Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.

The New $$$ Rules: What You Need To Know

  1. Begin Slideshow
    opener1

    541

    SHARES

    22 comments
    See All Slides

    When our parents were young, this is how it went: First you graduate, then get a steady job, open a retirement account, get married, buy a house, have babies, and — finally — invest in the stock market. These financial boxes were usually ticked by the time you hit 30.

    These days? Don't count on it. “These things essentially are ‘the American Dream,’ which hasn't changed," says Cliff Courtney, chief marketing officer of Zimmerman Advertising, a group that does research into millennials’ dreams and desires. “What has changed is how fast and how focused. While baby boomers didn't have college debt, millennials have a lot of debt. So, saving up became saving up and paying off. Getting married gets pushed back; buying a house get pushed back.”

    Stagnant wages and a weak job market are just part of the problem. Some people with graduate degrees hit the workforce with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt — and monthly payments to match. Add to that an influx of the well-educated into barista-level jobs, and it's no surprise that getting ahead seems nearly impossible — especially for those who are just out of school. “Recent college graduates have come of age in the worst economy since the Great Depression,” says Jason Bushey, editor of Creditnet.com. “They've seen their parents and family members lose their jobs, had their houses foreclosed on, and their savings wiped clean. The feeling surrounding a lot of the young adults I know is, ‘What is the point?’”

    Still, we've all gotta grow up sometime, at least when it comes to money. So, we talked to a few experts to figure out: How important are these money milestones, really? And if they are such a big deal, how can you get there?

    Illustrated by

    Begin Slideshow

MORE SLIDESHOWS

Skin care

6 Reasons Your Skin Isn't Perfect — Yet

Perfect skin. It’s what we all want, and it's the reason so many of us spend countless hours (and dollars) trying to figure out which skin-care products to buy. Luckily, I’ve got the surprising scoop on what you’re doing — and not doing — that’s likely keeping your complexion from looking its best. read

Shopping

14 Fall Style Tricks That Are Pure Genius

Layer, layer some more, rinse, and repeat. It's the same styling directive we hear fall after fall. "Layer!" Layer what, exactly? If you're looking to get to the bottom of what that really means (and answer more autumn-fashion queries), you've landed in the right place. And, if you're hoping to sheath your body like a pro read