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Chelsea breaks down the habits we think make us mature, but which actually cause us to be bad with money. For a grown-up skill that will help you save money check out TFD's Rules For Mastering the Grocery Store:

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Millennials and drinking:

The cost of big lawns:

Smaller houses make you happier:

Americans' weekend spending:

How much we spend on clothes:

Wedding costs:

How we overspend on vacations:

The Financial Diet site:


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

And this week's video is brought to you by Credit Repair. And as you guys can see, I am in an exciting, different space. And it's the last time I'm in a different space for a while, because we just finished our final TFD book tour event here in Chicago.

It's been so awesome going around the country and meeting all of you. And if we didn't get to see you on this tour, do not worry. Because we will be coming out again sometime soon.

And today I wanted to talk about the behaviors that we feel are grown up and adult and fancy, but which are actually wasting us money. So much of our idea of what an adult is really like or what they do is centered on pop culture or really outdated notions of maturity that maybe we got from our parents or grandparents. And not only are they often not relevant to our lives, but they're often really unrealistic for us financially.

And even for the behaviors that we didn't necessarily inherit from a previous generation, there's often a huge association between maturity and spending more money. When we look at the way products and services are marketed to us, there's a very clear association between how much of an adult we are and how much we can afford to spend. But we at TFD think that is bullshit.

Being an adult has nothing to do with how much money you have or how much money you're willing to spend on something. And it's so important to call out these behaviors for what they are. They don't make you an adult, they just make you waste money.

So let's get right into it with seven grown up behaviors that are wasting your money. Number one is drinking fancy booze. Now, one thing that we definitely can't blame on our parents or grandparents' generation but which is a huge case of us associating maturity with spending is getting wasted off of really fancy alcohol.

And when it comes to millennials, not only are we drinking more, we're also drinking more out at bars and restaurants. Compared to previous generations, the proportion of money that we spend on alcohol outside of the home has gone way up, while the amount that we spend on alcohol we drink at home has decreased enormously. And the food and beverage industry is not stupid.

They know this. And so almost perfectly in tandem the average price of alcohol at stores has gone down, while the average price of alcohol out at bars and restaurants has gone way up. According to, when it comes to drinking, 24% of Gen X, 19% of baby boomers, and 11% of the silent generation go out for a drink at least once a week at a bar.

But 42% of millennials do the same, including 51% of 21 to 26-year-olds. And while there are definitely multiple factors at play, it should also be said that, for example, millennials also just go out to eat way more than previous generations. It's undeniable that pop culture and how we view drinking has a huge impact.

Speaking as someone who is re-watching the entirety of Mad Men and who has seen every episode of Sex and the City at least five times,. I'm definitely someone who grew up consuming media that told me that drinking made you more mature, as a woman, more empowered and independent or as a man, more masculine. The mental image of the successful woman with a martini glass or the successful man with a glass of scotch in his hand has become almost ubiquitous.

And as we're just eating out more and more frequently, it's easier and easier to just tack on a drink or several when you're already eating that restaurant meal. The point is the more we can remind ourselves that drinking has nothing to do with being an adult and nothing to do with how successful or social we are and is honestly something we should be cutting back on generally, the better. Number two is getting more space than you need.

Now, as someone who lives in New York City and pays a truly eye-watering amount of money for a really small apartment, I'm actually not someone who experiences this. But most Americans actually do. Long story short, Americans live in houses that are way too big.

They have too many rooms. They have too much square footage. They have yards that do essentially nothing except to be really bad for the environment and a total bitch to take care of.

And yet, if you close your eyes and imagine what an American home looks like, you're probably picturing one of those way two big homes-- something with a kitchen island, a lush green yard with a dog house, and one of those sitting rooms that no one is allowed to sit in. And just like with drinking, a huge part of that is pop culture. If you think about any popular TV show over the past 50 years, it's very likely that it will star a family or friends who live in completely unrealistically big and beautiful accommodations.

But whether it's a chicken or egg scenario,. Americans living in bigger and bigger spaces is not in our imaginations. The average newly built home in America today offers more than 2,600 square feet.

And the shrinking nuclear family means that works out to about 1,000 square feet per person. As of 2012, four in 10 homes were built with at least four bedrooms. And more than nine in 10 had at least two bathrooms.

