I wish my parents had told me how expensive it was to be an adult.
I had learned at an early age that life is not free… Unfortunately, I hadn’t realized how un-free it was.
We start with the first thing that hits your paycheck… Taxes. I learned about taxes when I started working for a fast food restaurant in Pawtucket, RI in 1986 when I started High School. I learned that every week, Uncle Sam was going to cut 25% our of my check. Back then, just as now, I did not like taxes, but there was nothing that you could do about it.
After that, being sixteen, I learned the next great expense in life… Auto Insurance. At the time, Auto Insurance was not mandatory in my state, but it was in my parent’s home, so I had Auto Insurance. Each month, another 20% of my paycheck was gone.
Being a sixteen year old male in the 80’s, I found out the greatest expense that I would have then and for the rest of my life… GIRLS. It is not GIRLS themselves that were so expensive, it was the accessories that came with them that drained my bank account. Movies, Restaurants, Amusement Parks, jewelry, etc. I didn’t understand then and I still don’t understand now how that cute little smile will make you hand over your paycheck without even questioning.
Now that I am an adult and have a wife and family, it is even worse.
I have carved out myself a nice career as a Web Designer and Videographer and I make exponentially more money than I did when I worked at that fast-food joint, but I have less in my pocket than I thought that I should. My parents never warned me about how much braces for the kids cost or how much Summer Camp was going to set me back. Let alone wanting to play a band instrument in an educational climate that devalues musical education to a level lower than the Junior Varsity Volleyball team. On top of the financial responsibility of putting my children through Public Schools (I always though that was what Taxes were for), I have the added cash cow of maintaining a house that always chooses the most inopportune time to need repairs or breakdown.
No longer can you depend on an appliance such as a refrigerator or dishwasher to last 20 years. They now have a life expectancy of about 5-7 years and if they do break down, it costs more to repair the appliance than to purchase a brand new one.
Having heirloom quality furniture that last 40 or 50 years is gone, you are lucky if a living room set lasts 5 years today (we purchased our living room set 3 years ago from Cardi’s and it is already complete garbage.).
I will be retiring in about 20 years… I dread to think of the added expenses that will be involved with that.