Financial independence is probably a phrase that many people start to think about from the time they leave high school or if you are super forward and eager, then way before you leave high school. Perhaps you wouldn’t phrase it as such but I am sure majority of us high school leavers, university students or graduates would all love the idea of not being dependent on our parents for so many things. While the gesture is nice it takes away control and I am a bit of a control freak so it sucks when I can’t make my own decisions because I am not the one paying for it. However, it is also a good thing to find yourself in this position because it pushes you outside your comfort zone and places the responsibility to change your life on you, not them.
For me it has always been the case of knowing that my parents are not going to live forever and they will not always be there to get me out of a rut if I am stuck. With this knowledge in the back of my mind, I certainly can’t get too comfortable relying on them for so much. Living out in the diaspora has made me ever so grateful for my parents. Most kids my age whom I’ve met out here, literally depend on their own pockets to survive. There is never a case of “oh my mom will get me out of this” or “my parents will pay for that”. They simply make it work and they survive somehow, with the help of their functioning economy ofcourse. This is something that was so foreign and new to me because the image I had in my head was that your parents support you right through university until you get your first “real” job that enables you to pays the bills.
Back home its more or less the standard, to have your parents do everything for you including paying your school fees and providing pocket money for you. It’s not always easy for them either but they make it work. As I am getting closer to the end of my degree, I can’t help but worry about the future and what it may hold for me. I know I do not want to continue depending on my parents for money. They’ve done more than enough for me and they’ve done things that at one point seemed impossible.
So where does one begin to master the art of successfully being free from the financial help of their parents? I suppose for me it has started from small things, I have 2 part time jobs that allow me to do what I need to do. I also try to pursue things outside the box that may help bring more income, although I must admit it is difficult finding something that really works but it is possible.
So unfortunaltely, unlike the dozens of articles available online such as how to be independent from parents as an adult, I do not have a step by step guideline for you because if you are trying to figure it out too, you are not alone. However, I will leave you with this, you are responsible for the outcome of your life and sometimes, its okay to live an average life that is paid for and maintained by you as opposed to an above average life that is dependent on someone else. The sooner you start working on cultivating habits that don’t involve you asking mom and dad for money all the time, the better. This will allow you to wake up everyday and work on something that will soon generate income for you. I will also leave you with a favorite entrepreneurial quote of mine that helps put this whole thing in perspective because currently, I’m finding it difficult trying to juggle my life and make my finances work for me but this quote helps remind me why living this way now isn’t such a bad thing:
“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”
Even if you are not pursing that entrepreneurial path, this quote can still apply to whatever it is you are working on now.