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Millennial Minded

Live the YOLO life financially, and you can enjoy the results

Jason Vitug is CEO of Phroogal.
Jason Vitug is CEO of Phroogal. - ()

“At age 20, I bought a brand new BMW,” Jason Vitug writes.

“I walked into the dealership and walked out indebted to a new $38,000 car — I recall saying YOLO.”

Vitug is now the CEO of Phroogal, a website that allows folks to crowdsource financial knowledge within a Q&A database.

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But he left his job as the vice president of marketing and business development for Tico Federal Credit Union in 2012 to travel abroad.

He therefore has a lot to say to millennials about the YOLO lifestyle — while avoiding criticism.

“YOLO stands for ‘You Only Live Once,’ and a few years ago it was uttered feverishly by millennials as a lifestyle choice,” Vitug said.

“YOLO as a mindset is great — when it’s applied to the understanding that today is the best day to start saving, start learning about money and start building the actual YOLO life.”

Vitug would know.

That BMW he bought when he was 20? After unexpectedly losing his job, Vitug was forced to spend time working two jobs just to pay for his car instead of spending time having fun with friends.

“If you have $10,000 of debt and only make $10 an hour, you will have to allocate 1,000 hours — or 25 weeks — of your life to pay that off, and that’s not including interest charges,” Vitug said.

Now at Phroogal, Vitug is all about encouraging others to live the lifestyles they want and being smart about their money in order to do so.

“If we only live once, why not make sure the decisions we make support healthy and financially stress-free lifestyles?” Vitug said.

He also gives tips for us millennials when our YOLO-days go off track — at least money-wise: 

  • Envision your dream lifestyle. “Envision the life you want to live at retirement and make the financial decisions that support living that life today.”
  • Pay yourself first. “YOLO is about putting yourself first — invest in you by saving money each pay period. We’re about experiences, so save for each specific goal by creating a purposeful savings strategy.”
  • Tackle debt. “When it comes to debt, the longer you hold onto it, the more it costs you. Consider additional ways to make money, such as side hustles or freelance work.”
  • Curb the spending. “If you value freedom to do things that matter to you, then buying an $800 smartphone may not be the wisest choice. Learn to prioritize spending on necessities first and saving for everything else before purchase.”

ALSO ON THE NJBIZ "MILLENNIAL MINDED" BLOG:

Millennials see the light at the end of the economic tunnel

Millennial growing pains: You only live once

Guess how many millennials opened 401(k)s this year. You might be surprised

More Millennial Minded

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