Finding Out What Things Cost: A Core Part of a Real World Education

I started out my adult life not knowing the cost of most things.

Rent? Nope. Utilities? Didn’t know that. Taxes? Not so much. I didn’t know the cost of education, the cost of even the cost of airline tickets.

I lived a pretty sheltered life financially-speaking, and I managed to glide through most of my youth without knowing the basic costs of most of the building blocks of my life. Sure, I worked, made money, spent money, and saved money. But without ownership of my own expenses, I never really had to get much grounding in economic reality.

Since leaving home (and taking ownership of my expenses), one of the most important pieces of my ongoing “real world” education has been learning what things really cost.

Want to learn a martial art? You can totally do that. It’s just going to cost you about $165 per month.

Want to fly to Europe? That’s going to be around $700 for a round trip.

Want to send your kids to a private school? That’s going to be about $26,000 per year (there’s one I learned just the other day).

As an adult, I have near-unlimited freedom in my choices. But I do have the constraint of limited resources with which to purchase those choices. Every new price learning gives me a fuller and better picture of the choices available to me now, and the choices I might have in the future. Even trivial prices help, like the cost of cardboard moving boxes (I’m saving mine for reuse – those damn things are expensive).

Once I know what things cost, I know what it takes to get them. Once I know what it takes to get something, I can decide if I really want it. And once I decide what I really want, I’ll tend to find out what to do to get it. The rest is just hard work, but knowing the prices

Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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