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Chelsea shares the purchases throughout her life that she thought would bring her happiness, but which ultimately just left her pretty broke.

Apartment hunting Dos and Don’ts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmEjiPDYE0s

Watch more of The Financial Diet hosted by Chelsea Fagan here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLD30V46E07RR99cC0gCjKUbt-BKoDUcnc

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Hey guys. It's Chelsea from The Financial Diet.

And I'm coming to you from my slightly different and incredibly hot home office because of a series of unfortunate events. We do not have our AC installed yet, and it is indeed July in New York City. So if I look incredibly shiny, it's not because I'm wearing a lot of Glossier products.

It's because I'm dying. And today, I wanted to do something a little fun and different, which is talking about the purchases that I thought would make me happy, but absolutely did not. These purchases might be totally different from the ones that you have made, or maybe some of them overlap.

And you can feel like, at least, I'm not the only idiot who wasted money on that. But even if you don't see yourself at all in my regrettable purchases, hopefully, you can take away the broader message, which is that, when we buy things with the intention of making us happy, often what we are thinking about is more external factors, like what other people will think or meeting their standards rather than ours. So though it's not a perfect science and you may ultimately buy things that you don't find make you as happy as you thought they would, it's good to reflect on the items that were total fails, in this regard.

And before you jump in the comments to be like, money doesn't buy happiness. First of all, on a very literal level, a baseline of financial security is actually a crucial factor for experiencing happiness because it's difficult to feel happy, if on a day to day basis, you're worried about being able to feed your children or stay in a home or go to the doctor if you get sick. But beyond that, there are many things that we can purchase that bring us joy.

I'm sure that you can remember trips you've taken, meals you've eaten, even items you may have purchased that spark real joy within your heart. I know I can. And it's not because I'm some dead eyed capitalist.

It's because there's lots of wonderful and beautiful and joyous things in life, and sometimes you want to buy them. But sometimes you buy them, and it's a complete mistake. And here are seven of those mistakes.

Things I thought would make me happy, but totally didn't. Number one is an apartment in a cool neighborhood. Now when I first moved to New York,.

I really didn't know anything about the city, and our apartment hunt was mostly based on the fact that I was going to be working at a locally based office, whereas, my now husband was going to be traveling four days a week for work. So it didn't really matter so much where he lived. My office at the time was in a very cool neighborhood in Brooklyn.

And the fact that it was located there, and so many people talked it up, and magazines were writing about it, and the people seemed so hip and chic, made us decide on this neighborhood. But the thing is all of those magazine profiles and hip young people and companies like mine setting up shop there, meant that it was incredibly expensive for what it was. For only slightly less than we pay today for a nice two bedroom in a very respectable, but much less cool neighborhood, we had a one bedroom that was railroad style with a bathroom just off the kitchen, which-- shutter.

And no windows for 90% of the living space. So unless you were at one end of the apartment or the other, you were basically living in darkness. Now I'm not going to say that it's the worst apartment we could have gotten.

Clearly, people live in worse spaces, especially, in New York City. Our bathroom was just off the kitchen, but we didn't have a shower in our kitchen, as some people in this city actually do. But the quality of life in that apartment was dramatically less than it would have been if we'd broadened our search a little bit.

Among other things, we were living directly atop a bar that had frequent live music. Although it did occasionally provide entertaining people watching because a lot of people liked to break up in the street. But either way, the coolness of the neighborhood was a very big factor in our choice at the time.

And although I didn't realize it, it was a factor that was starting to outweigh other things, such as, how is it actually going to feel to live here? And it's easy to feel like, oh, I won't spend that much time in your apartment. But A, you do.

And B, if your apartment is a place that you really enjoy being in, you will often find yourself wanting to spend more time there, and inherently, spending less money, as a result, because you're just going out less. And more importantly, all that cool stuff in the cool neighborhood with the cool people, you can always get to. It's not as though it's suddenly inaccessible to you.

And beyond that, part of growing up is realizing that you can carve out a life that makes sense for you in many different places. As I mentioned, our current neighborhood is a lot less cool and has a lot less options, in terms of, hip new restaurants and bars and coffee shops and stuff like that. But frankly, on many levels, that's a good thing because, if I had as much access to those things,.

