Don’t Look for Financial Success In Ads

I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook the other day when I stumbled upon an ad in my newsfeed disguised as an article written by The Penny Hoarder.

A financial site that often has tips and tricks to save money, it also uses their articles to generate kickbacks via advertising different financial apps and investment tools.

No big deal, right? Except it was ironically marketed to me because Facebook collects data as we all know by now. The caption read, “32 is sneaking up on us.”

The title of the article was 19 Money Moves You Should Have Done Before Turning 32. So, naturally, I clicked on it because why not add insult to injury and see if I’m “on track” by this article’s standards?

As I read through the article I quickly realized how unrealistic it was. Much of it talked about investing extra money and buying into real estate.

Why do I find this so funny? Because if you’re lucky enough to be part of my generation then you know full well there is no extra money left over at the end of each month. And investing in real estate in California is laughable.

Like most early 30-somethings, the sky-high price of rent in a growing national housing crisis is forcing people to spend nearly half their income on their housing. After rent is (hopefully) paid, there is still every other bill like car insurance and student loan payments.

Fact is most Americans, in close to every age category, are still living paycheck to paycheck, and many do not have the extra money to invest or set aside for savings or retirement.

And it’s not because we are lazy or don’t want to work. It’s because the cost of living versus the average yearly salary just doesn’t add up.

More people are working two, maybe even three, jobs to try and make ends meet. It’s a sad reality that affording life is not easy.

So when I come across these articles that state what I should have done before turning 32 it just makes me frustrated. How may people are reading it and thinking, “Wow, I’m behind.” when little do they know they are just like the millions of other Americans out there trying to survive.

I even fall victim to these articles and start to feel stressed over what I haven’t managed to do yet like buy a home or save $100,000 for retirement in an investment account. 

But then I realize how unrealistic that is right now, not just for me, but for a lot of other 30-somethings out there grinding away.

Ditch the “You should be here” mentality and just worry about feeling secure. What that means to you is different for others, as is your financial situation.