Proper money management is an incredibly daunting task. In this current financial climate, saving any money at all let alone the equivalent of a salary, is a seemingly impossible task. Retirement experts have put together a list of realistic financial goals that anyone should be able to meet by 35.
Say Yes To Getting Drinks Without Having To Check Your Bank Balance
We all need to unwind. Going for drinks with coworkers is, for some, the one moment of relaxation that’s even possible. Happy hour is a time to vent and pretend to be friends with your coworkers since you can’t afford a social life.
Even with happy hour specials, this monthly gathering can be difficult to afford. Sure, there are $5 beer specials, but if you don’t like beer you have to opt for $7 wine, a nearly 50% jump in price. By age 35 you should be able to say yes to happy hour drinks without having to look at your bank balance, or deciding if you can go without food for the night.
By 35, you should be well versed in the best locations for happy hour. You are a pioneer in the office and will lead the way to bars where your beer comes with a free pizza. Perhaps one day you’ll be able to order a cocktail that isn’t included in the happy hour specials without calling it a “splurge” or “treating yourself,” but I wouldn’t expect to do that before age 50.
Use The Phrase “Roth IRA” Correctly
By age 35 you are expected to have some knowledge of financial terms. You may not be able to afford to contribute, but know that Roth IRAs exist might be enough to get by in conversation. Keep in mind 9/10 people who talk about Roth IRAs are employing this same tactic. Don’t feel discouraged if you don’t have one or couldn’t begin to figure out how to set one up. Watch an episode of Suzy Orman and do a Wikipedia search and you should be good to go.
Trap Yourself In An Unhappy Relationship So You Can Afford An Apartment
By 35 you realize that relationships are about one thing, and one thing only: affordable housing. Find someone who doesn’t smell too bad and lock it down. Together, perhaps, you can share a one bedroom and maybe get rid of that third job. Sure, you’ll fight, a lot, but you’ll be close to a more reliable train.
One way to keep from killing each other is to find a couple shows to watch together so that can dominate every conversation. Some go so far as to get a cat so they can feel some semblance of affection. Kids are too expensive of a compensation method, so pets will have to do.
Get Your Own Netflix Account
You should no longer be using your ex's password. Now, you’re the ex whose password gets used. This is a very powerful and important role. How did your relationship end? Do you want to be petty and change the password when that piece of garbage gets to the finale of House of Cards? Of course they still watch House of Cards.
Netflix can be your account and your live-in partner can take Hulu. Yet another incentive to stay together. It’s not worth breaking up because you’ll lose access to Bob’s Burgers and The Path.
Your HBOGo password can still belong to the coworker who was fired years ago.
Make A Student Loan Payment That Contributes To The Actual Loan
Student loans are impossible to pay off, no question about it. I understand this goal doesn’t seem realistic to achieve by age 35. Sure, you make payments, but those payments only seem to go towards accrued interest, rather than the actual loan.
This is more of a pipe dream, rather than an attainable goal, but it’s still nice to think about. Thankfully, tax refunds can be used to make some sort of dent. That is a high you can ride for about a week until your automatic internet bill payment goes through.
Buy One Nice Thing So Your Parents Don’t Think You’re Living in Squalor
Lastly, we come to the parents. If you have a nice bag or something superficial, you might be able to brag about that long enough to distract from the fact that you still live paycheck to paycheck. When they ask “why don’t you have kids?” you can say “money” while pouring a really excellent scotch. Hopefully, you can talk about scotch long enough that they forget all about your ill-fitting bra that you can’t throw out. Be sure to put a bunch of spare toothbrushes and toothpaste into that really nice purse. Parents are the best source of spare dental supplies.