My ideas about money have changed a lot lately. I'm pretty sure it has something to do with my recent graduation/recent joining of the dreaded "real world." It's an interesting concept. I thought I would be fine - I had plenty of money to support me daily, and I worked on top of it. I had savings, a steady job (though not full time), and a relatively frugal lifestyle. I had plenty to spend on things that I wanted - movies, going out, new clothes, etc. So I thought.
Then I learned. I learned that I never actually realized how much I relied on my student loan refunds. While $1,000 isn't much, it was enough to pay for all of my daily activities for a semester. I could blow $1,000 in four months. Right now, that's just 1 month of bills for me. I learned that I have to cover insurance too. For the most basic plan (which still has a $2,500 deductible), I pay nearly $100 a month. Plus, I have car insurance, which is another $70 a month. Mind you, the car insurance will double when I move, because I'll no longer be on my family's plan, thus eliminating nearly every single discount I have. The new healthplan just makes things more expensive for me, because by the time it goes into effect, I'll be living on my own. FYI: You can't be a dependent and on your parents' healthcare until you're 26 if you live in another state and have graduated. I'll lose my inexpensive insurance that does me just fine, and will have to pay more. Yes, I'll get better insurance...but at a price, when money isn't always readily available.
I learned that a job isn't guaranteed. It's not guaranteed that I'll get a full-time, salary job. Schools tell you over and over, "this class guarantees you'll have a job" and "there will be plenty of jobs when you graduate." That's crap. Complete and total crap. I'm working two part-time jobs, and still barely making ends meet. I have no guarantee that I'll get a better job(s) when I move, so I have to save with the expectation that I might not have a job in six months. But here's the catch-22 - I have to move because there are no jobs in CoMo. I have to assume that when I move, I'll be paying more in rent, more in insurance, more in food, because CoMo is dirt cheap and has spoiled me silly. I have to consider that we'll have to rent a U-Haul (which, if we go to Oregon, will be over $1600).
I'm not just responsible for me anymore. It's Sean and me, together. Anything I do, any money I spend, effects him too now (and likewise for him). It's so stressful, but at the same time - I like it.