And it's probably no surprise that that increase in size, and often unused size, means that every extra square foot costs money to just maintain for no reason. And aside from the actual literal cost of these homes, studies have shown that people are, on average, more unhappy when they live in these bigger houses that are spread farther apart. Not only are you really removed from your neighborhood, community, and town which is a very natural part of human life and behavior, you're also really physically separated from the other people in your house.

But even if you're someone who doesn't mind the separation, chances are you will really mind that cost. Adjusted for inflation, the average new home today costs more than twice what it cost 50 years ago. And the vast majority of that is because we're living in bigger spaces.

Having a big home doesn't make you a grown up. Having a home that works for you and isn't driving you crazy does. Number three is dividing your weeks into depressed weekdays and YOLO weekends.

Now, something that we've talked about before on TFD is that whole treat yourself mentality, which can be a good, necessary way to reward yourself from time to time, but can easily become a slippery slope into just giving yourself whatever you want, regardless of cost because you deserve it. If we let it, basically any emotion will drive us to spending, whether it's a positive or negative one. And a few cycles make it easier to spend recklessly than feeling like your entire week is just one big, sad slog to get to the weekend.

And the numbers don't lie. Most Americans simply don't socialize that much during the work week. And their spending habits blow up like crazy come the weekend.

Americans spend almost twice as much money on Saturdays as they do on Tuesdays. And, of course, a large part of this is that treat yourself mentality. But it's also the feeling that we have to cram all of our socializing, our joy, and our adventure into two days a week.

Combine that with the potential stress and anxiety of a bad work week or the wanting to celebrate success of a really good work week, and you're basically giving yourself license to spend any money you want to. Not just for financial reasons, but for your mental health, we recommend that you offset this grown up 9:00 to 5:00 grind by making sure you have at least one dedicated low-cost social activity during the work week. We find that it's easiest to keep going with this if it's something recurring and that involves a group who can hold one another accountable.

Things like a Tuesday night book club, a Wednesday night board game group, or Thursday potluck dinners can make your work week feel way less anxious and take some of that pressure off of weekends so that you're not running out and spending money-- also likely while drinking too much-- the second the weekend hits. There's nothing adult about being depressed all week and then going nuts on the weekends. Number four is having different wardrobes for different things.

Now, this is something that is aggressively marketed to women. Basically, any woman who's ever read a fashion magazine has read over and over the terms day look and night look. We're encouraged to have different outfits for the office, for date nights, for going out with girlfriends, or just running errands on a Saturday afternoon.

And in traditional, professional environments, this pressure can get out of control, which is probably why Washington DC, a city full of professional class workers, spends by far the most money on their clothes. The average resident of Washington DC spends a whopping $263 a month on clothes, which is insane. But this pressure to have an adult wardrobe, which means separate things for separate occasions, is overwhelming.

And that's not just magazine editors' style preference. It's an extremely good way to sell more clothes. The average number of clothing items that Americans own has grown enormously over the years, even as the average cost per item has decreased.

We're essentially being trained to view clothes as much more disposable and something that should be rotated out rather than used to their fullest potential. We encourage you at TFD to create a wardrobe that is based on simple, functional, versatile items that can be well-invested in and used for everything from the office to date night to going out with friends. Things like a good jacket nice slacks or a simple black dress can fit the bill.

The rest is almost totally superfluous. And items like jewelry or a nice scarf can quickly change the look of something without ever having to buy a second item. At the end of the day, what really makes you look like an adult is feeling comfortable in your own skin and confident in what you're wearing.

And by the way, it's a power move to have a signature look which requires way fewer items and way less time and energy getting ready. Number five is wedding parties. Now, I won't bombard you with the details, because we have spoken about weddings.

But one thing I do want to dip into a little bit more is the wedding party phenomenon. Basically, the idea of bachelorette trips, bridal parties, matching dresses, engagements showers, and all the things that seem totally necessary now didn't even really exist 30 years ago. And aside from that driving the costs of weddings up to about $40,000 on average, it's also meant that just being in someone else's wedding is a huge expense-- on average between $1,000 and $2,000.

