4 Status Symbols You Don’t Need in Your Twenties

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Photo by Michael Dagonakis on Unsplash

When you are in your twenties, there is plenty you don’t need:

  • 4563 new work outfits
  • friends who party every weekend
  • a closet filled with labels

You don’t need status symbols to prove your success. Instead, you need to be comfortable within your skin.

When you have the career of your dreams, you’d expect to live a Pinterest lifestyle. But you have nothing to prove to anyone. Sometimes, it’s you. Your insecurities are the motivator. You hope to give yourself everything you have never had.

But therapy could have been a better investment. Here are four expensive things you don’t need in your twenties to prove your success.

An apartment within the city

Apartments are expensive for many reasons. The main ones are luxury and location. I understand not wanting to live with your folks.

You want your freedom and independence. No one asking where you have been or wondering when you will be home.

But freedom doesn’t have to be expensive.

What some pay for rent is someone’s mortgage for the month. Your ability to pay rent solo is often proof you can afford a mortgage. But the down payment is a significant obstacle.

Instead:

If you can, sacrifice location for affordability. The money saved could become your house deposit or emergency fund.

Consider a house in the surrounding areas and check out the travel routes for work and social events.

Photo by Naomi Hébert on Unsplash

Student loans

Too much shame surrounds scholarships. It’s okay to be the sponsored athlete or college student. I wished I had applied for more financial aid when I was at university.

It’s shocking to me how much money goes unclaimed each year. You’d think you got it on merit. Yet, sometimes you were the only qualified candidate who applied.

Doesn’t it sound good to say you graduated without debt? I’ll tell you what I hoped someone said to me. You don’t have to do it all alone.

Instead:

Check out the scholarship programs.

Look into special association scholarships. These are lesser known because most people don’t meet the membership criteria. Such sponsorships get provided by clubs, ethnic group organizations, alma maters, and parents’ workplaces.

I understand scholarship forms ask a ton of personal questions. If unwilling to share your life story, seek a private sponsor. This person might have been a mentor to you during your high school years.

Buying brand new

It’s the ultimate perceived height of success — a brand new car. Do you live in a first-world country? Then you would have many comfortable, affordable public means of transportation available.

If you live in a developing country, the transportation options could force you to buy a car. Cars come with several unexpected costs. Many car owners underestimate the depreciation expense.

Another underestimated factor? The car model. The brand of your vehicle is essential. Some types are expensive to repair. Most cars run on 87 and 89 fuel. But many regular car models need premium 90 gas. Be sure to ask before you make your decision.

Here is a Forbes list of ordinary cars that run on premium gas:

(Source: EPA)

  • Buick Envision (with 2.0L turbo)
  • Buick Regal (all models)
  • Buick Regal TourX (all models)
  • Chevrolet Equinox (with 2.0-L turbo)
  • Chevrolet Malibu (with 2.0-L turbo)
  • Fiat 500L (all models)
  • GMC Terrain (with 2.0-L turbo)
  • Honda Civic (with 1.5-L turbo)
  • Kia Stinger (all models)
  • MINI Cooper (all models)
  • MINI Clubman (all models)
  • MINI Countryman (all models)
  • Mitsubishi Outlander (with 3.0-L V6)
  • Nissan Maxima (all models)
  • Volkswagen Arteon (all models)

Instead:

Buy a dated model.

When checking out a used car, bring your mechanic along. Choosing a used car exposes you to lower payback amounts. And paying back fewer dollars matters more when you already have student loans.

Photo by Dhiva Krishna on Unsplash

Trendy Clothes

I’ll always love animated shows. Why? Because the characters have a closet filled with one outfit.

In human shows, the main character wears thousands of different outfits. Without a sponsor, this lifestyle is expensive.

Fast fashion is a way to make this lifestyle less expensive. But you don’t realize that your spending is increasing with your income.

Each sale makes you think you are saving. But the general habit of buying new clothes often is costly.

Instead:

It is so much more affordable to have a signature style.

An even better alternative? Buy versatile pieces that will stay bright and neat after hundreds of washes.

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This article is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered Financial or Legal Advice. Not all information will be accurate. Consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.