My Partner. Not My Retirement Plan.
I got so lucky.
I got a job as a teenager. First as a babysitter, then for a bit as a cleaner, and then as an attendant at a dance shop.
I moved an hour away from home and started going to school full-time at a the local community college.
Then, when I was 19, I moved out of my grandma's little condo and into a shared room further south.
I learned to pay rent. I learned to always have Tylenol, Tums, and a thermometer on hand because you can't go and get them when you need them the most. I learned that my mom was right- baseboards do need to be cleaned. And I was miraculously lucky enough to stay away from debt.
And then I met my partner: Beny.
We started dating when we were young, but just at the threshold where we were starting to take life more seriously.
I never once thought anything that a lot of couple struggle with. That is, any of the little financial things that push people to get with someone they’re not compatible with or to keep relying on someone when they want to leave.
“How will HE take care of ME?”
“He’s alright I guess, but at least he’s a [lawyer/doctor/astronaut]!”
“I wish I could leave, but he pays for [rent, health insurance, Netflix]”
In terms of our finances, whether he was a doctor or lawyer were irrelevant, because my bills were already paid. We dated each other because we wanted to- that was it.
I’m SURE our current dynamic will change as we get older. Every major decision you make in any relationship can change the whole dynamic (kids? house? move across country?).
But those are decisions we’ll make together for a shared life, not financial reasons for getting together to begin with.
And damn. Choosing the people to have in your life based off of actually wanting them there instead of feeling like you “need” them for some reason is just... *chef’s kiss*.
All of this is to say that one of the best things you can do for yourself AND those around you is work on being in a good place financially. When you're there, it makes it so much easier to focus on the things that are really important to you, instead of the million little things that society says you should care about.
That is, the love (lol).
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