Millennials have been saddled with a number of financial challenges as a generation. Compared to those who came before, we’re trying to establish ourselves financially while facing inflated living costs, student debt and the increased cost of entering the housing market. Many of us are lucky enough to receive a leg up from our relatives when facing these challenges. This can make the rest of us jealous.
Maybe your parents didn’t pay for your university education, but your friend’s parents did. Years later you’ve nearly cleared your student debt, moved to the city, worked overseas and had loads of exciting experiences. But your friend stayed where you grew up, got married young and has now paid off a significant amount of her mortgage. You’re still renting.
Or maybe you had to move out of home and pay rent while studying, but your friend had a free ride living with her parents and now she has a house deposit saved up.
These are just a few examples, but the point is that when you compare yourself to others it’s easy to feel like you’re behind. Natural, even.
The important thing to remember is this:
when dealing with jealousy and comparing yourself to others, you’re comparing your true situation to the exterior of someone else’s situation.
How’s that ever going to be a true comparison? There are things about that person you don’t know. Maybe their finances are great, but they’re going through a difficult time in their personal life. Maybe living at home has had a negative impact on their relationship with their parents. Maybe they have an incredibly stressful career that wouldn’t be worth the financial gain to you. You only have access to the exterior of that person’s life, and what they choose to share with you.
1. Focus on what you have
If you’ve got a student loan, so what? There are loads of people out there who never had the opportunity to go to university due to their life circumstances! Be grateful for your education, even if it did come at a cost. I’m sure you’ve got many other things to be grateful for too. Count your blessings, some examples might be: you’re healthy, you’re smart, you’re loved and you’re resourceful.
2. Distance yourself from materialistic people
I know, a bit rich coming from a blog focused on personal finance, right? But you can learn about and plan for your financial future without being materialistic. However, if you surround yourself with people who consistently judge their own and other people’s worth on material gain, envy is inevitable. Socialise with people who are interested in you, not how much you have or how much you make instead.
3. Make a plan
You can afford anything, just not everything. Are you struggling with envy that someone else is debt free? Has bought their first home? Has a successful small business? There’s nothing to stop you from reaching a similar financial goal, with some planning and persistence. No one has taken anything from you by achieving their own financial goal. If you haven’t gotten there yet, keep working towards it!
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