Monday, 1 February 2016

#425; What does it mean to be in your twenties?

Turning 21 is a big milestone for anyone. You're finally an adult, fit to make your own judgments in the world and to go out and do big things for yourself. At least, that's what the movies and TV shows seem to portray. A rosy image of great adventure, of finding love and of moving out to a new city and start a new life. 

However, my coming of age has never been a great deal for me like it was for my friends. I think of myself as someone who appreciates the simpler things in life. So, I skipped the idea of an extravagant birthday party for a simple fare with my family and loved ones. Turning 21, I woke up on my birthday feeling like the Amanda I was yesterday and the day before. So turning legal, didn't really had that much of an implication for me but it could also be due to the fact that I was still in University. 

Only when 2016 come around, did I finally begin to understand what does it mean to be in your twenties.

1. Insurance
Oh ho! Right from the start, we are dealing with boring albeit necessary paperwork. For those who don't have an insurance policy, start searching because you're a responsible legal adult or just procrastinate like the young teens you are and cross your fingers that you don't fall sick. 

I have an insurance policy and I received paperwork transferring all the legal rights of my premium to yours truly. A first step towards adulthood, but nothing too shocking because I have sensible and loving parents who are willing to sponsor me till I get a full-time job. And yes mum, if you are reading this, I am searching for a job...

2. Travel Expenses
My parents pride themselves on being totally chill on the whole "wanderlust" thing. My dad encourages me to step outside my comfort zone and go to places that I've never been before or explore cultures that are different from that found in Singapore. This only started when I was 21. Before that, I couldn't even stay out past 12mn. Not blaming my parents, because this really fostered my love for the family and helped shaped me to be a very mature young adult *clears throat*

Travel expenses, of course, had to come from my own pocket with no help from my parents. My very first solo trip was a time of fun experiences and of meeting new people. I really learn a lot from my own overseas trip. Being able to navigate Google Maps to search for that lunch store, printing travelling tickets, buying travel insurance, booking hotels and overcoming language barriers were all a part of the fun learning process. I am pretty sure that I am more than well-equipped to tackle another country because #girlguides4lyfe 

The only setback would be the large hole in my pocket after the trip because all expenses were not paid... Mummy and Daddy, please bring me on another overseas trip with you... I promise I will be good and carry all your shopping. We honestly take a lot of things we have for granted and being an adult made me realize that all good things will eventually end and we have to always treasure the things we still have.

3. Bank Service Charges
I swear. This. Has. To. Be. The. Most. Trivial. Thing. 
If you do not know this already, POSB/DBS and most bank, charges a service charge of SGD$2 for accounts that fall below the SGD$500 threshold once you are older than 21. I log into my ibanking on 31 January 2016, the year I turned 22, only to find out that I have been debited a sum of $2. *gasp*

This point really just shock me out of my reverie and I realise that I have been living in denial of my legality. It also made me realise just how much I have failed to save. I barged into my mum's room and look at her with tears brimming in my eyes. 

"Mummy, can I please have that $500 from my part-time job? Pleeeeaaassseee... POSB eat my $2 because I have less than $500 in my account. I can't believe that I am an adult now. Can I go into negative $2?! Sometimes I only have $0.32 in my account... Mum?!" 

She laughed and waved off my dramatic antics. Proceeding to give me a lecture on how I am finally an adult and I have responsibilities. I cannot spend on trivial things and I have to start saving for my future. This was an easy enough transition to make *fingers crossed*. Unlike my other peers, I have to pay for most of my living expenses which included travel expenses, food, shopping and even phone bills. So I will always set aside an amount for all these important expenses while still squirreling away some money for private savings to fund my wanderlust (note in point 2).
But the SGD$2 really got me hard. 

It really got me. 

4. The Family Reunion
It doesn't matter that I look older than my age. I always prided myself for having a timeless appearance, ageing gracefully *ahem*. The only time I ever regretted looking matured, would be the Chinese New Year Reunion. It is a time of festive joy and of feasting and illegal fireworks... 

It is a time of red packets and of catching up with cousins three times removed. 
And it is also the very festive period when aunties and uncles probe about your personal life. 

"Girl, do you have a boyfriend? Why I never see your boyfriend around?"
This is the question that you have no answer to. But this is okay, because I had to put up with this.. 

"Girl, I thought you married already? Why never go bai nian at your poh jia (mother in law)?" ok. I will get through this festive period with sheer willpower and the thick skin to continue hounding aunties and uncles for red packets.

5. Work, Work, Work
Yo. You are legal. Go get yo'self a job. 
But seriously, stop living off your parents. I am currently in the frantic search for a stable job that can see me through retirement or at least, till I saved enough to buy a BTO. A BTO don't come cheap so that's why, when you are still young and have the energy to work for it. Do it!

Not when you have other big things to save for. Of course, a little indulgence is okay. But only if it doesn't affect the $500 saved in your bank account. 

Of course, I will set aside savings from my job for all my "legal" responsibilities as an adult and also I promise to give my parents "kopi lui" so they can lepak and drink teh si.


I guess at the end of the day. I am just glad that I still have a roof over my head and loving parents who tolerate my presence in their household. I never realize how $2 can change my take on life so drastically. But now that it did, I want to strive and achieve more. Who knows, next time when I am a billionaire, I will look back and thank this $2 for starting my first forage into the world of adulthood!

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