When YR Media’s Ivelisse Diaz was younger, making money made them feel independent. Now it seems less like a privilege and more like a necessity.
I remember my first time getting a paycheck like it was yesterday. I picked up an envelope in the mail and it sank in almost instantly — this money is mine.
It felt amazing. At 15, it made me feel like I could do whatever I wanted with it. I felt independent, something I always wanted to feel. I wanted to be an adult at the time — to be taken seriously, to have agency over my spending — but I didn’t think about the potential added stressors.
Many paychecks later, I moved out of my childhood bedroom to live in a college dorm. Now I work two jobs. But since I’ve needed to buy necessities like groceries and gas, I’m finding myself feeling much less free.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m very fortunate to have parents who help me out tremendously. They’re paying for most of my college tuition and they help me with expenses that I can’t handle myself. But even with their support, I’ve had to take on additional financial responsibilities and be significantly more aware of my spending.