YOLO – you only live once. A term coined by millennials to chant with gusto when we’re about to do something we know we probably shouldn’t.

And look, for the most part, I’m all for it. It’s a great mindset to have. Our grandparents’ generation would be all about sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice, focusing everything on the future, but we’re becoming more and more aware of how short life can really be. Plus, bottomless brunch wasn’t a thing in 1945, but it is in 2019 and I will HAPPILY oblige.

But what if we’re using YOLO all wrong?

Sure, it’s a laugh to think ‘YOLO! I’m booking that flight’ or ‘YOLO, I’m having another cocktail’.

But the thing is, we’re missing the entire crux of the concept.

We only live once.

So why aren’t we making the most of it financially?

Yes, you really do only live once, so why are we wasting hard-earned cash on pointless things? I wouldn’t want to die next week with nothing more to show for my life than a wardrobe full of ill-fitting Mom jeans, or an extra Uber Eats container in my rubbish bin.

Stop over-using the term YOLO to compensate for shit decisions.

Thinking short-term is a great mindset when it comes to seizing the day and making the most of our youth. But going too far and not thinking about the long term whatsoever is doing yourself a disservice. You’re working mega hard for your money, you deserve more in return than a bouji tequila shot chased with three choruses of YOLO.

Using YOLO to improve your life

Try looking at YOLO as a way of encouraging yourself to get out there and do all that grown up stuff that you just don’t feel ready for yet. You know, the things that’ll almost definitely improve your life, but it’ll be so long before you see the rewards that you just can’t really be arsed with it yet. I’ll let you in on a secret – I don’t think you ever really feel like an adult. Sure, I feel proud of where I am in my life and the things I’ve achieved by age 27, but do I still look at my 23 year old sort-of-sister and think we’re totally the same age? Yep.

Side note: by sort-of-sister I mean my boyfriend’s sister(s). Sister-in-law is too formal and lol people think I’ve mentally married us off, but I feel like saying ‘my boyfriend’s sister’ makes them seem far more distant from me than they really are. As an only child they’re like the siblings I never had, so they’re much more than just ‘his sister’. ANYWAY…

You only live once… so get clued up on finances, get a mortgage and buy that house!

You only live once… so make sure you CAN afford to go on trips explore the world, rather than plaguing yourself with guilt and throwing it on a credit card.

You only live once… so put some money away for retirement so you can enjoy life even more once you’re done working!

You only live once… so invest in some shares and watch your money grow FOR FREE. The earlier you start, the more free money you get from compound interest! You’re actually losing cash everyday you choose NOT to invest! Start small and invest just a few dollars with my guide to microinvesting.

You only live once… so learn about taxes, keep your receipts and make sure you’re not paying the government more than you have to!

You only live once… so invest in YOURSELF and learn new things rather than spending the same amount on yet another velvet dress from Boohoo.

You only live once… so apply for that job and see what happens. Worst case scenario you get some neat interview experience under your belt and highlight areas you could improve your skill set.

You only live once… so go for fertility testing and start making plans to start a family – no matter how far in the future.

You only live once… so book your damn Pap Smear and stop waiting for the reminder letter!

YOLO is an incredibly powerful mindset, and you should absolutely keep it at the back of your thoughts when doing the fun stuff. Yes, book that flight. Yes, go on that road trip. Yes, buy that dress that makes you feel like you could take on the world.

But keep it in mind for the longer term stuff too. You only get one shot at doing this life thing, so don’t skip out on the meaningful stuff and go overboard on mojitos.

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