Since when is Millennial a bad word?

I see articles every day along the lines of “why millennials struggle to survive the current job market” or “I don’t envy millennial today” or “why millennials ruined x, y, or z”. WTF? What did we ever do to you?

I recently turned 30, so I still technically fall into the millennial category (ages 23-37ish currently) and it seems like it has turned into a dirty word! People reference this generation of people like we are the worst thing to happen to society. Millennial ruined everything. Millennial are always on their phones. Millennials don’t know the meaning of hard work. On and on and on. And quite frankly, it kind of sucks!

First and foremost, I don’t think it’s fair to blame one generation of people for any particular issue. There will always be outliers and those that conform to the stereotype, but let’s not clump everyone together. There will always be someone who doesn’t want to work hard, who rests on the money Daddy gave them and doesn’t feel the need to contribute to society. There are however, an equal number of millennials who work their asses off trying to better this world. The night shift nurses, the non-profit managers who aspire to save the world, the computer techies who build apps to check on family members in a disaster. They care, more than the world gives them credit for. And instead of getting stuck at a job they hate, they are turning to their passions to feed them. They are building, creating, changing. They are digging deep, often making little money to start with, to actually DO something. They are the ones out there fighting for what they believe in.

You taught us that we can be anything we want, right? President, pilot, scientist, artist, musician, Olympian. Don’t tell little girls they can achieve greatness and then ignore them! Support them! Build them up and set them up to succeed. That’s where I think society finds complaints with my generation. You told us we can do anything, and that you expect a lot from us. We don’t want it handed to us, but we may get there a different way.

Many of my friends’ parents often talk about how they worked menial jobs to support their families, and that we know nothing about working simply because we have to. Here’s the thing, my mom told me, from day one, that I could be anything I dreamed of .She never told me “you’ll go to college, then be a secretary until you get married. Then you can quit.” Uh, no. My mom is the most bad ass woman I know. She has been a CEO, CFO, president of companies. She works her ass off. And she loves her job! She is changing the world by working hard. And people take notice of that. I think if I told her I wanted to spend my life twiddling my thumbs waiting for a husband or doing “just something” she would have lost it. She told me to aim for the moon. So that’s what I’m doing.

My point is, just because you don’t understand everything about our career choices, doesn’t mean we are wrong. We are a group of highly motivated, creative, driven individuals. We are solving problems that no one has been able to touch until now. Give us a chance to prove ourselves!

Some people call millennials lazy, apathetic. Hardly. We want a work/life balance, what’s wrong with that?! So we want to make money AND spend time with our families, gasp! What a novel concept. It really amazes me that so many people are so quick to point at this group of young people and judge. We are going to change the world, in amazing ways. Just you watch.

Money Diary: What I learned

So I spent an entire week tracking every cent that I spent. What did I learn? Quite a lot actually!

I don’t realize how many times I go to the store for just one thing, and come out with three or more. As much as I try to do just one big trip per week, there are always going to be a few things that I want to get fresh the day of. Think, fresh baked bread, salmon fillets etc. Well, each time I go in I end up coming out with more than just the one item. Ok not ALWAYS, but usually. Oh I forgot I need cheese, or bandaids, or chocolate. So instead of $2 it ends up being $11 or more. And if I do this three time a week, that’s $30 that I wasn’t planning on spending! I am going to try to be better about doing one shopping trip a week, and staying within that budget. I think that’ll really help trim a few bucks.

I never really think about bill paying. Let me explain. I pay my $300 vet bill (for example) but then when I look at my bank account I don’t know where the money went. Yes I’m paying down a bill, but it doesn’t feel the same for some reason.

Eating out adds up. I mean I know we all know this. But I never think about it because I really don’t eat out that often. But even two times in one week was over $20. And ya sometimes things come up, and we all go out. Ok, not the end of the world.

Keeping track helps. When I was writing down each penny I spent, I was a lot more aware. I didn’t want the internet to know that I spent money on X, Y, or Z so I didn’t spend it. And that helped! It goes back to accountability for me I think.


All in all I would definitely say this was a great experience. I recommend everyone try it for some period of time. That being said, I also learned that a total spending freeze isn’t always practical for everyone. I do however think small blocks of time are good. A day? A  week? Try small. A month was almost feasible for me, and I have successfully done it before. But a few small things tripped me up. And I let it go. I didn’t want to feel like I had failed. And that’s okay!

