The Money Secrets We Don't Tell ANYONE

Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Ever since the day I got my first allowance ($5 every Sunday), I've found money to be really stressful. I remember the crushing disappointment when I realized the handful of trinkets I bought from a local gift shop was really just plastic crap I'd never use again. But I also remember feeling like I'd be missing out if I didn't buy something. A 10-year-old's lesson in financial FOMO.

Since then, my paycheck has risen and my stresses have only grown — am I saving enough for retirement? Should I be investing more? Will I ever be able to buy property? Of course, I'm not alone in my worries. Click through to read 10 anonymous confessions about our money stressors. How many do you relate to?
1 of 10
"Basically, nobody in my family has ever made any money, so I grew up thinking it was not a thing. I'm the first person in my family to graduate from college, and I went to grad school, and I live in NYC and make $62,000. Every single relative now thinks I am Donald Trump, even though in real life, I am just kinda-sorta making it work with a partner who freelances and a baby.

"So anytime I do something 'crazy' money-wise (like buy an $80 pair of boots or get a pedicure), my partner is like, 'UGH, HOW COULD YOU DO THAT THINK OF OUR BABY,' and my family is like, 'BUY US BOOTS, TOO. YOU ARE RICH.' No matter what I do, money-wise, I feel guilty."
2 of 10
"I'm good at saving money, but I have NO IDEA how to do anything related to investments and retirement savings. It majorly stresses me out because I have a bunch of money sitting in a savings account, and it's only going to lose value as time goes on. I don't have any investments that will grow over time, and don't even know where to start."
3 of 10
"Going out with my boyfriend to places that involve paying a lot of money stresses me out. He makes over three times what I do, and I get anxious about not being able to afford the same things that he can. Also, it's hard to ask someone else to pay for you!"
4 of 10
"New York is an incredibly expensive city in which I make a very good wage and still cannot afford a down payment on property. Am I going to rent for my entire life? How am I supposed to afford having children and a house to house children — and still live close enough to the city that I'm not spending all my time getting to and from work and can actually see said children? If someone can figure it out, let me know."
5 of 10
"My husband managed to rack up $13,000 in credit card debt before we got married. Just thinking about trying to pay that down can sometimes keep me up at night. Credit card debt in general makes me nervous all around — I'm the type of person who doesn't feel comfortable unless my card balance is under $1,000, but, in my current financial situation, that's proving exceedingly difficult to accomplish."
6 of 10
"I always order lunch at work! I secretly HATE leftovers, and would love to just blow all of my money on ordering delicious lunches every day! (Also, eating healthy is so damn expensive.) Another stress would be alcohol — it's ridiculously expensive to go out in NYC! A girl is just trying to get a little tipsy without blowing her savings! SHIT IS TOUGH."
7 of 10
"I love to exercise, but I really need to be pushed, whether in a group class or by a trainer, to feel like I'm getting the most out of it. I'm not as motivated on my own. It can get SO expensive, however, and I feel guilty putting all my money toward it, but I'm also addicted."
8 of 10
"My husband's parents aren't set up for retirement very well, and they still prioritize 'keeping up with the Joneses,' to some extent. I see that same behavior in my husband — buying nicer, more expensive versions of things that we don't need at this stage in our lives — and it really scares me that I'll find myself in my 60s with a great car and nice house full of things, and no money to fall back on. My parents were able to save enough to send me to college debt-free, and I'd much rather follow that path, but it's hard to broach the subject without sounding like it's a competition, or I'm pitting my family against his. Partnering with someone who wants to spend now and save later, when we can see how that worked out (or didn't) for his parents, is so stressful."
9 of 10
"I have one friend who never has cash on her, and we've ended up in a lot of places that are cash-only or won't let you split the check. I end up covering, which would be totally fine — but she ALWAYS forgets to pay me back. She totally intends to, and it's obviously not on purpose, but I always stress out and feel petty about asking for like $15 back, so I usually end up not asking. But those little things add up, and it makes me resent loaning her money."
10 of 10
Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
"After a friend got cancer and then was denied insurance coverage, I worry about the costs associated with an accident, or if I developed a serious illness."