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Millennial Minded

Millennial growing pains: You only live once

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My esteemed colleague Meg Fry forwarded me this article, written by financial motivator and lifestyle creator Justin Vitug, which turns the “YOLO” exclamation on its head.

Now, I don’t think I’ve ever said “YOLO,” even ironically. And the only time I’ve ever even uttered the phrase “You Only Live Once” is when I’m trying to specify which Strokes song I’d like to hear.

Needless to say, a new look at what it means “to only live once” was a welcome breath of fresh air. And the fact that Vitig’s approach is slightly more measured speaks to the new book-and-a-cup-of-tea Friday nights I’ve started cultivating since taking on a full-time position.

Basically: You only live once, so take care of yourself. He means financially, of course. Taken in its typical sense, “YOLO” is a bit of an excuse to spend on instant gratification rather than the long run.

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But if you only live once, why sign away future hours of your life for work when you could be having fun?

It’s a good reminder, but as I’ve hit my mid-20s, I’ve started learning that lesson in basically all areas of my life.

In the last six months I’ve joined a gym; started saving and budgeting my money; paid off my debt in payments larger than the minimum when I can; started cooking at home as much as possible; started eating healthier; started waking up earlier; stopped staying up late; and started designating myself as the driver when I do find myself out with friends because, well, alcohol is expensive and unhealthy: It covers both bases.

Not that I’m prescribing this lifestyle for everyone. Each person has to find what works for them, but early in adulthood, we tend to find ourselves faced with adult life decisions to be made and maybe too much arrogance and not enough experience to make them properly.

We’re all going to make mistakes, both in business and in life. But, when they happen, we’d better learn from them and work on ourselves a little bit.

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Write to the Editorial Department at editorial@njbiz.com

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