Being a student at university was pretty great. Sure, it was a lot of work and there were definitely times when I thought I was going to die from studying-induced exhaustion, but there were some awesome perks. Like being able to sleep in until noon on a Tuesday, and day drinking on a Thursday afternoon. Having learning as my only real responsibility was an awesome introduction to adulthood.
That said, I love being a young adult in the working world too. I love having money and working on real projects instead of case studies. I like working from 8 to 5 and getting to relax afterwards, instead of always thinking about my next due date.
Financially, being a employed full time as a young adult is worlds better than being a student. Being a student and relying on student loans as my only source of income (except during my co-op work terms when I worked full time) sucked. I never had money to do anything, and when emergencies happened, I’d go into a panicked tail spin.
No, as far as money is concerned, being employed full time is pretty sweet. Here are some little things that have changed, that I’ve taken major pleasure in:
My Gas Tank is Always Full
When we were in University, my husband and I would regularly spend just $5, $10, or $20 on gas at a time. Whatever we could afford to stave off the dreaded empty tank light.
Now that I’m a “grown-up”, I have a gas budget, and I always have enough cash to fill my gas tank without even thinking about it. In fact, I can actually afford to keep my car in good repair now. My car never wants for an oil change, or an alignment, or windshield washer fluid. Having a well maintained car is one of adult life’s little pleasures.
I Don’t Live in Perpetual Fear of a Sick Pet
My husband and I got our hypoallergenic kitty Mia when I was going into third year of university. As students, it was pretty irresponsible to drop hard earned cash on a pure-bred kitty, but her hypoallergenic-ness (<–made up word alert) meant she didn’t aggravate my husband’s allergies. Plus she’s just awesome, and I don’t regret spending the money on her for a second. For the two years that we had her while I was a student, I was terrified that something bad would happen and I’d have to take her to the vet and face a huge vet bill.
Now that I’m a wage-earning adult and I have a small emergency fund (plus a substantial line of credit), I don’t fear pet sickness anymore. I’m financially prepared.
I Can Buy Paint
Tomorrow night, my husband and I are going to buy paint for the first floor of our three-bedroom rental. This is a pretty big departure from our normal strategy when it comes to living. As students and for the first few years of my working life, I didn’t spend any money on comforts or the aesthetics of my surroundings. I couldn’t afford to. Furniture was thrifted or dragged off someone’s sidewalk, and cheapness was the name of the game when it came to rent.
Now, I can actually afford to improve my surroundings a little, which is pretty awesome.
There were lots of things I miss about being a student. I miss the flexible schedule. I miss having only two priorities in life: Getting A’s and drinking. I miss a lot of things, but I don’t miss having no money. That is definitely one of the biggest upsides to growing up.
What’re your favourite things about earning a steady income? I want to know!