How a Quarter Life Crisis Can Kill Your Finances

Not every twenty-something suffers from a quarter-life crisis, but those who do know that it can make you act out in strange and unpredictable ways. While the famed “mid-life crisis” has long been characterized by the desire to act and appear younger, the quarter-life crisis usually manifests itself in the opposite fashion: Millennials who’ve spent two or three years in the workforce realize that they can no longer classify themselves as “post-grad,” and begin to have qualms about whether the choices they’ve made are the right ones. Will the paths they’ve taken lead them towards a better future, or are they merely just marking time?

While these doubts are normal and healthy, it’s important not to let the quarter-life crisis destroy everything that you’ve worked hard to build so far. Here’s how to keep a handle on your finances when these blues come to call.

Stick with your day job

There’s nothing wrong with working hard to achieve your true passion, but do it on your own time. Quitting your job to chase rainbows might look pretty in the movies, but the real world charges rent. Consider volunteering on the weekends, or starting a blog about something that interests you.

Don’t splurge on getaways you can’t afford

Everyone has at least one friend who’s always taking exotic vacations and splashing the photogenic results all over social media. Of course it looks tempting, but don’t take the bait by blowing all your savings on a trip that will only last a week or two. If you need a change of scenery, that’s fine, but keep it reasonable—say, a long ski weekend or a concert in a nearby city.

Keep saving

If you truly find yourself unfulfilled in your work or social life, there’s nothing wrong with seeking change. Before taking the leap, however, you should make sure you have plenty of the other kind of change—and a good supply of folding money, as well. Often the worst mistake a budding entrepreneur can make is inadequate preparation for the next step.

Maintain a positive attitude
Remember, you’re still young. That’s why it’s called a quarter-life crisis—there’s still plenty of time ahead to make choices, to start new chapters, and of course, to fail. Look at each bump in the road as a learning opportunity, and go on from there.