Have you ever tried tracking your every penny? I recommend you try it some time. You might actually learn something about yourself!

Money Diary: Day Seven

6:50 AM – Up and exhausted. I never sleep well and so early mornings are not my favorite thing. I walk the dogs, feed them, and put on some coffee. I stumble back upstairs and snuggle with the cat for an hour, forgetting the coffee. Balls.

8:15 AM – Remember the coffee so head back downstairs. I enjoy a cup while doing some minor adulating (laundry and finishing dishes). Then I hop in the shower.

10:30 AM – Head out the door for some errands. Get gas at Costco $15.51. I pick up a prescription and run a few other boring errands. I am supposed to meet a guy for tea at 1pm so I want to get my stuff done before then.

1:00 PM – I get to the tea shop for my date. $2.50 for a cup of peppermint tea. The date is a bit of a dud but no harm no foul.

3:00 PM – I arrive at my friend’s house to check on her. I snag her car keys so I can go pick up her son from daycare. I try to pick him up a couple times a week and I love my afternoons with him. He is such a sweet little man! He will be three next month and the light of my life. When I walk into his classroom he says gasps “MoMo!” melt my heart! In the car he tells me “I love your beautiful nails MoMo!” I can’t make this up! He is such a love! We go to get frozen yogurt, or as he calls it Candy Ice Cream. $5.40 (I may have gotten him way more than he can eat.)

5:00 PM – We head back to his house to check on Mom and Dad. I drop him off and head back home, heart full of love.

6:00 PM – I get home and have some bread and cheese for dinner.

7:00 PM – I talk to one of my closest friends from college who is getting married this summer. I need to start looking at flights and places to stay. It’s not going to be a cheap trip (they are getting married in Lake Tahoe in July) so I need to start planning now.

9:00 PM – Dogs out for one last walk and off to bed!

Total Spent: $22.41

Money Diary: Day Six

6:45 AM – Up and at ‘em. Walk the dogs, and because I am not working on anything time sensitive, try to go back to sleep for a bit.

7:30 AM – One of my dogs is definitely not into resting this morning, so we get up and go for another walk. I make a piece of toast, and watch a little morning news.

9:30 AM – Head to Winco for a few things I need to pick up. I get cat food, avocados, yogurt, crackers, frozen mangos and hash browns. $21.30

 10:30 AM – Groceries in tow I head over to my best friend’s house. We watch silly TV and discuss our weekends. For lunch, we heat up random things found in her fridge.

12:15 PM – Bestie’s Hubby comes home and we watch the Assassination of Gianni Versace. Very good!

3:30 PM – I head to Safeway and Trader Joe’s to get a couple airplane snacks for my trip this coming Saturday. $17.60

 4:30 PM – Back home, I walk my dogs and put the food away. I eat a snack plate of hummus, olives, pita chips, carrots and cucumbers. It will keep me full until dinner.

6:00 PM – Bread and goat cheese. I’m an adult, that counts as dinner, right?

9:15 PM – Roommate and I decide to book our trip to San Diego before bed. The total comes out to $430 and she will pay me for her ticket later so my total is $215

9:45 PM – Off to bed!

Total spent: $243.90

Money Diaries: Day Five

7:20 AM – Come on guys! It’s Sunday! Do we really have to get up this early on a weekend!? I walk the dogs and feed them and head back to bed. I don’t actually get much more sleep because the dogs are so fussy this morning, so we roll out of bed around 8:30 for a second time.

8:45 AM – I make some toast and drink a glass of water. I decide to take a shower because I am not sure what my day is going to look like. I have friends coming over this afternoon and I want to get to Winco if there is time.

9:00 AM – I get a text from my bestie that she isn’t feeling well today, so I tentatively decide not to do anything important today in case she needs me to pick up her little one. We discuss me keeping her company tomorrow and picking up her little boy on Tuesday. Ok, now I can shower.

10:30 AM – Finish drying my hair and doing a few adult things (dishes, laundry etc.) Roommate and her man go out to breakfast and offer to bring coffee home for me (I’m out of creamer) Yes please!

10:45 AM – I put on the record from last night (SYML) and pick up my book. I am about 2/3 through it and I know it is going to break my heart. But I love the story so much so I settle in for the rest of the book.

11:15 AM – (Home with coffee) Still reading, heart breaking.

1:15 PM – I finish the book. I’m sobbing and covered in snot, total hot mess. I love this story so much. I wash my face and drink a glass of water. I’m exhausted (emotionally) and decide to take a nap until my friends come over.

