Another Rant On Adulting

Let me start off by saying I’m really freakin’ lucky.

I have a good job (that’s now full-time *throws balloons*). I have a reliable car. A cute apartment. I can afford groceries, utilities and Internet. I have good health and am in a pretty good mental state. For the most part, I’m completely independent when it comes to bills and taking care of myself, which is really important to me.

And yet.

*cue rant*

I’m a pretty frugal person, much to the annoyance to most of my friends and family. I have a budget spreadsheet of all of my bills each month, all the bills that I have to pay once a year (e.g., women’s clinic visit, eye exam, that sort of thing), the amount I’d like to save and a wishlist of things I’d like to own, from a toaster to a coffee table to new clothes to books to tattoos.

Every so often, I update that budget to try and stay in line with my spending or reevaluate my goals of how much money I want to spend/save. Recently, I got moved to full-time, which definitely requires a budget change. And as my first full-time paycheck comes in tomorrow, I was really, really jazzed about it. No more living paycheck-to-paycheck like I have been. No more need for a second job. I could actually afford to live and be able to go to the movies without guilt, actually start crossing off things from my To-Buy Wishlist.

Oh, how naive I was.

Earlier, I said I was completely independent financially, “for the most part.” It wasn’t until this year that I realized that my parents have been paying for my car insurance and my tag renewal every year since I was 16. So next year, I’m going to be taking that over. As I should. My parents have been awesome and supportive, but I’ll be 25 this year. High time I start lessening their burden a little bit. Next year is also the same year I get kicked off their health insurance, so that will start coming out of my paycheck. In September, retirement starts coming out, so that’s another cut. And then you have all those one-time expenses I always forget about: doctors’ visits and new contacts and oil changes and parking permits. Those add up really quickly. If I want to have any savings account at all, that’s another cut.

Looking at all of those expenses, by this time next year, I’ll be back living paycheck-to-paycheck again.

And that just…floors me.

I make very decent money. And like I said, I’m super frugal. Occasionally, I’ll splurge, but that occasion is more rare than common. I’ve already canceled my gym membership to try and cut back on expenses, but every other bill I have is necessary.

I just…don’t know what to do.

My job isn’t going to give me a raise. We’re suffering from budget cuts as it is and, if the trend continues, that cut is only going to increase as the years pass. Yet I work 40 hours a week, 3pm-12am. When would I have time to add in a second job, again? Do I just give up on ever crossing off anything on that To-Buy Wishlist? Do I let this one trip to London I saved up for this year (with the hope that I could save up and travel abroad to a new place once every year) be the only trip of that nature? Do I just accept that I’ll always have this feeling that I’m trying to catch the money I earn up with the money I owe, without ever having any extra money to spend?

I just don’t know, friends. Again, I’m very lucky, to have what I have and live the life I live. But I’m also so dang tired of being so stressed out financially and being that one person in the group that always orders a water or refuses to meet for coffee or is known for being the person who “doesn’t spend money.” It’s selfish, I know, but I’d like to be able to buy that cute sweatshirt without feeling guilt. I’d like to be able to go out to dinner with friends and not stress over how to shave off that money I just spent somewhere else. I’d like to get a new tattoo and not have to wait over a year to save up to get another one.

Like I said: selfish, I know. But goodness me, a person should be able to make 30K a year like I do and not live paycheck-to-paycheck.

Cheers.

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About Nicole Evans

Nicole Evans is a writer of fantasy and science fiction. She is currently unpublished and is working fervently to get the “un” removed from that statement. She has five completed manuscripts: a trilogy about destined heroes that fail anyway, a science fiction standalone that pits the natural desire to love against the natural instinct to kill during the extinction of the human race and a new series about a writer who can't get published and gets the chance to live a life that all writers dream. She also has two scripts done. Currently, she is about to start writing the second of a nine book series while planning two more. (If you can tell, she really likes this whole writing thing.) Considering she has run out of space for putting rejections letters up on her wall, Nicole now uses her spare time doing the typical things that nerds do: blogging, dying repeatedly during video games (which she believes is retribution for the characters’ she’s killed), wishing she was the character she is currently reading about and trying to fight off the real world by living in her own head, with varying degrees of success. Nicole has a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Film and Media Studies, and works part-time as a supervisor in a library at the University of Kansas. View all posts by Nicole Evans

10 responses to “Another Rant On Adulting

  • Adam

    You’re not alone in this frustration. There are definitely testing times, where you wish you could just let go, but the reality is money is tight for a lot of people. But there are usually still ways to make things happen, if you do a little research and watch for the bargains, travel during the off seasons, I imagine you can still achieve some of your goals.

