You get your first pay check two days earlier than you expected and your first reaction is, “Oh good, I have money to put down on a car today. Now the dealers will take me seriously.” This is further confirmed when your second reaction is to build a spreadsheet budget with a sheet for each month which link to each other, formulae, and calculations for margin of error. (The electric bill ought to go down once we switch from AC to heat, but by how much? When will the switch happen?)
You’re way past the point of faking non adult hood when your big first paycheck shopping spree involves buying super discounted book shelves and cleaning supplies.
You deal with discovering the state law banning sales of cars on Sundays by cussing violently and saying, “Forget this, let’s go home and hang pictures.”
You go to a nice restaurant in casual clothes and the staff doesn’t assume you’re a bad tipper.
When arguments with your parents about money goes from, “So I magically make $2,000 appear before next quarter or my life is over?” to, “Keep that 3, and you’ll have the other seven I owe you in about a year, two tops. No you can’t talk me out of paying you back.”
When you declare that in eleven months you’ll be the proud owner of a “huge ass house in the woods with no yard, and no more fucking neighbors,” you not only mean it, but you do a little market research and then add a formula to your spreadsheet to make sure you’ll have a down payment and closing costs in time. Your spreadsheet makes you very happy. See how putting in that check you wrote at Menards makes numbers in December change? See the lack of bright red numbers? So cool.
I think I’ve finally achieved my major life goal.* I like it. Just have to make sure empty suburbia doesn’t yuppify me.** Must. Not. Yuppy.
*No, my goal was not to get a budget spreadsheet. Could have had that years ago, but it was easier to keep in my head.
**No, the job isn’t the goal either. Nor is the paycheck. Yeah, I like the part where I have to be responsible and fend for myself. It’s my mutant power.