I would be spending way more money on them. And what is most important to me about my home is the way I feel in it. I feel much happier in this place than I ever did in that one.

And even if you're someone who's not huge on spending time in your apartment, treating it as a total disregard and being there just for the neighborhood only guarantees that that will increase. And that you'll constantly be looking for excuses to get out of your apartment, which means, long story short, cool apartment did not spark joy. Number two is a strange one.

But it's a small item that represents a much bigger phenomenon. And that is UGG boots. You might be thinking to yourself, Chelsea, you're so cool and wonderful.

Why would you wear UGG boots? [LAUGHS]. I know I'm thinking that. But I should state that the UGG boots I purchased were not this year.

They were in 2006. This was at a time when I was just ending high school, and I certainly didn't have access to a lot of money. And my parents were rightfully like, we are not spending $200 on those ugly boots that you can't even wear in any kind of inclement weather.

But I went to a very preppy, very WASP-y high school, where wearing UGG boots, and at the time, a Lacoste polo shirt and a frayed Abercrombie jean mini skirt pulled down way past your hip bones, way too far down-- it was the look. I used to fantasize about UGG boots. And I'm going to very, very shamefully tell you the story of, not only how I acquired the UGG boots, but what happened to them.

And what I continued to do with them anyway. So basically, I stole my mother's credit card, went to this shoe store downtown in the town where I lived, bought them with the credit card, pretended not to know what that charge was, even though, obviously, my parents weren't shopping there and I had a new $200 pair of shoes on my feet. Proceeded to get grounded for a month for stealing the credit card.

And then, as soon as that month was up,. I wore my beautiful high rise, chestnut UGG boots to a party at a friend's house where there was a bonfire. And to warm my feet, because it was a cold winter night,.

I put my feet too close to the bonfire and the bottom of my boots melted. So my already not all weather UGG boots were now incredibly uncomfortable on the bottom because they were all melted and distorted and porous. And I continued to wear them for an entire year because I was so excited to finally have cool girls shoes.

Now, this is a tragic story on so many levels, and it started with me stealing my mother's credit card. So really, did I deserve anything better? No, but I was so sure in that moment that those UGG boots were going to make me feel great about myself.

And honestly, as dark as this might sound,. I still just felt like the poor girl, but with UGG boots. And obviously, part of that was exacerbated by the fact that after a certain amount of time, they were all fucked up on the bottom and terrible to wear.

But even when they were brand new, I felt like an imposter in my shoes. And although UGG boots are in no way on the same level as a lot of designer items, it has very much been a lesson for me ever since, with a few rare exceptions, that it is never worth it to buy these designer items, especially with all the labels all over them because you really just feel like yourself in those things. It doesn't suddenly make you feel like you belong in the club of people who wear this sort of thing.

And trust me, no one, who is really a connoisseur of those types of things, is going to mistake you, looking really awkward with your Gucci belt or whatever, for one of them. In many ways, I feel kind of lucky that I had this experience both young and on an item that's really, in the grand scheme of things, not as expensive as a lot of these items. Because, ultimately, it gave me that confidence to make the less expensive, but better for me choice on so many things.

My wedding dress, for example, was $80. And then I spent $45 on getting it tailored. And I had no weird feelings about not getting a fancy person wedding dress because I knew that what mattered was how it looked on me and how I felt in it.

And if it wasn't for that story of the UGG boots and how I realized that didn't make me feel any better than I did before I had them-- plus, obviously,. I got in so much trouble and they got destroyed--. I don't know that I would have felt the same.

Number three is diet foods slash my vegan til six phase. I gained 30-ish pounds between the age of 21 and 24. And when I was initially trying to lose some of that weight,.

I tried all kinds of different things that were pretty short term, not great solutions. One of them was eating a lot of the diet bars and drinking the shakes and all that stuff. Spoiler alert, they're basically just sugar.

And it left me hungry all the time. And I would have a full day of eating just diet products, and then, go home and eat whatever I wanted to anyway. And categorically, every single one of those items I've ever bought has been an enormous waste of money.

But I also did something that's called, vegan til 6, where, no surprise there, you eat vegan until 6 PM. And I will say that on an ethical level,. I do think making sure to make meat less of a crutch of your diet is a very good thing.

