If I got a dime for every time someone has said to me, “You’re an adult, start acting like one, I’d be a millionaire.” It is a phrase I hear a lot. I heard it when I needed to ask my mom for anything that I couldn’t afford to get, like diapers, wipes, or even cleaning supplies.
Yes, I am an adult, and, yes, I still have a lot of growing up to do. I had kids at a young age and never got to do the normal things people my age were doing. When my friends were at the movies, or bowling, or at a bonfire, I had to stay home and change diapers and clean up spit up. But even though in some ways I had to grow up fast, in other ways I feel behind. I am horrible with money and my bills are usually late. Obviously getting a job and keeping it is a necessity, as is paying the bills. But with a minimum wage job and two kids to support, ends just do not meet. I don’t have the financial stability that an adult should have.
I’ve also found that it’s hard to grow up and do what your supposed to when your were never really taught what to do. No one ever sat me down to talk about how to pay a bill, or save money, or balance my checkbook.
My goal, though, is to keep a job, get my way overdue bills paid, and build my credit back up so I can buy a house and live like a normal person my age does. I want to be able to buy my kids what they need and not have to worry about what bills I’m putting off just to get the things they have to have like diapers. I don’t want them to have to worry about anything. And I don’t want to be worrying all the time either.
I feel that it’s especially important for me to get the financial aspect of my life under control, since the number one argument couples have is about money. I’ve heard that arguments about money are a better predictor of divorce than any other factor. So to find lifelong love, I also need to focus on making myself into the kind of person who is responsible with what I have. It’s not that I need to be rich before I get married—or even that I need to have all of my debt paid off or own a home or anything huge like that—but I do need to prove to myself and my boyfriend that I am disciplined enough to get the bills paid on time and to get out of debt. I wouldn’t want to marry someone who is irresponsible, so I need to make sure that I’m not irresponsible either. I need to be the kind of person that I want to be with.
In what ways do you need to “grow up”? Or, how have you grown up in the past several years, and what kinds of things helped you to do that?