Thursday, September 10, 2015

What I Wish I Learned in College

Welcome to being 26! It's full of these weird things like marriage, mortgage payments, people having babies, insurance deductibles, 401K plans... I won't bore you with the ongoing list. 26 is this weird age where everyone is at different stages of their lives but we are all becoming adults. As I spent the last weekend with my two best friends from college, I could not help but to be reminded of the carefree days of college. When our only worries were paying rent at the first of the month, what to wear out, or studying for an Accounting test.

College is great and it prepares you to become a young, independent adult. However, it doesn't really teach you the 411 about life, or maybe I missed the class that taught you what PMI means. And no, that is not like PMS but it does come monthly with my mortgage payment. In all those 4 years of college, I was never offered a Life 101 class or Marriage and Babies Aren't Easy class. I was fortunate to take a class for financials but that was just a little sneak peek to life. Basically, I am here today to tell what you what I wish I had learned in college:

1. Life is not Cheap!- Well this is pretty obvious, I know, but I just had no clue how easy life could add up. You get offered this amazing job with a salary and you are suddenly rich, but then bills come. After you pay for housing, car, insurance, cable, power, water, and other necessities, you suddenly realize that you aren't so rich. Trust me, even at 26 I still enjoy the $1 margaritas because $10 cocktails are a treat!

2. Saving Money is a Great Thing - Okay I know, obvious life lesson #2 but let me break it down for you. While I am only 26, I know that one day I will want to retire so that 401K program may not be fabulous right now but it will be one day. Plus the more you save now, the more money that accumulates over time because of interest. Life brings on lots of little hurdles so it is good to have money saved for such events. I was fortunate to have a little savings pile when we got married, bought a house, received our dog's $800 vet bill... the point is save while you can because one day you will need that money.

3. Insurance 101- I will be honest that I still have no clue what most insurance terms mean. Even after talking to my health insurance provider and a Google search I am still confused most of the time. The whole deductible thing took me about a year to understand. I would like to say that I could help you on this subject, but my piece of advice is to call your insurance provider when confused.

4. How to Buy a House - Buying a house was probably one of the most eye opening experiences I have been through. Who knew that so much went into buying a house? I just thought I would go find my dream home, tell the bank, and pay a monthly payment. Oh no girlfriend! Buying a house ain't that easy. Luckily, we had a great realtor and mortgage company to walk us through all the steps. I will give you the heads up now, there are lots of steps to buying a house and lots of big financial terms that I had to google.

5. Marriage & Babies - Every time I get on Facebook I am amazed by the number of wedding and baby pictures on my feed. I know that I am married, but trust me no babies soon- sorry mom! I guess you just wake up one day and life hits a whole new milestone. College doesn't really prepare you for this either. No where in my Life & Family class did they teach me about the changes that occur to a women's body during pregnancy. Even in Accounting class they never taught me about the possibility of my husband wanting to put me on a budget because of my shopping problem. Basically they never taught me about the realities of marriage and babies.

Well I hope the young 21 year old reading this isn't scared to death now. I promise growing up is actually a lot of fun! While they don't offer Life 101 in college, it is the bumps in the road or learning processes that make us who we are. Plus a quick call to mom and dad or a Google search always helps to solve life's biggest questions!

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