And working to a place where you can limit more and more of the meat you're eating to more sustainably and ethically produced meat is a great thing, as well. But I was explicitly doing this for weight loss. And the thing about it is that, A, you can eat complete garbage, while still being vegan, which I often did because I wasn't at all changing my palate or the kinds of foods I wanted to be eating.

But also, B, I spent a ton of money on vegan versions of things I wanted to be eating, vegan bacon and vegan cheese and all this vegan shit, which, first of all, completely defeats the purpose if you're just going to be eating the real versions of those things after 6 PM. Wait till 6. But also, they are incredibly expensive.

So if this is not a part of your ongoing lifestyle or something that you're using because you are, for example, vegan seven days a week and want a little bit of that, now and then, to enjoy, you should never spend money on that stuff. And I found, personally, that I was never happier with that food than I would have been just having like a great harvest salad. But also, I would just eat a 1,200 calorie vegan burrito for lunch, and be like, why am I not losing weight?

All of this to say, if you are buying specific foods in order to be a magic bullet for you to transform your body rather than just rethinking the totality of how you eat, you're making a mistake. Number four is unpaid internships. Now, like many of you, there were phases in my life, where between the gas money, the parking, the sign ups, the college credit, all that stuff,.

I was paying a lot of money out of pocket to do free work for companies. And one of the results of that is that TFD never has and never will use unpaid interns. We actually don't even have interns at all.

But if we did, they would not be unpaid because it is completely unethical and abusive and horrible. And plus, it limits your candidate pool to people who can afford to work for free, which in New York City, basically, means children of millionaires. But all of that aside, at the time, like many young people,.

I thought that it was the only way to eventually work my way into a job that I wanted. And the worst part is that at the time,. I wasn't even really all that sure of what I wanted to be doing.

I knew some of the things I liked and didn't like. I knew some of the basic skill sets that I had that could potentially be marketed. But I was really just taking the unpaid internships that were available to me because, as a community college student living in a suburb of Maryland,.

I can't exactly say that companies were chomping at the bit to have me work with them. So I paid for unpaid internships. And I can say, basically, without exception, that all of them were not worth it.

And some of you may be saying, well, you took a very specific career path that is different from what you were doing in those internships, and maybe, they would have helped you more if you had stayed on those career paths. And to that I say, maybe. But of all the people I know who have done unpaid internships, very, very few will say that it was those unpaid internships that really gave them either that key entry way into the door or a ticket to a much better paying job.

In fact, many are held on the hamster wheel of these unpaid internships with constant promises for eventual payment or a better role that never really materialize. It's not a perfect rule. But generally speaking, if a company is willing to benefit off of the unpaid labor of exploited young people to make their operations function, they're probably not the most ethical people to begin with.

So putting a ton of faith in what they will be doing for your career is a little naive. And while some job paths may inherently require these unpaid internships, making sure to be as opportunistic about them as possible is key. That means using them for exactly what they're worth, and not giving them more of your life.

And whether or not you like it, you'll have to fix a deadline to yourself on when you must be doing paid work, even if that means changing your position in the career field slightly because you can end up on that hamster wheel of unpaid or severely underpaid work for years. And if you're one of those millionaire children in New York, who gets to be an unpaid intern for a magazine until you're 25, well, then why are you watching The Financial. Diet?

You could do whatever you want, and you'll be fine. Number five is music festivals. So if you know Chelsea in 2019-- which you, guys, do.

We're friends-- You would not ever expect that I'm the kind of person who used to go to music festivals. And you would be right to think that. My wardrobe is, basically, entirely Banana Republic.

I don't love loud noises. The crowds make me anxious. So on and so forth.

There's actually a bar in New York City, where everyone has to whisper. You can't go above a certain volume, or the bartender will really harshly shush you. And that's the best bar ever.

But I used to be someone who followed the herd in a big way. That meant impressing the dudes I was dating, who were often into music festivals, and being with the friends, who weren't even all that into me, but who loved music festivals too. So.

Through a combination of just social pressure and insecurity and crushes and the fact that it was an era of music festivals-- although that still seems to be going on--. I went to a lot of music festivals. And on some level, although I knew in many ways that they were not for me, I did feel like they would make me happy.

Because that's how they're pitched. They're like a young person rite of passage. Everyone's supposed to go to them.

