As a “millennial” who doesn’t conform to the “millennial stereotype”, I still felt it important to write about this.
Being independent is a tough transition for most millennials. Maybe it is the rising cost of living coupled with an increase in student loan debt that makes it “impossible” to live by yourself or buy your first home?
Or is it that we are “lazy” “entitled” millennials that love our parents so much we want to be roommates with them forever? LOL…not. There are extreme cases on both sides.
What I have found through my own personal journey, is that there are 4 steps to becoming independent, not just as a millennial, but as a young adult today.
P.S. Shout out to the Baby Boomers! I know this is mainly aimed at millennials, however on this blog the age range of readers is 20-65. That being said, this blog post applies to everyone regardless of age.
Step One: Embrace Failure
Have you ever been so scared of failure that you did not take any action? You continued to do the same thing you complained about time and time again because you were scared to try something different and fail! For me when I was growing up, I always thought that failing was bad, to the point where this thought process prevented me from doing things I wish I had done.
I thought that if I got a bad mark in secondary school or did something I wasn’t supposed to that I had failed and I felt bad about it. I know now that life is about failing and getting back up and learning from your mistakes. This process shapes us and helps us grow.
When we are young we try to walk and we fall, we try to ride a bike and we fall, but at some point failing becomes bad. Money is the same. If we fail with money when we are young, we will learn from those mistakes so we make smarter decisions as we get older, right? Do not be scared to fail, be scared not to try.
Step Two: Cut The Bleedin’ Cord
Millennials are the “everyone gets an award group”… blah blah blah, we have heard it a million times.
Have you ever realised that the people who are bashing us are the same people who are nurturing those “lazy millennials”. At some point cutting the cord is imperative to let us sink or swim. Just like a bird has to jump out of the nest and hopefully fly, you never know unless you try.
The most important part of cutting the cord is to have a plan.
Don’t just jump out of the nest when you haven’t ever flapped your wings. Take advantage of wherever you are in your life and start to build good habits to reach your goals. Being financially stable is one essential part of being independent.
Which brings me nicely to…
Step Three: Get Your S**t Together Financially
I don’t just mean “woohoo I’ve opened a savings account and put a tenner in a month”. I mean stop blowing £200 on a night out only to feel crap the next morning and actually get some money behind you. The most importance piece of advice I have ever received in my life (thanks Gramps) is to save money.
Without this advice, I wouldn’t have been able to do the things I have in my twenties such as buy a house, go on nice holidays and be able to quit my old job to start the job of my dreams.
If you have student debt, I get that it’s hard. But knuckling down and sacrificing a few things in life, like booze, or holidays or new clothes is a must for a while. Being financially independent is so important I cannot even begin to tell you.
Having got myself into a right pickle financially in my late teens\early twenties, I truly learnt how important this is and how things like credit scores and different savings accounts can affect your life.
Step Four: Shine Bright
You have something amazing to contribute to the world. The beauty of being alive is that you are unique in your own way. There is no one else on this planet that is like you, and that alone should give you the confidence to shine.
Since you are reading this, you now have a piece of my perspective in your brain along with everything else you have ever experienced which has helped shape you into who you are today.
As you go out into the world you should be excited and look forward to sharing who you are.
The key is to take advantage of every opportunity you have and make the most of it. Make sure you have a plan and a time frame for doing things such as moving out. No matter what stage you are at in your independence journey keep pressing forward and use your time to build strong habits that will push you into your future!