Why playing yolo with money isn’t the way to go

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I’m sad to see that most millenials and young Pinoys have fallen prey to the so-called yolo lifestyle. The motto, you only live once (“yolo”) is used to justify throwing caution to the wind and rearranging priorities, putting experiences ahead of the basic needs for food, shelter and clothing. Many end up going on their international adventures, charging plane tickets and hotels to their credit cards, all while presenting credit card statements to support visa applications at embassies (when did debt ever become proof of assets?).  A lot of young Pinoys,  including young lawyers, must delay certain typical milestones in life such as marriage,  buying a home and living on their own because they have not saved enough money despite their perceived high incomes.

I don’t have a problem with travel. I love it. I just don’t understand why many people have to advocate the whole – buying experiences instead of material things (like a home) because yolo – attitude. These two do not have to be mutually exclusive. Isn’t it better for us millenials and 20 somethings to strive to have both?

Don’t be delusional – fulfill basic needs first before you yolo

Before embarking on travel, please make sure you’ve built up a solid emergency fund to cover basic needs in case something goes wrong when you get back from a trip, like a layoff. We want to be prepared for anything by the time you get back from your trip. Your life doesn’t end just because you traveled abroad.

Also, an emergency fund implies that you do not go into debt just to travel! Oh god I’ve heard horror stories of lawyers who externally look successful and well-traveled but apparently are already knee-deep in debt. They have to charge cheap groceries on their credit cards because they don’t have any money left.  And they’re only in their twenties! Travel is not a basic need so borrowing money (by credit card or other form) is not justifiable.

Take care of your money-maker

Please make sure that you obtain travel insurance to cover you for the entire period of your stay abroad. Your life and your body are mostly your main source of income, as most 20 somethings do not earn enough passive income at this point so we need to take good care of ourselves. No, the travel insurance that you bought with your airline ticket only pays out in case the insured (you) doesn’t reach the country of destination due to the enumerated risks stated in the policy. Regarding the airline insurance policy, please leave a copy with members of your family. Just in case.

I suggest obtaining travel insurance from your travel agent. The insurance should cover the duration of your stay abroad.

Don’t travel for travel’s sake

Many young Pinoys are young working professionals – as lawyers, analysts or some other corporate job. These tend to be high-stress jobs with long hours. Worse, others are overworked and underpaid. Watching their peers on social networks travel frequently may tend to push young Pinoy millenials over the edge. The result? A yolo attitude of traveling for travel’s sake. No savings and maximum expenses, and maxed out credit cards.

If you feel stressed, by all means, take a break. But don’t quit your journey to good financial health. Plan your next trip and save accordingly. There are less costly ways to travel. It just needs a little bit of research, time and a sense of adventure.

Yolo is great but it’s better to find the balance between buying experiences and buying (or maybe saving towards) your basic needs, such as a home.

Yolo,
20 something lawyer

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9 thoughts on “Why playing yolo with money isn’t the way to go

  1. YOLO means, doing the things that add value to your life. Experiencing the things that will hone your potentials to the fullest. And teaching you on how to become a great person. We only live once. Live a life of purpose.

    Like

  2. I can’t agree more. Millenials should wisen up on their finances as early as they could. Grabe din kasi ang temptations sa social media at sa traditional media, lahat ng napapanuod at nakikita ng mga kabataan, akala nila cool at yun ang mas dapat i-priority. Tsk, tsk. Traveling without insurance, especially these days, is a no-no. The cost should be part of every person’s travel fund. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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