    There’s nothing wrong with feeling this way, but you can still meet friends for coffee and not get coffee yourself. That’s often what I’ll do. After all, your friends probably get coffee all the time, but this is their chance to hang out with you.

    For now, revel in your achievement. Not only are you full time, you’re completely self sufficient. that’s something to be proud of. And, if you decide to look for employment elsewhere, the fact that you earned a promotion in the midst of budget cuts is certainly evidence of the quality of your work.

    • Nicole Evans

      I hate that is a reality for a lot of different people. But you’re right, I may have to just get crafty/sneaky with my traveling arrangements.

      That’s also a good point. It’s just I hate that awkward moment of, “Oh, I’m trying to save/not spend money,” because that’s usually followed with a look of, “You’re *always* trying to save/not spend money.” But that’s life, right?

      Oooh, way to turn that last bit into a positive spin, Adam. I didn’t think of it that way.

      Thank you, as always, for your thoughtful and in-depth insight.

  • Marie E. Stump

    I’m in a similar situation, but without the full-time bit. (Three part-times, yay…) I’m also losing my parents insurance at the end of THIS MONTH (oh boy), and man is that stressing me out. All I can say is: We are both making it. We may not feel like it sometimes, with all the responsibilities and stresses that come with adulthood and all the changes that we go through, but we’re not giving up, and we’re doing our best to adjust. Sure, it’s hard, and the options suck, but I have faith that you’ll figure it out, chica! You’ve got more grit and determination than anyone I know. 🙂

    P.S. That visit (the one that is DEFINITELY GOING TO HAPPEN) can definitely be a very frugal one. Don’t have to spend a ton of money to have fun, and we both understand that! 😉

    • Nicole Evans

      I definitely wish you weren’t stuck in a three part-time battle, my friend. Been there, done that, and that is *not* fun. Gosh, good luck taking cover your own insurance, as well! I needed that positive pump up from you, Marie. Thank you so much. ❤ I believe in you indefinitely!

      PS: Yes, please and thank you. 😀

      • Marie E. Stump

        Likewise, I wish you didn’t understand the struggle, but I’m glad you’ve gotten to where you have, and I know you’re headed even better places! You know I’ve always got some positivity for you when you need it! 😊😘

        Oh, good! 😉

  • M.A. Crosbie

    I feel you so hard on this one…I’m the same in my friend group over here, everytime we meet for drinks I’m the lame one who gets one drink if anything, and even that I have to save up for. But it sounds like you’re doing everything right, and everything you can, so please don’t beat yourself up. It seems like lots of us are in this boat (let’s call it the USS FRUGAL), and while it’s not easy, at least we’re not alone! ❤

    • Nicole Evans

      I hate that for you, Meredith. I know how stressful money is for you (though it feels like it is for everyone, at this rate) and I wish you could experience a relief from that.

      Let’s us continue to captain the USS FRUGAL until we can navigate to the potentially non-existent land of Comfort and Financial Stability. 😛

  • justbmoreblog

    Preach!! Gurl, I feel ya everyday. You remember my dreadful teacher-pay stories I’m sure. In fact, I just blew money on a concert ticket that honestly I shouldn’t have, but oh well. (It does back up MY tattoo purchase tho.)

    These past two years are the longest I’ve worked only one job my entire life – and that’s only due to the ankle – not bc I can really afford to work one job. It’s def hard, but when you do splurge or hit that savings mark it’s so worth it. And I’ll help you with finding cool and cheap travel. I know the ways.

    • Nicole Evans

      Oh, I definitely remember your dreadful teacher-pay stories. What concerts? That sounds so exciting! Wait, did you get a new tattoo? We have so much to catch up on during our phone call!

      I dunno how I didn’t think of talking to you about finding cheap ways to travel. *facepalm* I want to learn your ways! Oh, and kuddos to you for adjusting to only working one job and I hope you’re not struggling too much right now!

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