Oh, Harry Potter. Much has been written on the Internet recently about our generation’s connection to the boy wizard and his adventures as the final film of the series debuted in theaters this week. I won’t bore you with my own relationship to the series except to say that I discovered the books while babysitting a particularly bright, Hermione-esque young ward and I was instantly hooked.
In that spirit, enjoy another great Thought Catalog post on how to survive in the Wizarding World once you’ve left Hogwarts hallowed halls. I actually wouldn’t mind reading a spin-off series in the vein of Neville Longbottom and the Quarterlife Crisis!
How To Be A Hogwarts Graduate During A Recession
Oh, Thought Catalog, you have been providing so much great blog fodder lately. Earlier this week, they were discussing when you stopping being a post-graduate and today, its all about where your money goes in your 20s.
Again, Ryan O’ Connell hits the mark here on the five things that drain those precious few income dollars – rent (something that feels akin to being held up monthly), booze (and booze-related expenses, like late night burritos or over-tipping a cabbie because he switched the station to the 80s rock block), healthy organic food (I call shenanigans whenever someone doesn’t have money for happy hour but always has a pantry full of Trader Joe’s/Whole Foods organic goodness), college, and cell phones/Internet.
I find that there are a few other expenses that seem to come at you a lot in your twenties:
- Weddings – This is the hidden money suck of your twenties! Everyone is getting married but you, so you’re shelling out for a fancy mixer and travel to your home/college town and a new outfit (in a vain attempt to hook up with any remaining single people) – and this happens 2-3 times a year
- Transportation – Even without a car, getting yourself place to place is almost never free. After rent and student loans, Metro is my most costly expense. You can factor in SmarTrip discounts and off-peak hours but if you ride daily, you’re going to rack up a tidy sum in trips. Add in bike share membership costs, new walking shoes on a regular basis, and the occasional taxi and leaving the house just seems like a financial suck hole.
- Redbox – Bear with me on this – even with Netflix Instant, Hulu Plus, and any other number of Internet-based movie/television watching options, there almost always seems to be an occasion for someone to run to the Redbox and grab a flick. You volunteer to spring for the flick (what’s $1.05 – a pittance, really) while your buddy runs into the grocery store for the beer (sucker!) Three unreturned weeks later, that direct-to-DVD buddy cop comedy you rented and never finished has cost you $20 and your dignity. [Note – This could also occasionally fall under booze-related expenses.]
- Parties – I love a good party. I realize that this could fall under the booze category but I think going to parties in your twenties becomes increasingly expensive. In college, you’d grab a case of something cheap, throw in $5 for pizza, and be set. When someone invites you over for wine and cheese, you’re expected to bring something that may actually come with a cork and a cheese that costs more than a cab ride. I could throw a very classy affair if I had saved every $20 spent when heading to a “casual” get together in the last five years.
- Gadgets – I have a personality that I like to describe as “charmingly analog.” I don’t feel the need to wait in line for the latest Apple product or scourge eBay/Craigslist for gaming systems. I just got my first smartphone, out of necessity more than desire, and I still have the iPod my parents gave me in 2006 for a trip abroad (it holds almost 200 songs!) But in your twenties, gadgets are the thing. Even more than clothes or going out, I see people spending large percentages of their take home pay on gadgets. Its our generation’s most debilitating – and awesome – addiction.
A popular discussion at recent happy hours and potluck dinners has been how to classify yourself in your 20s. Quarterlifers seems a little optimistic (seriously, if you think at 25, you are only 1/4 of the way through your life span, you are putting more faith in the value of health and exercise than I ever would) and anything with the word “young” attached to it feels a little disingenuous. While I think the postcollegiate moniker is appropriate for this blog (and where I feel I am in my life), college also seems like it was decades ago. Hell, I just attended my first [legit] college reunion last month!
It’s only fitting that this timely post from Thought Catalog came across my Twitter feed the other day. Ryan O’Connell, a fantastic blogger, posits that you have to drop the title somewhere at the year and a half mark, providing you land a real job. Of course, what is a real job? Is it your dream job? Something in your field? If you’re scraping by on blogging and freelancing and selling plasma, does that count?
It’s a quick piece but a clever one, especially for reminding everyone that there was once a terrible movie about being post-collegiate but also some great ones.