It has been around eight months since I stepped off the university, and a lot of things have changed. First off, I am finally in that phase of an almost fully financial independence. I no longer depend on the allowance that my family gives me monthly. Instead, I am now paying my own bills, my own groceries, and my own leisurely pursuits. The payslips that I received every 15th, however, still feels like my monthly allowance – by the time my basic expenses are taken into account, I barely have anything left to save.
Savings are at a minimum. I recently attempted to estimate my budget, and it turns out that I have a few hundred enough to spend on little leisure such as beverages, that food (henceforth, known as manufactured matter) I could take pictures on and upload it on social media sites, or a few hours at the brothel (to those who don’t know me that much, I wrote in jest). Point is, even if I am not a par with the saving levels of the Ayalas or the Sys (yet) – I am slightly better off compared to when I am consuming manufacturing matter a few months back in college.
I spend a lot on manufactured matter mainly as a way to keep my utility levels up. I am indulging myself into the manufactured matter these establishments are selling to people who have enough willingness to pay and consume. I get so stressed at work that not only is it undertaken to appease my bodily needs, the act of eating itself has become a utility-increasing activity. Thank goodness I am not a woman, these kinds of things might be considered a guilty pleasure – you know, with their faulty perceptions of “fat” and all.
Another part of my budget goes to my internet fees. Even years of being miles away from home, I still prefer to hole myself up in my bunk – reading articles, listening to music, and playing low-spec video games. Or, if I am really into it, watch the hundreds of movies stored in my external HD or read those books that I bought on the previous two book sales. Besides, there are hardly any people I could drag along with me in my adventures. They are always “busy” – I have to study for my exam, I’m hanging out with my friends this evening. What about Sunday? “Dude, it’s Sunday. It’s family time.”
Even with the so-called “income effect” coming in after getting that pay check, I feel slightly better off as compared to being paid to ace those exams and getting a figurative high-five (in my alma mater’s grading system, a high-“one”) from those term papers. And, as they say concerning the job market nowadays, I am fortunate to have a job. I would have been a burden to my parents if I pursued my studies even further. For now, learning in the field and contributing (however measly) to the economy will have to do. That MS degree will have to wait.
After all, nothing beats the idea of financial independence itself. You are no longer living under the rules of the former regime. And certainly, how you spend your time (and money) is certainly up to you. The money you earn for your trade, however perceived as little, is still better compared to when you are depending on your parents to keep you from starving to death. It has been eight months, and it’s almost time for the next batch to be integrated to the globalized economy. As my thesis adviser kept reminding us while writing our theses, tempus fugit.