2:00 PM – Do you have a cat? Cats are the most wonderful creatures, mine loves to snuggle and literally be on my face at all times. This however doesn’t allow for good napping conditions. I settle for bed rest and flipping through Instagram.

2:20 PM – My friends call to tell me they are on the train and should arrive in an hour. Suddenly feeling my lack of food, but they mentioned wanting to get Mexican food so I don’t want to eat anything until they get here.

3:30 PM – I walk the dogs. Because of the weekend schedule (apparently) the train my friends are on stopped a few stations too soon and is turning around. So, they get off the train and call for me to pick them up. Ok, off we go.

3:45 PM – We swing by the house to pick up Roomie and head to a new restaurant.

4:00 PM – We devour the chips and salsa and all order yummy food. We split dinner 4 ways and my portion comes to $11.50

 5:00 PM – Thoroughly stuffed, we head home to watch a movie. We pick The Big Sick (go see it!) and all hang out on the couch.

7:45 PM – It was a great movie, everyone loved it. My friends decide to call a Lyft to get home, as the train is going to take an hour.

8:15 PM – Roommate watches something on TV while I walk the dogs and read some blogs. I am exhausted from being up so late, and the emotional rollercoaster of the book I read this morning (is this just something that happens to me?  I get so caught up in a story that it literally exhausts me.)

9:00 PM – I think I’m going to head to bed early tonight. It’s going to be a very busy week and I’d like to start off on the right foot.

Total spent: $11.50

Money Diary: Day Four

8:10 AM – Holy crap! We actually slept in! The dogs woke up about 30 minutes ago but I managed to get them to settle down until now. It’s the little things.

8:30 AM – I make coffee and a piece of toast. I also have a grapefruit. We get an Imperfect Produce box every two weeks full of funny looking fruits/veggies. There is nothing wrong with the produce but it isn’t pretty enough to sell in conventional grocery stores. So, at a discounted price it’s delivered to our house! We get to customize it and it’s a great deal! The grapefruit were small, like the size of a standard orange, so I assume that’s why they were “imperfect” (tasted just perfect to me!) Roomie takes my Doberman for a run (single woman running alone is a no-no in our house. He’s the only one of our dogs who would actually defend us so he is the designated running partner.)

9:30 AM – We all hang out, roomie stretches after her run, and we decide to see a movie this afternoon. I am very interested in seeing Call Me By Your Name. I also look into kitty-knuckle keychains for the two of us, you can never be too careful! $16

10:45 AM – Laundry and other adult tasks (dishes, general cleaning) until it’s time to go for the movie.

12:30 PM – We go to New Seasons, a local market, next to the theater. I get orzo salad with grilled chicken from the salad bar to enjoy during the movie $4.50

 1:15 PM – Roomie uses her Movie Pass and I pay for my ticket to the movie $8.50 and she gets a soda for us to share.

4:10 PM – OMG the movie is amazing! Probably one of my favorite movies ever. Really, that good. I highly recommend it! Though I may have cried, a lot…

4:30 PM – Home and hungry but decide to wait a little bit. We look at Foo Fighters tickets online, I desperately want to go and have put off buying tickets! My computer locks me out for some reason so Roomie buys the tickets and will deduct the cost of my ticket from my rent for next month. Woo Hoo!!! Beyond excited to see them, they are one of my bucket list bands. Now to wait until September for the concert hah.

5:25 PM – I walk the dogs and decide to heat up some soup. We have a chest freezer in our garage and it’s basically full of soup. I make a giant pot of it weekly, and freeze at least half of it each time. That way, on nights like tonight when I don’t feel like cooking, I can heat some up easily. I listen to my SYML record and eat my soup.

6:00 PM – Feed the dogs and settle into the couch with Mulder and Scully (X-Files) and my laptop. I do some reading and some writing. I have never been one to go out much, and last month was such a busy month that I am relishing my nights in lately!

7:00 PM – Time for an adventure! Because I am so enamored by the movie we saw today, I decide I need to get the book. And read it, immediately. So roomie and I head to Powell’s Books. I could order my book on Amazon for $10 but I feel like supporting a local establishment. And this way I can read it NOW. She also picks up a book, Hidden Figures. $17 We also swing through Subway on the way home for her to pick up something to eat. I am already engaged in my book so I get nothing to eat.


