When I graduated college in 2009, I really struggled with finding a full-time job and moved back home right after graduation. While hunting for jobs, I took on three various internships/part-time jobs to make money and get some experience under my belt. It wasn’t ideal but I was earning money and I was hoping some internship would lead to a full-time job.
As expected, I wasn’t earning very much. Looking back, I was earning about $1000/month since some of the internships were either unpaid or paid very little. My parents helped by giving me their credit card to use for gas or emergencies. I begrudgingly took it. I didn’t like the help because I really thought I would be able to secure a full-time job out of graduation but I knew I needed their support.
About 6 months after I moved back to my childhood bedroom, my dad announced that I needed to start paying $500/mo for rent. It wasn’t so much a discussion as it was an order. His casual delivery did nothing to quell my shock.
In hindsight, it made sense. I was making some money and it wasn’t like my parents were telling me to give all my income to them. I was an expense. I used the utilities, internet, and consumed their food. As an adult, I had to be a more active member in my family.
You would think that my parents stopped there. They didn’t. The minute my auto insurance was up for renewal, I had to pay it. When my phone contract expired, I had to take that on. If I needed contacts or glasses, I better have enough in my account to pay for it.
Financially, it was a struggle. I was fresh out of school and had to learn to not spend my money on nights out with friends. It taught me budget and more importantly, it gave me a stronger push to look for jobs. I could have easily just coasted along with my random internships/part-time jobs, but with rent hanging over my head, I really needed to hustle. I started to take on more tutoring students and I sent out resumes on a daily basis. Now 8 years later, married and full on adulting, I really appreciate their tough love.