5 Adult-Things I’m Finally Biting The Bullet And Spending Money On

When you’re young, usually around college-age, and not exactly flush with cash, you have to make a lot of decidedly shitty things “work” in the interest of saving money. It is weird, because I am still in college, but I’m actually doing okay financially, and I don’t live in a dorm room or anything, so I probably should have given up that mentality of “eh, it is good enough.”

To be honest, I’m not sure I’ll ever give up that mentality. I’m not really the type who needs the latest gadget, or who is bothered by something being slightly less-than-perfect.

But since I moved out of my parents’ house, I’ve waited on a lot of probably actually quite important purchases, thinking “Eh, I’m not going anywhere, this purchase can wait,” and hoping to keep saving money in the process.

The truth is, if you have the money to spend on something that is sort of necessary (like the items I’m going to list below), but you’re choosing to wait to make the purchase until you have excess money to spend on necessities, you’re probably digging yourself into a weird, immature hole where the only thing worthy of your money is going out with your friends, and not buying household cleaners.

There are a lot of little costs that come with being an adult, and for the past few months, I’ve successfully avoided these ones. But with my graduation less than a month away, I’ve decided to bite the bullet and finally spend money on these five things –- some of which I already own very sucky versions of, and some of which I’ve been completely living without, which is a disgrace.

I’m an embarrassment. Enjoy.

1. A vacuum.

This is embarrassing, so embarrassing, because I seriously don’t own a vacuum. And that’s not okay, because a solid portion of our apartment is rug-covered. You might be asking yourself “what does she do when the rug gets stuff all over it?” The answer is nothing. I do nothing. It isn’t super noticeable, because we’re not very messy, and the rugs are patterned so they hide a lot of the mess, but jeeesus, I need a vacuum.

2. A Swiffer/any sort of mop-related item.

This is equally as embarrassing as the lack of a vacuum, because the portion of our apartment that isn’t rug-covered is tile-covered. You might be asking yourself, “how does this little savage clean this part of her apartment?!” The answer is: with a broom. Which is just barely a passable method of cleaning floors. It works enough that our apartment isn’t disgusting, and definitely looks clean/feels clean under bare feet, but it is most definitely not clean clean. I borrowed my mom’s Swiffer the other day, and opened up the battery pack to find that one of the batteries had exploded and melted to the pack. Traumatized by my near-death from battery acid, I’ve given myself two more weeks to recover, and then I have to buy my own fucking Swiffer.

3. A safe, functional coffeemaker.

So, this one I actually do have, but Drew and I bought a coffeemaker together many months back and realized right away that we’d basically gotten a defective one. I’m not sure if we were too lazy to return it, or nervous we’d not be able to return it and have to spend money on an additional one, but it has come to the point where we have to stop “making it work” and get a new one. Just this week, it went from “occasionally leaking a shit-ton of coffee from the bottom” to “filling up with smoke and expelling thick, black coffee sludge from the bottom”. Considering the fact that we often put our coffee pot on the timer to start brewing early in the morning, this coffee pot is actually a huge fire hazard, and I’m sure the “pot full of smoke” would have quickly turned to fire if I wasn’t watching it happen and didn’t swiftly unplug it.

4. Cutting boards that aren’t fragrant from the other side of the kitchen.

I’m trying not to blame myself for this one, because Drew and his hand-me-down cutting boards were basically a package deal. He thinks they’re elegant because they are rustic and wood, but I know the truth: they are old, and full of garlic-scented meat juice. After realizing I could sort of smell them across the kitchen even when I wasn’t holding one in my hand, I secretly went to the store and bought two new ones to replace two of his four, just to test the waters. He’s actually quite taken with them and seems to be okay with my decision, so I think it is damn near time for me to throw the rest of his away and get a few more clean, new ones.