9:30 PM – I have been reading and listening to SYML on vinyl since we got home. I take the dogs out for one more walk and read until my eyes won’t stay open any longer, about 11:30 PM

Total spent: $46

Money Diary: Day Three

6:50 AM – Up and at ‘em. So tired, because I didn’t sleep well. I take the dogs on a walk, feed them, and head back to bed. I am really enjoying this week of slow mornings!

9:00 AM – Up for the second time. I eat some avocado toast, and hop in the shower. I am supposed to meet my friends’ new baby this afternoon and I want to be fresh and clean! I get ready to head across town and walk the dogs one more time.

10:45 AM – Drive across town, and decide to make a brows appointment. I kill some time looking at records at Music Millennium, and end up breaking my spending freeze when I pick up a record cleaning kit and a Killers album on vinyl. $46.87

 12:00 PM – I head to the salon and get my brows done. Ow. The price we pay… $17 (including tip)

12:30 PM – Back to my parents’ house to eat lunch, whatever I can find in the fridge, some chicken and rice. I watch trashy television for a couple hours until I can go over and meet the baby! (babies are on a very specific schedule apparently!)

3:00 PM – OMG this tiny human is so freaking adorable!!!! Something about little tiny babies, I just love them. Don’t want one myself, but I’m a great Auntie. We catch up over some mint tea and it’s such a lovely afternoon of baby snuggles.


4:30 PM – I grab a cookie and head out the door for a schlep across town to home.

5:00 PM – That was a fairly painless drive after all! Get home just as roomie does and we take the dogs out. I attempt to fix a record that has been skipping and unfortunately, I think it is scuffed and will need to be replaced. So sad.

5:30 PM – We decide to get Frank’s Noodle House for dinner, each getting an order of chicken with hand-pulled noodles. Roomie gets spicy and I get mild. I pick up the check as we tend to go back and forth on who pays for dinners when we eat out or get take out. $25 (with tip)

6:00 PM – We watch an episode of the Blacklist and eat our noodles, YUM!

7:00 PM – Stuffed and content, I enjoy one of my ciders that I picked up a few weeks back. Super good! Roomie goes downstairs to paint and I enjoy more X-Files and catch up on some writing.

9:00 PM – It’s early, and a Friday night, but we decide to head off to bed early, because we are old people……

Total spent: $88.87

Money Diary: Day Two

6:45 AM – And we’re up! I feed and walk the dogs and again take a morning nap as I haven’t had an actual day off in years. It’s glorious!

9:15 AM – Up for the second time. I am feeling a little groggy so I make some coffee and some hash with whatever I can find in the fridge. In goes an egg, some cheese, some potatoes and leftover chicken. I try very hard not to be wasteful so I make an effort to use up whatever odds and ends are left during the week. I’m far from perfect but I always try.

10:30 AM – Head over to my bestie’s house. She’s fighting cancer for the second time so I spend time with her every day that I’m home. Today we watch trashy shows on TLC and Animal Planet, eat some snacks, and I drink the coffee that I brought in my thermos.  Her husband joins us for lunch and I head back home around 3pm.


3:15 PM – Arrive home and it’s time to walk the dogs. Each dog gets a 20-minute walk even though it’s raining.

4:15 PM – I get a notice in my email reminding me that I have a payment for my animal credit card due. I have a specific credit card that I put only my animal related purchases on. If I pay each purchase off in 6 months there is no interest, so I make sure to keep track and pay off each payment as soon as possible. $236.23

 5:15 PM – Roommate gets home and we catch up since our schedules haven’t overlapped much lately. We talk about upcoming weekend plans and look at planning a trip to San Diego. I just got home from spending a few days there with my Godmother because she had surgery. It made me miss home, and family, so we decide another trip is in order.

6:20 PM – I’m not super hungry so I snack on baguette with goat cheese that I picked up earlier in the week.

7:00 PM – I spend the rest of the evening watching old X-Files episodes while my roommate paints. We all head to bed around 9pm.

Total spent: $236.23

My money diary, day one

Do you guys read the Money Diaries on Refinery29? I do and am kind of obsessed. I will spend literally hours reading through what people do and spend their money on. Is that weird? I don’t think so.

I mentioned a few months ago that I did a food diary for the and LOVED doing it. So I think I will do my own Money Diary, maybe I will even submit it and see if they publish it too! The difference is I will post one day at a time. I won’t publish it all at once because I imagine that would be a very long post! So let’s start with today.

