Exactly 20 years ago, just a couple weeks away from my high school graduation, my plan for a career was quite humble:
To become a school teacher, to marry a school teacher, and to live in a small house in my small hometown.
That’s all I wanted. I specifically didn’t care about money. For those of us born in 1981, the firstborns of the Millennial Generation, we were led to believe that “money isn’t everything” and that “all you need is love”.
But by the time I began my career, I saw the world in a different light. And I imagine many other men who were born in 1981 also experienced the same culture shock, and therefore, a rewiring of how we perceive money.
What makes us this way? I have compiled 5 reasons why men born in 1981 are so much more woke when it comes to personal finances. Consider this to be my comic book villain origin story:
1. The average American man gets married at age 27; which for those of us born in 1981, coincided with the Financial Crisis of 2008. Needless to say, I got married just a few months before the recession hit.
2. Most of us attended college compared to previous generations, which meant more competition in the work force in addition to starting out our careers with heavy student loans.
3. We were told we would be the first generation to actually make less money than our own parents; who themselves didn’t necessarily need to graduate college like we did in order to be successful in our careers.
4. It is common knowledge that there should be no expectations for my generation to actually get social security when we retire.
5. Thanks to the Internet, we have so many opportunities to have multiple online side hustles; to add passive income in addition to our salaries from our full time jobs.
Both at my office as well as my online persona as a YouTuber, I am referred to as Slick Nick.
If you know me at all, you know I am a person who is unapologetically fixated on making money, saving money, and investing money:
In addition to my full time job at a Fortune 500 Company, I also handle my 5 online side hustles: running two YouTube channels, managing the SEO for a majority university here in Nashville, plus selling guest blog spots and planting Amazon links here on my website.
As opposed to the excess culture of the 1980s and 1990s as people went in debt to impress people they didn’t care about by buying McMansions and brand-new luxury cars, I am from a generation where the goal is to impress people by how much money we save and invest; not how much we spend.
I feel like men from my generation will be like those who survived the Great Depression. We will spend our lives finding ways to independently fund our own retirements; assuming there will be no social security left for us.
If we’re lucky, we’re wrong. But if we’re wrong, we just might be rich.