We millennials are often told to visualize our future, then go out there and make it happen. But like so many things in life, this is more easily said than done.
Let me start with a disclaimer: Though finances are at the root of this week’s post, it’s mostly focused on spending our time and money on what we really want, as opposed to what society thinks we should want. ‘Should’ is a word I’ve come to decide to avoid at all costs.
As millennials, we get so focused on making sure we become good grownups that sometimes we forget just what we want it to mean. Do you want to become a good grownup by owning property, or is that just what everyone has told you makes a good grownup?
Could you be a good grownup by being completely financially self-sufficient while living the life you always wanted? Or do you think that being a good grownup means sometimes saying ‘no’ when you’d like to say ‘OMG YES PLEASE ALL OF THEM AND DO THEY COME IN RED?’
Clearly, being a ‘good grownup’ means different things to different people, which means it’s super important to define to yourself what you believe makes one. If you spend these valuable years working toward someone else’s dream, you could end up in a bad place.
Benefits of Imagination
A wonderful way to figure out what you want from life is to visualize or imagine it. Imagine yourself in your ideal place, doing the job you’d do even if they weren’t paying you. Daydreaming is a great way to escape the stresses of modern millennial life, and many people swear by it not only as a form of escape, but also as a valid way to help you identify what you really want from life. This new post from Budgets are Sexy got me thinking about the benefits of having a wild imagination. As children, anything was possible. We hadn’t yet had it drilled into us that life can be cruel and that we might not always get what we want.
I’ve always been an avid dreamer, inventing scenarios where I have the dream job and the perfect house and my hair is always silky. I usually get so caught up in these reveries that I actually start to motivate myself to make moves to ensure these fantasies become reality. So, take some time this weekend to visualize your possible future: just imagine your perfect dream life! You really never know where your own thoughts might lead you!
Once you’ve finished perfecting your dream life, it’s time to take steps toward making the dream into a reality. But how are you meant to make those first integral steps while you’re stuck in a 9-5 job where over half the time you’re there is spent avoiding work? These hours of procrastination or ‘busywork’— are they fulfilling? Are they helping you make steps toward your financial dreams? Beginning to be aware of the value of your time is the first step in taking control of your financial freedom.
The Value of an Hour
This new post from Chelsea at The Financial Diet on the value of an hour is a thought-provoking piece dedicated to reminding us that even though we may not be making money each hour of the day, making the choice about where our time is spent is just as important as deciding where our money is spent.
Time is a commodity that is often overlooked, or undervalued compared with cold, hard, cash. But there is something to be said about turning off and appreciating time spent with loved ones rather than spending another late night at the office. At the end of the day (or at the end of our lives), what will we appreciate more?
I find a lot of the time that expectations and outside pressures get in the way of what we really want. This new post from Mixed Up Money is here to remind us that it’s okay to want something different from our peers. We can forge our own paths, make our own choices, and we don’t need to feel guilty for not wanting what everyone else has.
As millennials, we are so fortunate to have unlimited resources and support through the internet. No generation before us has had so many options for how to run their lives. We need simply to reflect and imagine what we want our lives to be, and then evaluate how the hours in our days are helping us work toward making that future possible.
Video with Chantal Chapman
P.S. We hope to look at this in more depth next time but you can view a 45-minute YouTube video featuring a conversation about millennial finances here.
The third instalment of the Digital Citizen Show features Millennial financial fitness coach Chantal Chapman, myself (Helen) and Hub CFO Jonathan Chevreau (aka “Dad”).
Helen Chevreau is a student teacher, blogger and global adventurer. She also happens to be the daughter of Hub CFO Jonathan Chevreau. She has a B.A. in English and has been blogging for four years. Her next stop is Scotland for postgraduate studies in education.