Friday Frivolity: Spending Money in Your Twenties

Oh, Thought Catalog, you have been providing so much great blog fodder lately. Earlier this week, they were discussing when you stopping being a post-graduate and today, its all about where your money goes in your 20s.

Again, Ryan O’ Connell hits the mark here on the five things that drain those precious few income dollars – rent (something that feels akin to being held up monthly), booze (and booze-related expenses, like late night burritos or over-tipping a cabbie because he switched the station to the 80s rock block), healthy organic food (I call shenanigans whenever someone doesn’t have money for happy hour but always has a pantry full of Trader Joe’s/Whole Foods organic goodness), college, and cell phones/Internet.

I find that there are a few other expenses that seem to come at you a lot in your twenties:

  • Weddings – This is the hidden money suck of your twenties!  Everyone is getting married but you, so you’re shelling out for a fancy mixer and travel to your home/college town and a new outfit (in a vain attempt to hook up with any remaining single people) – and this happens 2-3 times a year
  • Transportation – Even without a car, getting yourself place to place is almost never free.  After rent and student loans, Metro is my most costly expense.  You can factor in SmarTrip discounts and off-peak hours but if you ride daily, you’re going to rack up a tidy sum in trips.  Add in bike share membership costs, new walking shoes on a regular basis, and the occasional taxi and leaving the house just seems like a financial suck hole.
  • Redbox – Bear with me on this – even with Netflix Instant, Hulu Plus, and any other number of Internet-based movie/television watching options, there almost always seems to be an occasion for someone to run to the Redbox and grab a flick.  You volunteer to spring for the flick (what’s $1.05 – a pittance, really) while your buddy runs into the grocery store for the beer (sucker!)  Three unreturned weeks later, that direct-to-DVD buddy cop comedy you rented  and never finished has cost you $20 and your dignity.  [Note – This could also occasionally fall under booze-related expenses.]
  • Parties – I love a good party.  I realize that this could fall under the booze category but I think going to parties in your twenties becomes increasingly expensive.  In college, you’d grab a case of something cheap, throw in $5 for pizza, and be set.  When someone invites you over for wine and cheese, you’re expected to bring something that may actually come with a cork and a cheese that costs more than a cab ride.  I could throw a very classy affair if I had saved every $20 spent when heading to a “casual” get together in the last five years.
  • Gadgets – I have a personality that I like to describe as “charmingly analog.”  I don’t feel the need to wait in line for the latest Apple product or scourge eBay/Craigslist for gaming systems.  I just got my first smartphone, out of necessity more than desire, and I still have the iPod my parents gave me in 2006 for a trip abroad (it holds almost 200 songs!)  But in your twenties, gadgets are the thing.  Even more than clothes or going out, I see people spending large percentages of their take home pay on gadgets.  Its our generation’s most debilitating – and awesome – addiction.

3 thoughts on “Friday Frivolity: Spending Money in Your Twenties

  1. i’m with you on that wedding thing- who knew? my only hope is that i can drink enough at the reception to make it all worthwhile. but, just wait– late 20s/early 30s all those shmucks are having babies, so the cash goes for baby shower gifts… ridiculous.

  2. Pingback: Friday Frivolity Flashback | Musings on Life After College

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