What University Taught Me: MONEY

Money is green.

Money is mean.

Money is important

and you’ll always really need it.

Even if you don’t agree

sooner or later you will see

that money is a necessity.

I should have learned this rhyme (that I made up on the spot ahaha) when I was younger. Before university, I never had to worry about money. If I ran low on it, I just had to ask my parents. And my parents always had money and my dad had a nice secure job. I never had to strain over dollars and coins to buy a meal. I never had less than twenty dollars in my wallet. 

In other words, money still existed in my life but I never acknowledged it’s importance before because to me it wasn’t that important. And growing up in a Christian household, money also had the association of being ‘bad’ in that it can corrupt a person and pull them away from more important things in life, like family, friends, and love. So although I knew that you needed money to get stuff, beyond that money had no high place in my life.

But now, in college, the reality of money has hit me hard, like a sucker punch to my face. And to be honest, I’m still reeling from how important and how ignorant I was to it.

For example, today for lunch. I had only $9 in cash and an assortment of coins probably amounting to maybe $3 total. And the marketplaces where I could use my student card were all closed. So I had to use money. Thank goodness there was Mesa’s pizza that sells big slices of pizza for $3.75 because if not I would have no cash now.

Now that was humbling and a serious look at reality. There aren’t really shades of gray about money. Either you have it or you don’t. And at that moment, granted I did have some money but it was a measly amount and I was ashamed and mad at myself for poor management of money. I mean, I have $250 in savings but I left it all in Montreal for some illogical reason.

That’s another thing, I don’t really know when it’s appropriate to use my savings. I’m pretty good at setting apart money for savings but then I never know what I’m saving it for. I usually just envision that I’m saving it for some great awesome event or trip but that won’t really be happening anytime soon so my savings just collects dust. But at the same time I’m scared of using it because then I’ll have less for my hypothesized trip/event. Great logic, eh? *facepalms*

So now I’m left to the graces of my dad and my family members. At the least, during spring break I’ll mostly be eating homemade food and not going out as much, so phew. But still, I’ll need money to get around Chicago. And not to mention, I also need money for basic necessities back at my dorm, like laundry detergent and kleenex.

Oy vey, it’s hard being an adult. But I can’t avoid it; I have to accept it or be trampled underfoot by it. I’d much rather be riding the behemoth that its adulthood rather than be destroyed by it.

I’m already taking steps to be in better control of my money. I applied just today to work at Molly’s Cupcakes as a centerfiller. Granted, the position’s hours are 5:30 am to 9:30 am, but at this point I’m so scarred from having barely any cash that I don’t really care. I need to work and waking up early will do good for me. I’ll be forced to organize my time better and my ‘leisure’/wasted time will diminish so I use my time more effectively. And also, since the Molly’s position is in the morning, I can also take a shift working at Burge Marketplace at night…

I think I needed an experience like today to seriously wake up. My parents always told me that money was important and they worried when I shrugged off their advice and laughed. Well, now I’m not laughing and I’ve realized that they were right all along (as they usually are). Money is important and I need it. Now I know this and I’m going to work hard to make sure that I won’t even have to repeat what happened today.

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