That’s right, this is Mr. NYBudget and I am posting this from the year 2025! I wanted to check in and see how everyone is doing back in 2015. I also wanted to give you a glimpse into the future.
What will the year 2025 be like? How will my personal finance strategy change?
Good news, I have all the answers!
Don’t worry, New York City is alive and thriving. It hasn’t been flooded, dug up by aliens, or attacked by Godzilla. It’s still a great city and, amazingly, it’s population has grown even more!
I am now in my 40s, but I don’t feel like it. I still have the maturity of a 17 year old, which is frightening because I now have two children! They are 5 and 3. I have started saving for higher education for both of them.
Many of my friends roll their eyes at me for this. Higher education isn’t what it used to be. Online education has really taken off and kids are getting all of the education they need MUCH cheaper.
Sure, you have multiple expenses now. You have to pay for the courses to be taught by video and online tests to be administered. In addition, college students usually hire an accountability coach that works with them once per week to make sure they maintain motivation and are actually learning. However, all those costs add up to be much cheaper than traditional college.
I am still a little old-fashioned though and see the social benefit of college. Some of the private schools have become unattainably expensive, raising their prices based on their strong brands, but my kids will be just fine in state school. Maybe by 2038, my views will change and I will hop on the online-only education bandwagon.
Early Adulthood Dependence
Last year, I started another fund for each child, though. It’s what we have been calling a 20s fund. Jobs have gotten scarce and kids in their 20s have an even more difficult time finding work. There are two main factors that have contributed to this:
- People are living longer (yay!) due to continued medical advances. But with more high-quality years of life comes more working years as well. People are feeling good well into their 80s and often want to keep working. Some people thought that old people would get laid off in favor of young people who were better at new technologies. However, with technology always getting easier, old people have a much quicker time mastering new tech. In the 90s, owning a computer required a base level of debugging and repair knowledge. In 2025, everything is MUCH more intuitive. As a result, companies would rather hire experienced workers rather than young adults who are just entering the workforce.
- Robots and technology have taken over many jobs. Driverless vehicles really hit the nation hard. A lot of jobs were lost, so the entire job pool is shrinking. This worries folks, so older people are holding on to jobs even LONGER when they can.
So, as much as I want to throw my kids into the deep end of the economy and allow them to learn self-sufficiency through figuring out how to make money, there just aren’t enough jobs out there. I need to give them a boost.
The Stock Market
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Technology has made companies even more efficient and raised profits, so the stock market has been doing very nicely! Sure, there have been some downturns, as you might expect, but the overall trajectory has been great!
This may seem a bit counterintuitive. If jobs are going away, then shouldn’t companies have fewer customers with the ability to pay? Companies have been able to slash costs SO much, that you can get a whole lot more for less these days! So even though people have less income, they don’t need as much.
The Sharing Economy
And people are still making money, even without traditional jobs. Back in 2015, the sharing economy was just getting revved up. Now, in 2025, it is in full gear! The concept of “slack resources” is understood, even by children! When you own something, like a driverless car, you usually don’t use it 100% of the time. During the times you aren’t using it, you can rent it out to other people. In the case of the driverless car, it’s really simple. You get a notification in your smart glasses that someone wants to rent your car. You agree to the price they are offering and your car goes and picks them up without you lifting a finger!
Back in 2015, personal finance blogs would warn you that your personal home was NOT an asset because it didn’t produce cash flow. Nowadays, it does. Airbnb has grown like wildfire. Some of the concerns of 2015, including regulations on cleanliness, fear of theft, and lack of the amenities that come with a classic hotel room have been wiped out. You just grant Airbnb’s new rental software access to your smarthome, and it takes care of home security (granting the appropriate access to your guests), self-cleaning, and service for your guests. There really is no reason NOT to rent out your house when you are away.
The Entertainment Industry
So there are fewer jobs, but people are making more money with their assets. This means even more free time! That’s great news. It also means that there is one industry that has seen massive growth in terms of jobs: entertainment. With all this free time, more and more people are turning to online video content – watching people play video games, perform silly stunts, go about their everyday lives (performing actions dictated by the people watching their live streams). It’s not a job I would want, but this wide array of Internet celebrities are doing quite well for themselves, monetizing their content.
How to Be Frugal in 2025
Overall, the future is bright. People have more time and less money, but goods are less expensive, so it evens out. It’s important to stay frugal, though, because your kids and grandkids will probably need more financial help than in the past. Here’s how to continue being frugal in 2025:
- Goods are cheaper, so saving on physical items is easier. Too many people have fallen into the trap of over-consumption BECAUSE goods are cheaper, though. You have to realize that even though costs are falling, your purchasing power is staying the same.
- Own less – it may be tempting to acquire a ton of “stuff” and rent it out via the sharing economy. In the end, the math simply doesn’t work out for most items. Pick one or two big items to own where the market is favorable in your area and for everything else, use the sharing economy to be a consumer and rent it!
- Be conscious about educational spending. I really need to take my own advice here, but online courses really are a great option for your kids. Just make sure they gain social skills as well through local kid events on Meetup.com
- The “Big 4” expenses of 2015: housing, food, clothing, and transportation are no longer an issue. Cooking your own food isn’t much cheaper than having your smart kitchen cook it for you. Driverless cars enable you to get anywhere inexpensively and fast. Most people 3D print their clothes for minimal cost. Housing is still a big expense, so focus on that. How much housing you rent or buy should depend on your Airbnb strategy.
- Entertainment is all around you. There are so many premium experience opportunities that cost a fortune these days (from virtual worlds, to trips to outer space). But remember, there is SO much to do that is cheap and free. Go hiking, read, explore your physical surroundings (as opposed to your virtual reality surroundings). Look back to 2015 for great ideas on how to entertain yourself.
When it comes down to it, the strategy in 2025 is the same as 2015: live simply and appreciate the amazing life and opportunities you have. Focus on relationships and you will lead a rich life while saving a boatload of money.
Best of luck all you 2015-ers on your journey over the next 10 years!
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