They pitch themselves as being so fun and accessible to everyone and having something for everyone's tastes. And it seems like the cool thing to do, especially, when you're quasi dating a guy, who's really into music festivals and sells you on them. But in every single case, there was a point during the music festival experience where I was standing in some kind of dirt patch.

And I was just dying of sun poisoning and dehydration and too much alcohol and disorientation. And I was just like, I have this overwhelming feeling of, what am I doing here? How much effing money am I spending on this?

How did I get to this place in my life? Who are these people? Why am I here?

It was awful. And every time I remember that moment of clarity that was like, this is bad, this is a bad experience, everything about it is negative. Even for every one act that you want to see, there's 10 that you're like, why am I having to hear this band that I hate at full, full volume?

Why can't I get through? Why are there people moshing and in the line for sandwiches. It's chaos.

I don't like it. And honestly, if you're one of those people who loves music festivals and they spark joy for you, have at it, enjoy, post your Instagrams, get your likes, wear your flower crowns. But for many of us, music festivals are a nightmare.

And yet, we can easily be sucked in by how fun they seem, how ubiquitous they are, and how they pitch themselves as the ultimate youth experience. And we're supposed to spend on experiences, not things, right? Wrong.

When it's music festivals, wrong, for me anyway. And on a very similar note, number six is trips to see guys, when I was broke. I'm not even going get into this one because it's self-explanatory.

But long story short, if going to see some guy is going to put you into credit card debt, not worth it. Pretend it's 1864, and be pen pals until one of you has money. Lastly, number seven-- and this one's going to be a bit controversial-- is college.

Dun, dun, dun. Now let's get this all out of the way. Yes, I went to a community college and then school in France.

So my experience was not the same like, rah, rah college football, homecoming, frat party, college experience that you might have had. Let's also get out of the way that I did not end up graduating college and have never used my degree. But what is undeniable is that those experiences do not make me all that unique.

In fact, only about 27% of people are currently holding jobs directly related to their college degree. And when you think about the fact that not everyone even goes to college, the amount of people for whom it was a direct one to one ratio starts to decline. And of course, there are many benefits to going to college that have nothing to do with directly working in that field.

And unfortunately, many jobs require that college degree, even if they don't even really necessarily care what it was in. So yes, college can be practical and useful. Although, I would argue that it is much less useful than it is often pitched to 18-year-olds, who are signing away their financial futures to attend it.

So the utility of it should be taken with its own grain of salt. But I'm specifically here speaking of the happiness that college provided me. And yes, again, I did not have the golden college experience that a lot of people did.

But I was extremely active in extracurriculars. I lived off campus with roommates. I started my own club.

I got to live abroad doing it. So I had many of the cool college things that most people would identify with. And while I won't say that none of it was a happy experience, a lot of it was.

It did not make me happy in the way that I imagined it to and expected it to because college isn't just sold to us as a way to further our career and educational prospects. It's sold to us as the ultimate life experience. It's sold to us more about the way it makes you feel and the social elements of it, than it really is about the learning.

When I was looking at the schools I wanted to go to, if I'm being honest, I was mostly concerned with what campus life would have been like. Or how I imagined myself there. Less about what it could potentially do for my future.

And while, yes, I did make some great friends and had great experiences. No question, that I had more great experiences and made more lasting friends when I was out of college and able to really figure myself out as a young adult on my own path, rather than, constricted to a campus. This is not to say you shouldn't go to college, of course.

If college is right for you and your future, you should go. What it is to say is to really deeply consider what the college dream that you are being sold means, what you're really expecting to get out of it, and how much of the value of college is more about how much fun you imagine you'll have, than what it's really going to do for you. Because if you're looking at taking tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars out to pay for it, or even just paying it upfront-- if you're lucky enough to do so-- that is a really, really meaningful life changing amount of money.

So spending all or part of it on the idea that you want to go to really fun parties and make great friends is almost invariably a mistake. Because I can tell you one thing, having not had the traditional college experience, it is possible to find all of these kinds of joys and happiness without that traditional campus life. And while college may indeed end up making you happy, that shouldn't be the reason you go into debt for it.

Because college should be about setting yourself up for a better financial life, not about ruining it. As always, guys, thank you for watching. And don't forget to hit the Subscribe button and to come back every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday for new and awesome videos.

Bye .