The title of this post is a little nod to Friends from the pilot episode, after the group gathers around Rachel to cut up her credit cards, Monica says “Welcome to the real world. It sucks. You’re gonna love it”. I love Friends and will always fit in a reference anywhere I can but to get to the point of this post, I’m going to share some of the joys and trials of adulthood according to my own experiences.
Over the past year and a half, as I get into a little in my other blog, Think with Your Heart https://crazydreamer.video.blog, and I’ll get to in this blog eventually, I have gone through a lot of changes. I’m going through a divorce, I’ve moved from my home state to about 900 miles away to be with my current boyfriend, I’ve moved three times just since I’ve been down here, I’ve had a few jobs, money problems, highs and lows emotionally and mentally and have been tested thoroughly by life’s challenges.
*Just a note, I am not in real estate, I am not a financial advisor or anything like that so any “advice” or things that I share are just based off of my own personal experience and my thoughts as a 26 year old woman. They are in no way of a professional or trained and qualified nature.
First “adulting” thing I want to talk about is renting vs owning. Since I moved out of my dad’s home and went to college, I have only ever rented places to live. There are multiple benefits to each side as there are cons and I just want to talk about some of them to share my experience and maybe help others going through the same things I am or have gone through. One of the benefits or perks of renting is that there are not too many responsibilities for the renter. There are certain things you are responsible for which should be outlined in your lease but any major repairs or issues are normally taken care of by the landlord or rental company. As the renter you basically just take care of paying the rent and utilities if they are not included and everything else, unless it is damage specifically caused by you, you are usually not responsible for. However, it is always very important to look through and read your lease so that you understand what your responsibilities are. Also, always get a lease or some sort off written agreement. I just rented from a friend of one my family member’s and we didn’t have a written agreement and while it was not horrible it was certainly not the best experience and I really wished I had made some sort of written agreement in the beginning. One of the cons to renting that would be a perk if you owned your place is if you have pets, specifically large breed dogs. My boyfriend and I have two large breed dogs which I introduced in my introduction post and most rental places have specific breeds that are allowed or not allowed. Renting from an individual is a little different, they may still have stipulations but would probably be the best bet if you can find one. However, the perk to owning in this sense is that you can have whatever type of dog you want. My dogs, in case you missed the introduction post, are a black lab/pit bull mix and a German shepherd/blue tick hound mix (although he looks more like a yellow lab mix).
This most recent experience moving was quite a challenge to find a place that accepted our dogs. We ended up using a realtor to help us find some rentals and that may be the best way to go when searching for places because they have a lot of knowledge and resources at their fingertips to be able to help you make the best decision. Our main reason for using a realtor was to find a place that accepted not only dogs but large dogs specifically, but also to help us find a place in our budget, in an area that we were okay living in and not being scammed by so many posts that are not real.
Basically, the pros to renting are that there are not really too many responsibilities for the renter besides paying rent and utilities, there’s a written agreement outlining your responsibilities and costs and no real “risk” as their would be owning a home. Cons to renting are that pets are a big deal. I love my dogs and they are a nonnegotiable part of my life. If I am moving somewhere they are a part of the family and are coming, finding a rental place that allows pets is sort of challenging, finding one that allows dogs is even more challenging and large breed dogs, specifically certain breeds seems close to impossible sometimes and can really narrow your search at least in any area that I’ve lived in before. Another con is that you can’t really do anything to your rental place. You can decorate it, but have to be careful of nail holes and things of that nature but painting and anything like that are not permitted most of the time. Also, while it is a pro it’s also a con in regards to little responsibility. Most of the time you have to put in a request to your landlord or rental place for whatever maintenance issues you have. If it’s an emergency of course there are things you can do but you often have to wait for the rental place to contact a company and then contact you to set up an appointment. It’s normally taken care of within 24-48 hours but if you were a homeowner, you could call whoever, whenever and get it taken care of.
I kind of went over the pros and cons of owning when talking about the pros and cons of renting above but to recap some of the pros to owning are that pets are almost a non issue because when you own your home you can have whichever type of pup you choose. Another pro is that you can do whatever you want to your own house. You can paint one wall bright green and the next pink and the next one blue and there is no one to tell you that you can’t. Also you can decorate in whichever way you want without worrying about nail holes or those types of things. Also a pro is just owning your own house. There are ways to make a rental place feel like your own but when you own your own place you really feel at home in my opinion. Cons to owning is everything is your responsibility which basically means another cost to you. On top of possible mortgage payments and utility costs if you have a flood or a broken oven or any type of issue, the responsibility to fix it and pay for it is on you. Insurance may cover some things but depending on certain policies and how things are handled there is probably going to be some sort of cost to you that you would not have at a rental place. Another con to owning is that if you happen to not like the area you are in, it’s a little more difficult to move than it would be if you were in a rental place. I’m sure though if you’re buying a house you’ve researched and know that it is the area you want to live but you never really know for sure until you are actually living there.