Entire industries have cropped up to accommodate these growing wedding parties. And social media makes it feel like you're somehow cheating yourself if you're not doing every one of these very expensive activities. But as someone who is currently going through the wedding process herself, I can tell you that I have not had any bridesmaids.

And it has not hurt my wedding one bit. And I know that every one of my close female friends and family members are secretly sighing relief that they won't have to buy some ugly dress that they don't like and will never use again as well as spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars going to all my various bridal party events. An adult wedding is not the most expensive one to be in.

An adult wedding is the one where you do it for the price you can afford for the things that matter to you. Number six is taking initial offers. Now, no matter what background you're from, it's very likely that a lot of us have taboos around negotiating or haggling for price.

Haggling or negotiating are often seen as un-chic or poor behavior and definitely not something that serious adult does. Many of us were raised with the idea that it is just not something adults do to talk about money or price. But those kind of mentalities are costing us enormously.

Whether it's for a job offer, the price of a specific product or a one-off service, prices are almost always malleable. And in addition to getting religious about negotiating for your value at work, it's also important to remember that most customer service reps are empowered to work with you on price. Everything from signing up to a new phone service to getting an appliance can be totally negotiated.

And you can do things like go in with facts such as better prices at competing stores that they can undercut or simply just be ready to walk away from one offer wherein many salespeople will literally come after you to close the deal. As my mother says, only a fool pays retail. And although there are going to be some instances where haggling obviously won't work, chances are pretty high that there are more instances in your life than you think where haggling could be a great option and save you a ton of money.

There's nothing unadult about negotiating. But there is everything unadult adult about paying too much. And number seven is overspending while traveling, especially with the rise of social media where everyone's vacations are on display and seem probably a lot more luxurious than they are.

The pressure to spend while on vacation has never been higher. There's something so grown up feeling about taking yourself on a trip somewhere and not paying attention to what you're spending while you're away. And something we've heard over and over again from TFD readers is how hard it is for them to balance their love of travel with the desire to make it affordable.

Hilariously, even the airport can be a deadly zone of overspending if you don't go in prepared. Almost every product you can purchase at an airport from toothpaste to magazines to sandwiches has an almost 300% or more markup. You can literally save yourself tons of money just by making a stop at the Walgreens before you go to an airport.

And it's not just while actually in transit, Americans have a crazy bad overspending habit when it comes to travel. 74% of Americans have admitted to falling into a debt of more than $1,100 when coming back from a holiday. And while part of that is definitely a feeling of, I have to enjoy this trip as much as I possibly can, slash make it look really good on social media, another part of it is weirdly psychological. One study found that having two different currencies deeply affected how we perceive the cost of something.

Even if the currency you're spending in is more valuable than the currency you have, just seeing the numbers written out with a different symbol impacts how your mind perceives it and makes it seem less expensive. And when you're in a country whose currency is less valuable than your own, your brain tends to wildly overcompensate how much you can afford to spend and overspend even while things are less expensive. Perhaps, one of the biggest reasons that Americans have a serious travel spending problem is because we travel so rarely.

We have some of the worst paid vacation policies in the developed world, which results in Americans taking really few trips. So every time you do go on a trip, you're overwhelmed with the idea that you must make the most out of it because you don't know when you'll go away again. And one of the simplest ways to combat this is even if you can't get more than a day or so off, taking weekend trips more frequently so that you get the experience of travel and newness without it always having to be a no holds barred spending indulgence.

Travel should be a fun and exciting part of life. But it shouldn't be so rare that it causes you to go into debt just to do it. Being an adult means traveling without putting it on your credit card.

Now, one adult behavior that's definitely wasting our money and something we all should learn how to do is managing and mastering your credit score. And one of the best places to get help if you're looking to repair a damaged credit score and don't know where to start is credit repair. Basically, is your own personal mentor for repairing, building, and maintaining your credit.

They help you build a customized strategy for improving your score, work directly with the credit bureaus to dispute any dings on your report, and teach you how to understand both your own score and the rating system. If you feel like you're struggling to build or rebuild good credit and want someone to guide and advocate for you the whole way check out at the link in our description to learn more. As always, thank you guys for watching.

And don't forget to hit the Subscribe button and to come back every Tuesday and Thursday for new and awesome videos. Bye. .