As much as it sucks, money controls pretty much every aspect of our lives. We have to have it to survive. To pay rent, bills, food and cars. To go outside and do pretty much anything. And as most people who just graduated college, I don’t have much of it. I know that it is pretty stereotypical to be a broke college kid, but as someone who works at a university, most students I know are struggling with money. Now, I know that I am working on my Masters and have a part time job so I am definitely not as bad as others are. However, I am in a transition in my life where I have had to pay for a lot of things I haven’t had to before. This is my first time paying rent, electricity, water and even cable. I never realized how much money it actually takes. I also just recently bought a car meaning I now pay for gas, payments and a permit (which is so ridiculously expensive its unbelievable). And I’m 23 and young. I want to go out and enjoy my life but that is not something I can do all the time. I have a bad shopping addiction as well so I have had to limit myself on that extremely. I didn’t realize how much of an impulsive shopper I was. It has been a lot harder than I thought. I also now have to cook and buy groceries. I am trying to eat healthier but food can be expensive!
So I am now doing all of this with a part time job and going to school. I will say I am extremely lucky to have supportive parents who will help me with certain things but I am an adult. I feel like I need to begin transitioning to supporting myself on my own. However, I am not making nearly enough to be able to pay for everything, let alone have some to save. I have to think about getting another job which would give me very little time for myself. However, I need to do what I have to so I can take care of myself and my dog. This has given me an insight to how difficult it is to survive on such a budget in today’s society. Kids in college now pay a lot of money to go to school and a lot of people don’t have much financial help. They are doing a lot of it by themselves, while trying to enjoy life. College is a time to be carefree and explore and live. However, now we have to worry about making sure we have food to eat and can continue to keep the lights on. More than half of college students work on the side while going to school. A lot of people work multiple jobs. I really haven’t thought about it until now, I am worrying more about finances than I ever have before. I talk about wanting to go out and live to help with my anxiety and depression, and I haven’t been able to do that because of worrying about money. I don’t want to waste what I have so I can have a little bit of mindless fun instead of buying dinner for the next few days. I would love to, but that isn’t a luxury I can afford right now.
We talk a lot about how money doesn’t buy happiness, but I’m not sure I believe that. Money controls us and how we live more than anything. I’m getting my Masters to advance my learning but also to make me more competitive in the career field. However, in the mean time, I have to work more than ever so I can keep living comfortably. I know that everything will be worth it in the long run, but right now, it’s difficult. I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining because I know that there are so many people that have it worse. It’s just something I have been thinking about as I work with so many students who struggle with working multiple jobs and I probably have to do it to now. So hopefully, I can get better at budgeting and saving so I don’t have to think about this so much.