1. Eating out. Probably the vast majority of your “Where did my money go? I swear to god I had money just like five minutes ago” purchases are going into food and drinks while out. You will spend money while drunk in bars in that magical mental space where ~~money no longer exists~~ and bar tabs don’t mean anything. You will be invited to brunch and feel obligated to go, and then once there, decide to order bloody marys, coffee, eggs benedict, AND maybe some pancakes to split. You will go to dinner that turns into going out for drinks that turns into 200 dollars magically missing from your checking account. And no financial planning can truly brace you against the Going Out version of your brain, and its terrible, terrible judgment.
2. Weddings. You never think about this, really, because weddings and marriage always seem so far off, until they are happening in rapid succession and you are draining your checking account every time one of your friends decides to tell the world they are In A Relationship. And however much you think a glorified dinner party for a couple you know semi-well should cost for the guests, double that. It will be a LOT. And if you’re in the wedding party, enjoy paying at least a month’s worth of rent for the pleasure of wearing an unflattering dress in approximately 7,000 photos.
3. Home decor. It’s weird, because when you first strike out on your own, you’re often living in some kind of roommate/dorm/squat situation that really prevents you from doing much decorating/stocking. You have a couple of tupperware bins, a bed, some hangers, and maybe a lamp — and that is more than enough for your 19-year-old tastes. But then you’re confronted with an entire living space, and you must pay for everything from bed linens to a desk to work at to an entire set of dishes strictly for the times you have a bunch of people over for dinner. You are suddenly sinking thousands of dollars into ~*~making your house a home~*~, and this is all before you do any actual living in any of it.
4. Being able to do your own grocery shopping. Perhaps the ultimate blessing and curse of adulthood, being able to feed yourself and stock your own kitchen is, ultimately, a trap. Because you will go to the store with one or two specific things in mind, and then end up leaving with a six-dollar box of designer cookies, pre-packaged fruit that charges you four dollars for the luxury of not cutting the fruit yourself, and some junk food you will eat in a fugue state while binge watching TV. (Side note: Never go to the grocery store hungry and/or slightly drunk. That is how one ends up with a can of sharp cheddar Easy Cheese and a box of Sundried Tomato Wheat Thins…I would imagine.)
5. Keeping things clean. Everything from doing your laundry/dry cleaning to keeping your bathroom relatively sparkling costs hella money, and you just never even think about it growing up, because you kind of subconsciously view your mother as a cleaning fairy who manifests Windex and Scrubbing Bubbles and Tide. And besides, cleaning supplies are not a fUn PuRcHaSe, and one never takes into account the boring, un-fun things that we must spend lots of money on — our brains block it out somehow. But if you live in a big city, you are guaranteed to spend upwards of 150 dollars a month just to stay clean enough to exist in society.
6. Beauty treatments. Getting your hair cut is so fucking expensive. Like, no one ever tells you this — I assume so as to not scare you — but just getting a good cut and blowout from a decent place can EASILY run you 100 dollars with tip, which is just an insane amount of money for pretty much anything. And I’ve never gotten my hair dyed, but I’ve heard that is easily twice that, if not much, much more. And yes, you can do all of these things yourself, but unless you are YouTube-guru-level good, that feels like a risk you do not want to take. Add in eyebrows, waxing, and the financial monolith that is makeup, and you are spending a sizable chunk of your income on conforming to society’s beauty standards. Yay!
7. Holidays. Suddenly you hit an age where you are expected not just to receive gifts like the bloated tick on your family you are, but give them to people. And all of a sudden December goes from your favorite month of the year, to the time when you abandon all hope of ever getting nicer furniture because you have to spend all of your surplus income on gifts for basically everyone you’ve ever met. Happy holidays!
Image via Unsplash