBinger Wrote:  
(06-08-2019 09:29 AM)Kelent Wrote:  Let me start off by saying I am aware everyone at some point in our lives struggles with money, this is not about going broke so much as it is thinking I'll always be liquid poor. Even then, my definition of "liquid poor" might be skewed, since apparently most Americans can't cover a $500 emergency.


I keep hearing day after day that the US economy is at a standstill despite growing short-term markets, that similar to China we're in a different kind of bubble where the old will not retire and the transferable wealth that might have been obtained through an earlier end to life will go away due to end of life care and people getting older. It pretty much looks like doom and gloom, from where I'm standing.


As a person about to graduate college, although my family supports my undergrad studies (which I am eternally grateful for), I have this nagging feeling that no amount of money will ever be enough to make my life stable in this country. Maybe it's because I haven't graduated yet and have never drawn a salaried job, all my work has been hourly, but my thought process is right now I have to save up all my money (realistically I'm looking at 80% saved per paycheck) for rent when I graduate, or for seed money to spend when abroad.

Honestly this seems like a healthy source of anxiety, but you need to take action to address it. Saving most of your income is good. What would be great is if you could grow your income while maintaining that savings rate.

There are three ways to spend money:

  1. Necessary expenditures, the stuff that keeps you alive and sheltered
  2. Discretionary expenditures, the stuff that's fun.
  3. Productive expenditures, this is the spending that brings in more money.

If you don't have much money, it is easy for the first two categories to dominate your budget. It can also be hard to find opportunities to make productive expenditures. Not having money sucks so you need to position yourself to make more money. That 80% savings rate is valuable as habit to keep, even your pile of money isn't growing very fast. If, in the absence of opportunities to make productive expenses you keep it going forever you are getting rich. This is the actual get rich formula.

Now the problem with the Peace corps and their stipend is that the stipend is based around living like the locals. This means a Peace Corps stint will kill the high savings rate habit and whatever relocation compensation the offer at the end isn't worth it.

Spending a few thousand to do a language immersion course in Latin America is a much less expensive way to learn a language than spending two YEARS with the Peace Corps.

Quote:Well, considering I'm in the Beltway there's a lot of opportunity. You can make a lot of money with consulting, politics, languages, it just depends on how you use your skillset. Like with anything, really. I have knowledge of a few programming languages to fall back on. The goal isn't really to retire by 35, its to live a full life.

There's a lot of traps in the beltway that look like opportunity. It would take some incredible gig to keep up your savings rate given the costs of living in the beltway. If you don't get one of those however, there's little reason to stay in the beltway.

Coming out of college you want to aggressively pursue maximum net income (your pay - what you spend, keep that high savings rate). This may mean staying with the family for a couple years working in IT.

As your income and your wealthy grow you ability to engage in discretionary spending without diminishing your wealth grows.

And yes, most people in the US are poor in liquid, absolute, and relative terms.


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.
06-10-2019 05:50 PM
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