What It's REALLY Like To Be A Serial Spender

Photographed by Amy Harrity.
Millennials and money — the dreaded “M” words. The media can’t make up its mind about how we choose to spend, save, or rack up debt. Are we more money-conscious than our parents’ generation, or do we plan on retiring on our overdraft fees?

Surprisingly, most 18-to-34-year-olds are “good financial planners,” according to investment outfit T. Rowe Price, with 67% using a budget to track expenses and many setting money aside for retirement. But that doesn’t stop overspending from becoming part of the cultural cost of being young in 2015, especially in super-pricey cities like New York. (Not that this is new: See, “My Misspent Youth,” New Yorker writer Meghan Daum’s 1999 take on the trend.) With ever-increasing tuition rates, a still-recovering job market, and the cost of living on the rise, swiping a credit card or depleting one's savings account in order to make ends meet has become the norm. And even seemingly minor expenses like mani-pedis, happy hour, and hitting up those Cyber Monday sales can add up.

It’s this toxic mindset of “minor” expenses — a dress here, a facial there — that’s led many to buy into the mentality of falling into debt. We spoke with seven young women about the true cost of their overspending habits.

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