Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Adult 2.0

We talked this past weekend, Eric and I, about Adult 2.0. It started out talking about money: now that he's got a paycheck again (yay!) we're figuring out what to do with money. Our plan is to pay off his student loans over the next year, which leaves us approximately $400 a month for savings and $400 a month for fun, based on the premise that my salary will continue to pay all our regular bills and his is therefore available for semidisposable items. "Fun" includes travel, gifts, and clothing, so it's not the riches we first felt it was, but it's much better than our budget over the past eight months of $0. (Not that we didn’t exceed that.)

We're also discussing what to do with the savings, and whether we should buy stock since it's low right now. And then there's the planned move: where are we going? When do we start job-hunting? When do we put the house up for sale? And then there's the hope of kids: what if I get pregnant such that we move halfway through? What about medical insurance? What kind of life insurance can Eric get? When do we need wills drawn? What about household management and the chores we neglect as it is?

Adult 1.0 was when I was in grad school and (more) when I was living in Dayton: I was an adult, I had an income and monthly bills, and I managed my own household. But it was a household of one, and decisions I made affected me and only me. Money was easy: when I spent less than I made, the extra went into a savings account. A growing savings account meant I was doing well.

I'm not sure when Eric moved from 1.0 to 2.0, since he was married before but it sounds like their household wasn't very well organized, but it happened for me when (a) I got engaged to Eric and (b) I put my savings into a CD. Two simple things, but they meant that (a) my responsibilities were to someone else and therefore more complex and (b) I realized that money is more complicated than addition and subtraction. Then came household management, and dealing with emergencies, and all those other things; and I feel fully entrenched in 2.0 now. It's complicated, but I know enough now to handle it, plus all the other things that make up my life--hobbies and family and such.

I wonder if other people feel this way, even if they don't put it in software terms.I assume 3.0 comes with kids, but I won't know until we get there. Maybe it's a 2.3 patch.

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