17/07/2017

22. Treat Yourself


The other day I saw an article about how millennials spend more money on coffee as opposed to investing in a resident or whatever other things baby boomers find "useful." While the article itself probably didn't mean to antagonize millennials in any way or form, it does remind me of how most baby boomers tend to dictate us for being "wasteful." As someone who works her ass off every weekday from 9 to 5, I do not appreciate that.

First off, let us address the elephant in the room: we are facing economic downfall. Unless you are born a privileged princess or prince, money is something we all need to save and manage. I know this because I came from a family who never fed me with a silver spoon. As an only child, people think I get what I want all the time. That's not true because I work for it. I was thought to be independent and I understood that we will never have enough money to pay for everything.

I work as a UIX designer for 8~9 hours every day, sometimes more. I know what it's like to be an employee and not an employer. I know that my paycheck will never be enough to pay electricity bills, internet and everything else. Granted, I still live with my parents. Both my family and I, we work our butt off every single day to survive. So believe me when I say I know how money is hard-earned, not given.

This also means I know what it's like to feel like I deserve a reward.

I deserve to treat myself. I deserve to buy one whole pan of pizza and binge on it while catching up with my favorite tv series. I deserve to step up my game and buy better quality skincare products. I deserve to eat good food. I deserve to reward myself with a pair of new shoes or a new dye job at the salon. I deserve to buy a new book that I have been wanting to get for months. I deserve good things, happy things, tasty things. I deserve to laugh and smile and dance by the end of the week if I wanted to. I deserve all these things without having to be torn down and apart for not investing in a house. I deserve these and I don't need baby boomers to breathe down my neck, telling me I'm better off eating cheap ass street food every week just so I can save more.

Here's a thing or two about baby boomers: they think we should live our lives the way they live theirs, years ago. They are bitter when we spend a few bucks on coffee even if coffee helps keep us awake and happy. They sneer when we reward ourselves by spending our paycheck on things that can make us happy. They snort and get offended if we don't invest our paycheck on real estates. They call us wasteful and silly, young and stupid. They disagree with how we reward ourselves after busting our butt off from Monday to Friday, from 9 to 5. They resent our choices in wanting to be happy even if it's only for a day. They hate it when we use our paycheck to purchase new shoes, new clothes or new anything. They call us foolish, gullible and naive for investing in temporary happiness and not long-term settlement. They think we shouldn't save up for traveling and should do so for marriage instead. They think marriage, residential settlement and having kids is the way to live life.

No, it's not.

People forget the basic law of cause and effect. The downfall of our economy, the struggles we millennials have to push through and the financial status we have to survive each day — these are partially caused by their generation. They blame us for not investing in a house, for causing the decline in real estate purchases. Think about it. How do they expect us to buy a house when really, employment is difficult enough and not all of us are privileged beings who get paid $1000 every month? You may be saying, "that's why you are supposed to save your paychecks and stop buying Starbucks!" But really, when you think about it, no matter how much we save our cash, we'll never be as rich as those who are born privileged. Basic life expenses are not cheap and we all have bills to say. Realistically speaking, it might even take me 10 years before I can even say I'm rich. Even then, I'd still have bills and other expenses to pay. Telling me not to spend my paycheck at all just so I can buy a house is like telling me I shouldn't let loose and reward myself for all those times I had to sit in front of the monitor with a sore back and strained neck.

The thing is, my friend, life in itself is expensive. And if you are a human being, I challenge you to look at me and say, "I do not need personal enjoyment or reward." I bet you can't even do that with a slice of pepperoni pizza hovering in your mind. I bet you can't really mean that.

Keep in mind that I am in no way telling you to be a huge spender. To reward oneself does not necessarily mean to waste cash. You aren't stuck in a Vegas casino where you have to go big or go home. There's a difference between giving yourself nice things once in a while in moderation and carelessly throwing away your dollars. I'm sure most of us understand what it's like to feel proud of ourselves, of our paychecks. I'm also sure most of us know that we need to save and manage.

So the next time someone tells you that you shouldn't spend your paychecks on Starbucks or a new pair of trainers or a ticket to another country, don't listen to them. We deserve to treat ourselves without having to feel guilty. We can stop munching on McDonalds' nasty cheeseburgers and start eating on something better, cleaner and definitely healthier and that's okay. We can start enjoying a newly opened eatery and stop buying instant, frozen food from the convenience store and that's perfectly fine.

We should all start giving credits to ourselves by doing things that make us happy and ignore the haters who bitch about how we spend our hard-earned paychecks.



note — this post was partially inspired by a blog post written by arden over at stories of a telescope.

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