An Open Letter to Shockingly Broke 20-Somethings

“Times are tough man. I have to work two jobs. I don’t feel like doing much by the time I get home.”

My friend stressed to me as I went to visit his new place.

This scenario is very typical. Many of my friends work multiple jobs and struggle to keep up with the bills. Those who aren’t struggling either live at home or don’t have many ambitious goals.

What happened to all of the fun that we were supposed to be having in our 20s? We thought we would be chilling by the beach, signing deals at a strip club, or living like kings.

Life’s not what any of us expected it to be in our 20s.

I’m fortunate enough to not be broke, but I would definitely like to have more money saved up. I’m not where I fully want to be. Actually, I don’t even know where I expected to be at this age. When I went to get my undergraduate in business, just like any other student, I thought that the world was going to be mine. I thought I would find a job as a business man and ride the bus to work everyday.

Then I realized that I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t want to commute an hour to a job that I hated just so I could tell people I worked in finance. I started Studenomics and began living a life filled with adventure.

Many of my friends are shockingly broke in their 20s. The worst part is that they give me unsolicited advice.

What kind of advice do they give me?

  • I should settle down.
  • I should get a real job.
  • I need to stop with the freelancing.
  • I should work at their company.

The advice just pours in. It’s easy to give advice because you don’t look within yourself to see what’s wrong. You point the finger at others. You feel better about yourself. You tell someone else how to live life because your life sucks.

I hate “Guru Syndrome.” I don’t tell anyone how to live life if they don’t ask. If you want my help, I’m here. You can read through my archives or pay me for my time. I don’t tell you how to live life if you don’t ask or pay me.

So why are so many folks so quick to throw out advice these days? I don’t know. I don’t get it.

If your life isn’t where you want it to be, focus on yourself. Improve a little each day. Get your act together. Then you can give back with advice when prompted.

[Must read: Why you’re always going to be broke.]

What advice do I have for shockingly broke 20-somethings?

I don’t even know. There’s so many ways I can go with this. So many directions. So many tips that are easy to throw out into an article.

My best tips from personal experiences and from observing friends are:

  1. Don’t buy anything you can’t afford.
  2. Figure out why your income sucks.
  3. See where you’re wasting your money.
  4. Work on one problem area at a time.
  5. You don’t have to do anything with your money that you don’t want to.
  6. Always invest in yourself.
  7. Chase your goals relentlessly.
  8. Go after at least one wild dream.
  9. Make lots of mistakes now.
  10. Don’t mix your drinks.

As always, you don’t have to apply every single tip at once. Something from this list has to appeal to you. Bookmark this page so that you come back here when you’re feeling frustrated.

Can you always turn things around?


It never matters how badly you screwed up. You can always flip things around in your life. I’ve helped readers get out of debt, quit jobs, plan a trip, and even get a date (not with me!).

I’m constantly struggling with the idea of success and saving money. The problem is that you’re never going to be as successful as you want to be. You’re never going to have as much money as you think you should.

I don’t have a quote for you at this point. I want you to make an effort so that when you return here or when we see each other, you’re not complaining about being broke.

There are a few articles I want you to read…

Motivational quotes don’t pay the bills — Let’s be honest here, posting a quote won’t change anything. You need to read this article right now because the world has enough inspiring quotes. You need to take action because reading another quote won’t help you.

The economics of your love life in your 20s — What’s more important than dating in your 20s? Your love life ties into everything. This will determine what you do, where you live, how much you spend, how motivated you are, and how you feel on a daily basis.

How-to create life-changing opportunities — Stop loitering! There are opportunities all around you. Don’t settle ever.

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” — Oscar Wilde

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