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4 Best Cities for Millennials Paying Off College Debt

4 Best Cities for Millennials Paying Off College Debt

We millennials are a diverse group, and nobody knows this better than we do. Even so, there are some things that we can all unite around, things that every one of us gets. These Millennial factors are making a huge difference in our moving trends. Here’s what Millennials are thinking about in a move and which cities provide the best environments for emerging adults.

Paying Student Loans

Student debt seems to be the one unavoidable facet of Millennial life. Some people like to write the growing debt off as the laziness of our generation, but we know better. We know that we’re out there busting our asses and looking for the most effective ways to get our debt paid off, and fast.

Turns out, this is having a huge impact on the cities that we like too. Millennials are loving these often overlooked cities with lots of great employment opportunities and a low cost of living; the perfect storm for quick loan repayment.

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Raising a Family

It’s tough to raise a family these days and nobody knows that better than new parents. Choosing the best city to raise a family in is hard work. Aspiring parents should focus on cities that offer good schools, quality children’s healthcare, and tons of other parents in the exact same situations that you’re in. And don’t stop at high school education when looking for a city with good local education facilities. We know all too well that having to look out of state for a good university can be financially devastating.

Although we don’t think of it as having a huge direct impact, a city that’s easy on parents is critical as well. Look for cities that will treat you right and avoid triggering that ‘angry mom’ gene.

Cities with Culture

All those student loans weren’t for naught. Millennials are by far the most educated generation ever and our taste for culture is reflected in that. We’re not satisfied with earning a paycheck and then plopping down in front of the tv. Millennials love food, wine, music, and everything else that goes into a highly cultured city. We’re not afraid to move into a fixer-upper, if it means living in a city with a well-established cultural base.

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Unfortunately many of us have seen firsthand that our top cities for culture, like New York or Washington D.C., are way out of our budget. Meanwhile, the cheapest cities aren’t always the most family-friendly. The best cities for Millennials have to bring it all together into a well-wrapped package. Taking everything above into account, here are my top four cities for those of our generation.

1. Houston

This is no shocker. Ranking well in all three of our factors, Houston is quickly becoming a top city for young people. Its prime gulfside location keeps a steady flow of unique culture coming into the city, not to mention loads of great fish to fuel our shared craving for late night sushi. There can’t be any other city in the world, where you can get incredibly fresh sushi and authentic Texas barbeque on the same block.

On top of that Houston had a remarkable 3.7% unemployment rate in 2015, almost two percentage points below the national average.

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2. Dallas

It seems fair to say that Texas, once the paradigm of rural America, is making a name for itself in in the urban domain. First Houston and now Dallas, another hub of culture and beautiful mixing place for North and Central America. Add to that Dallas’s award-winning schools and its healthy 3.8% unemployment and you’ve got another great match.

3. Boise

I’ve gotta throw in a little hometown pride here. Boise isn’t quite the metropolis that popular Northwest cities like Seattle and Vancouver are, but it’s also not so remarkably unaffordable. Millennials are starting to realize this and Boise is growing like crazy, creating interest in new commerce centers and bringing great culture into the city. Local entrepreneurs are also taking advantage of the boom with popular destinations like the Boise Fry Company.

If that’s not enough, Boise beats every other city on this list with a whopping 2.6% unemployment and tons of affordable housing.

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4. Philadelphia

The only Eastern city on this list, Philly sets itself apart from its neighbors with affordable housing. It packs all the cultural punch of New York or Boston without the huge price tag. There’s absolutely no doubt that Millennials are already making their mark in Philadelphia and taking advantage of a world class city, at a discount.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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