Hi U-Ming! Thanks for reading. I think eventually, once I'm a bit more settled and stable in my career, I would like to move to a 40/40/20 system!

Also in terms of your question, there are a few layers regarding my situation so hopefully it makes sense - sorry may be a long answer. But the short answer - a bit of both, more so the financial/economic circumstances, but with caveats.

I'm a first-generation Canadian/student so my parents were very focused on getting me into university, without really ever accounting for the money, i.e. they were never up-front about the money so I took it at face value.

However, I was always really aware of money growing up because of some big financial mistakes my parents made, so I was never indulgent with my money UNTIL I reached university actually, where I felt pressured to keep up with my peers who obviously came from wealthier backgrounds. I didn't want my financial situation to be a barrier, and in a lot of ways, I tried to hide it. But again, always within reason, but I do look back and wish I had been more comfortable talking about money like I do now.

So I sort of continued along this journey, until my last semester at school and thought oh crap, I need to start paying my loans off. I was already making much smarter financial decisions by the time I reached 21 - 22 (had more honest conversations about money, cooked more, stopped mindless shopping, and eliminated online shopping altogether), however, I didn't start seriously budgeting until push-came-to-shove and my student loans were looming behind me, and I didn't want them to catch up to me.

Another complexity is that my knowledge on student loans was informed by my parents who kept reassuring me that "oh there's a lot of relief programs, it'll be easy to pay off," and I believed them because at 17, I didn't know any better. Obviously not my parents fault, but there is an obvious gap between what they look like now and what the looked like when my parents were my age. To this day, now that they see that I'm in loan repayment, I can tell they really regret encouraging me to keep getting loans (even when I didn't need to, I worked A LOT during university) because they assumed there were relief programs - they didn't know, and I didn't either.

All in all, a lot of my financial decisions were based on the advice of my parents generation, which is not as applicable anymore - not their fault, they did their best, and I appreciate everything they have given up for me. However, I wish I was more "confident" to actually be honest to my peers in university that I can't eat out again because I'm using my loan money or honest with myself that I couldn't keep up with their lifestyle.

Intersectional environmentalist 🌱✊🏼. Research Assistant. (She/her). Writing about climate change, love, health & fitness, personal development, etc...

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