On a recent visit to Portland, Ore. – the hometown I moved away from 10 years ago – I stood in awe when I visited the spacious, newly-purchased homes belonging to several friends from high school and college. How can they afford this? We’re around the same age and at similar points in our careers. My version of adulting was when I bought a new couch and signed up for a new credit card last month. I feel so behind!

I quieted my jealous thoughts by reminding myself that adulting means different things in different parts of the country. You can get a gorgeous, six-bedroom home for half a million dollars in a suburb of Portland, but in many ‘hoods of Los Angeles, the city I’ve called home for five years, that might get you a two-bedroom condo. Comparing my life milestones to theirs is like picking the advanced ski trail while they cruise down the beginners’ lane and expecting to reach the finish line at the same time.

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Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha Chilingerian has worked in the credit union space for over a decade. She joined CU Times as managing editor in 2015 and was promoted to executive editor in 2019. Before that, she served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta Federal Credit Union) in Los Angeles from 2013-2015, and as a CU Times freelancer from 2011-2013. She has been a professional writer and editor for more than 17 years, specializing in news and lifestyle journalism as well as marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space.

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