5. Sheets that are the right size for my bed.

I’m a certified friggin’ adult, so there is really no excuse for the fact that I know my sheets don’t fit (I’ve even written about it here before), I definitely have the money to replace them, and just refuse to do it because I’d rather spend that $50-or-less on buying drinks or doing other fun stuff that isn’t “buying sheets at Target”. But the bedroom closet is mirrored, so when we wake up, the very first thing we see is the reflection of our bed in the mirror with the sheets pulled allllllll the damn way up, hardly even covering the pillow-top. They pop off most days, meaning I remake the bed multiple times per week. It is just all-around a pretty stupid situation, when I could have just bought a new set of sheets that fit like a regular grown-up would. I promise I’ll do this soon. If I have to hear Morning-Drew grumble “Maaaaarrryyyyy –- our stupid un-fitted sheet came off the bed again,” I may just perish.

Mary writes every day for TFD, and tweets every day for her own personal fulfillment. Talk to her about money and life at mary@thefinancialdiet.com!

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  • Kimberlynne

    I relate to #1 so hard! When I moved across the country, I didn’t have room to bring my vacuum in my car so I left it in my mom’s basement because it’ll be “cheaper to ship than to buy new.” Except then I had to figure out the logistics of shipping a vacuum, which I never did. And I didn’t want to buy a new vacuum, because I already had one, albeit 1,500 miles away. It is embarrassing that it took like 6 months of living in a mostly carpeted apartment before I got tired of this, told my mom to get rid of my vacuum, and got a new one out here, but it’s seriously made a huge difference in how much I love being in my home!

  • nell

    Related to this v much but mostly commenting just to voice a strong opinion that Swiffers are a scam. They create so much unnecessary trash and imo only work completely if you’re dealing with a very mild, very new mess. I think they’re also ungainly to store. Just get a regular mop! Filling the kitchen sink with hot water and soap might be a little messier than the self-contained Swiffer but your floors will be SO MUCH cleaner.

    • Ros

      Or go on ebay and buy washable swifter pads, and Google how to open the bottle of cleaner to refill it. 100% not brand-approved, but it works.

      Mops are better overall, but if you have kids, sometimes you just gotta clean under the high chair. Like 6 times a day…

  • Anne

    Look into a steam mop rather than a swiffer – more expensive but (in my opinion) way easier. Its also nice to never have to buy replacement pads or cleaning solution!

  • Tara

    I have had my rug for 9 months and just bought a vacuum last month. All these months I’ve been like ugh this rug looks like trash, don’t wear your shoes on it, look at these hairballs, etc. We vacummed it and it looks BRAND. FUCKING. NEW. Get the vacuum, it’s so worth it. We got a $40 low-profile Dirt Devil one from Amazon.

  • Ellie Hamilton

    Oh my god girlfriend…. yep to all of these. Haha. My sheets life is equally DUMB haha. Sheet issue 1 arises at my boyfriend’s house. So, my guy and I both bought our mattresses from Amazon, so they arrived wrapped up in plastic and rolled into a massive, heavy cardboard box. When he unrolled his…. he was like, “Hey, cool, I like this protective plastic, I’m just going to LEAVE IT ON FOREVER to keep my mattress cleaner.” Which….. IS SO DUMB I CANNOT EVEN. I have tried to insist, convince, plead that this man remove the damn plastic. I sweat so badly in his bed because, hey, there’s freaking plastic under the sheets and therefore no ventilation. He doesn’t sleep with a blanket and therefore does not share my sentiment….. So the bed makes crinkly plastic noises and the sheets slip off exactly 78 times a day. I think one day I might just buy him a removable/washable NORMAL mattress cover, because he refuses to spend money on one himself (“this is just fine, it’s free cuz it came with it lol”). Well, I love the weirdo and it’s not my room so for now I just deal. Haha. Issue 2 is much less severe, which is simply that I accidentally (aka wasn’t totally thinking about this when I ordered it) got a 6 inch thick bed–so normal sheets, which fit like, 10-14 inch beds, are super loose on my bed. Not to mention all my sheets are satin. So my bed is like this ultra loosey goosey slippery saggy situation and it needs like a friggin’ tummy tuck.

    Anyway, one of these days we’ll be adults and buy a new mattress cover and I’ll get a fat mattress pad (and possibly “normal” cotton sheets) and we’ll sleep like normal human beings.

    • Holly Trantham

      This plastic cover situation is horrifying!!

  • Cindy Tillory

    I always tell my self I’ll get a new coffee maker but you finally convinced me to actually go out and buy one.