Adulting thing #2 I want to talk about is credit cards. Credit cards are a necessity because for most things such as renting, applying for loans or things like that credit becomes a factor in whether or not you will be approved for said things. However, as I’m sure most know credit cards can be terrible because not only is it hard to pick the best credit card for yourself but you have credit card payments and interest rates and if you can’t keep up with payments it can easily turn into a huge debt for you that can become overwhelming. I think the best thing to do when it comes to credit cards, at least that I found, is to obviously do the research and really look into which one is going to be the most beneficial to you. There are many that have certain rewards and finding the one with the right rewards for you is important. For example, I do not fly a lot so if I had a credit card that offered a lot of points towards flying that probably wouldn’t be ideal for me. The other thing to consider and probably slightly more important is to look at interest rates because that is where it can easily add up and become unmanageable. Also, making sure that you make enough for the payments is important. Trying to keep the balance at $0 and using it only in emergencies or when you know you can pay it right off after using it is also a good idea.
Adulting thing #3 I’m not going to talk too much about because I kind of covered it with the credit cards is debt. Credit cards are not the only thing that can create debt but making sure you are able to pay your bills and payments on things is so important because it is so easy to accumulate debt especially since most of us, at least anyone who went to college is probably already starting off their adult life with debt. I have a little bit of debt that I am currently working towards paying off and I’m just here to say from experience that it sucks but just keep working and paying it off.
Adulting topic #4 is cars. Vehicles are a blessing and a curse. For most people, vehicles, especially if you live in a place that is not a city with public transportation, is a must. Having vehicles can be quite important to getting to a job, bringing children to school or after school activities, getting groceries, seeing family and all other things but they can be secret money pits too. I have had my current car for quite a few years now and it has been mostly great. It’s a light sparkly green and her name is Lola. Lola however can be a little needy sometimes lol. She was mostly good when I first got her. She was not new but she was new to me and she was the first car that was actually in my name and felt like mine. I was fortunate enough that my dad bought it for me and fixed it up for me and that he did most of the maintenance that was really just oil changes and replacing hubcaps as I am not great at parallel parking. However, shortly after my move to Tennessee which is the 900 mile move I was talking about earlier, she started acting out. She needed a new alternator and there were a few other things but then most recently as in August there were a couple things wrong and it took almost $1,000 to fix her. That was a huge setback especially since it was at the same time we were about to move and needed to pay rent, the security deposit and pay the last of the bills at our other place. Cars are probably the most challenging part of adulting so far for me.
Adulting topic #5 is jobs. I have so much to say about jobs. I’ve had a decent amount of jobs and applying for jobs and not hearing back and feeling like you’re never going to find a job again. It’s hard to find a job these days and I’m not trying to make an excuse or have people accuse me of being lazy because I am simply not. I spent two to three weeks from about 9 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon just searching and applying for jobs before I found my current job. I did go to college but I dropped out due to anxiety and it just wasn’t really for me so I did not get a degree. Finding a job without a degree can be difficult depending on your skills but not impossible but most of the time jobs that don’t necessarily require a degree require a certain amount of experience especially for entry level jobs or jobs that should not really require experience.
When I was applying for jobs I was mainly applying for assistant or secretary or receptionist jobs. I am not knocking them by any means because every job has it’s difficulties and challenges some more so than others but there are always going to be challenges in your job. However, most of these jobs required three or more years of experience. How is anyone supposed to get experience when most every job requires experience? The struggle with finding a job today is having a degree (which unless you’re going into specific fields like a medical field or engineering or something like that, I think degrees are just a piece of paper and overrated) but also having experience when no one is willing to give it to you. Obviously it’s not impossible to find a job without those things because I did but it certainly makes job searching more challenging. On top of also trying to find a job that pays enough, offers some benefits like health insurance and maybe a few paid sick days.
Adulting topic #6 is moving. Oh my goodness, moving. In my 26 years of living I have moved about 13 times. Three of those times just in the past year and a half. Moving is not necessarily a joy or trial but it is certainly daunting. Also, not everyone will move as many times as I have so far and some will move way more. I have begun to really dislike moving though so my advice if you have to move a lot or if it’s just a daunting task for you is to simplify. I know Marie Kondo is a huge thing right now but I suggest really simplifying if you can. Like before I made my move to Tennessee I got rid of a quarter to half of my stuff probably. I am not a huge fan of stuff anyways mostly because a lot of it just seems to collect dust but I really think about necessity and if I don’t have it, how will it really affect my life. I do have some “unnecessary” items still, like books or movies or decorations. They aren’t things I necessarily need but they do make my life more enjoyable so I do keep some things that I could technically get rid of to simplify. However, I really did get rid of a lot of stuff and try to keep my “things” to a minimum. There are things like pots, pans, some clothes, utensils and things of that nature that are most likely going to be things you need to keep to live every day life but there are other things in other areas that you can get rid of.
So in conclusion adulting is hard but unavoidable and ultimately worth it. My hopes with this post was to reach even one more person that can learn from my mistakes or trials and make or plan better than I did. I also want to give a shout out to my boyfriend though because the past year and a half has probably been the most challenging of my life so far but having him by my side and always being supportive and assuring to me has made even the trials and challenges more bearable with him. Not that you can’t manage them by yourself because you certainly can and I have faced some challenges by myself but I just wanted to give a little shout out to him in case he reads this, I want him to know that his support and help has really made a world of difference to me and I appreciate it more than I can express.