Day one (Wednesday)

6:50 AM – Ugh, dogs. I love them dearly but why must we always be up so early!? My roommate and her man are off to work and I’m off to walk my dogs. I make coffee and a piece of toast. I’m exhausted from a poor night’s sleep so I decide to take a morning nap.

9:30 AM – And we’re up. The dogs are playing and I drink more coffee. I watch a little bit of the Today show and get ready to go see my mom.

10:15 AM – Jethro (one of my dogs) and I head out to see my mom. We are going to get lunch and I am going to borrow her apple peeler. I walk Jethro around my parents’ neighborhood because we are a bit early for lunch.

12:00 PM – Arrive at Mom’s office. All her coworkers love to give my dog belly rubs and head scratches. He doesn’t mind. Mom and I (and Jethro) walk over to Cheese and Crack, and get some mac ‘n cheese to split for lunch, Mom pays because she’s awesome. Jethro enjoys meeting everyone on our walk over. Mom and I eat in her office and split a Coke from her fridge. I head back to her house to get the apple peeler and Jethro and I head back home.

2:30 PM – Walk the dogs, Red and Holden stayed home so they get a longer walk, but it starts to rain so we cut it short. I spend most of the afternoon hanging out with my dogs, putzing around the house, watching the X-Files, and munching.

5:30 PM – I finally make a smoothie to stand in for dinner. My roommate is at an event tonight so she won’t be home until later. The dogs and I enjoy a nice evening at home relaxing.

7:30 PM – Browsing guys on Bumble, dating is awful. I know some people love it but I really don’t enjoy it, and I certainly don’t think I’m good at it. I give up and work on some blog writing and other miscellaneous tasks.

9:00 PM – Roommate is home and we catch up on the day.  Final walk for the dogs and into bed (I feel like a grandma but I hate being up late!)

Total spent: $0

Finally home!

Yesterday was the travel day from Hell, literally.

It started with a 4am wake up call (East Coast Time) for a 7am flight. The roads were SUPER icy so my shuttle driver went slower than usual. I finally got to the airport, and got situated. They let su know the airport was closed, no inbound or outbound flights. So the plan coming in from LAX was not able to land. They were rerouted to Indianapolis. Ok fine, do I want to go to Detroit and then on to San Diego? No, that’s the wrong direction! So I wanted for our delayed flight (which ended up taking off about 10:30 which meant I missed my connection flight). Landed in LA at 12:45 (Pacific Coast Time) and go to collect my luggage (which was I was told would be available to pick up in LAX).

Ok, 30 minutes no luggage. So I go to the lady to ask, “it’ll be out in 30 minutes”…….ok fine I’ll wait. Mind you, I’m tired, hungry, and my dear friend Jessica has been hanging out at LAX for an hour now, after driving 2 hours to get me.

…..2 hours, no baggage. I fill out the form and tearfully go find Jessica. We have a nice drive (3 hours in the pouring rain, which never happens in SoCal!) and grab in-n-out on the way home. Finally, around 7pm we get home. I have now been awake for 18 hours. I am tired. I am crabby and emotional. I hug my Godmother and pass out.

I am telling you this, because normally this would have been an excuse to spend money on comfort items. Throughout the day I could have caved and bought coffee, a muffin, snacks, lunch on the plane, and many other things.

What did I spend money on? In-n-Out on the drive home. It’s my favorite comfort food, that I rarely get. We don’t have In-n-Out in Portland, so I only get it when I visit family in San Diego. It cost me $6.20 for a burger, fries, and soda. And it was worth every penny! I also intend to pay back my friend for the gas, but I feel good about that, as she rescued me!

Travel is definitely a difficult thing for anyone’s budget. If you don’t plan accordingly, it can really mess up a budget! This is just for day-of things, I am not even talking about the travel itself. I try my best to pack my favorite snacks so that I am not tempted to buy food, and drink the free crappy coffee on the airplane (enough cream and sugar mask anything!) I don’t spring for the upgrade, I don’t do any of the bells and whistles, and yet I always make it to my destination just fine! I did check a bag, which they lost, so I got miles for that. Still not what I paid for the bag, but it helps!

My point is, it’s possible to travel without blowing your budget. I’ll do a post on the traveling itself sometime, but today was all about the bells and whistles! I am still pretty tired from the circus yesterday so that’s why I just can’t tackle that yet!

What are your travel tips and tricks for saving money?