When we’re not in college anymore
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One of my friends pointed something out that I thought was pretty interesting: Things change once you graduate and start earning money, but sometimes our mindset doesn’t change as fast.
A little while ago, a bunch of us got invited to a birthday dinner for one of my friends. Someone had planned it and invited us, and of course we all checked out the restaurant URL in the email. “Oh man,” a few of us said, because the entrees were about $25-$30 each.
To put it in context, that’s expensive, but not that expensive for a nice place in the Bay Area. The thing was, we all just thought, “that’s a little expensive for a birthday dinner.” Why? It wasn’t a rational objection, since we do dinners out like that once in a while. I guess for me, it was the thought that, ‘hey, this could be expensive for a lot of people that are obligated to come because it’s a birthday dinner.’
Another friend and I were talking about this, and she gave me a different perspective. “We have to realize that people earn money now,” she said. “We’re not college students any more. It’s ok to spend money on some things.”
I hadn’t thought of it that way before. Things have changed–most of my friends have great jobs and $30 or $40 isn’t a huge hardship. Yet a bunch of us (myself included) are still in the college mindset sometimes. That’s good for a lot of things, but not everything.
But after she pointed this out, I thought, hey, she’s right–it’s ok for a birthday dinner. On the other hand, who cares what I think? It’s not really my perspective that’s important, but the person’s for whom a $40 dinner isn’t feasible. So I’m trying to reconcile these 2 ideas.
Of course, my friend isn’t saying that we should do these dinners every day. But her point–that when you’re earning money, it’s ok to pay for certain things–is something I agree on, and it took her pointing it out to really realize it.
I’ll write more on this later, but this occurred to me yesterday when I paid a little extra for something I wanted done just right.