At the time of writing this article I'm 28 years old (almost 29) and my life looks nothing like what I thought it would.
I run a successful business as a financial blogger and subject matter expert from my laptop. I'm still living at home in an effort to save money and help in the caretaking of my grandmother. I recently learned I have a higher net worth than most people my age, I have yet to own a car, and I decided to screw real jobs nearly four years ago.
Now that I think of it, my life looks nothing like what it's "supposed" to look like. And thank goodness for that! As I look back at the last few years of my life, I realize I've had to undergo an "unlearning" of what society has taught me about money.
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While I was fortunate to start realizing this at a pretty young age, I still wish there were some money truths someone would have told me in college.
The economy has changed forever
I had just started my junior year of college when the stock market crashed in 2008. By the time I graduated in 2010, people were still operating under the assumption that a real job with a 401(k) was the only way to be a responsible adult with a career.
Fast forward nearly a decade and I can tell you that is sure as hell not the case. The economy is never going back to what it was and had I realized that back then I would have saved myself a lot of headaches.
There is no one-size-fits-all financial plan
I began my financial journey devouring every money book I could get my 22-year-old hands on. I was desperately searching for the silver bullet that would solve all my money and career woes.
While the books were helpful and certainly gave me a foundation, I've come to learn that there is no perfect money plan. All you can do is create a plan that works for you and that takes a whole lot self-awareness and reflection.
This brings me to my final point...
Money is more about psychology than math
I avoided math like the plague growing up. Seeing as how money and numbers go hand in hand, I kind of avoided my finances for a while too.
What I've come to learn on this journey - that for some reason a lot of people don't tell you despite how obvious it is - is that money has more to do with psychology than math.
Personal finance is a lot more about self-awareness than spreadsheets. In fact, the spreadsheets are pointless if you don't even know why you're behaving the way you do with money.