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Though it may come as a surprise to some of you, it turns out that I’m a grownup. A quickly-approaching-40 grownup.

As a grownup, the world tells me I’m supposed to do certain grown-up things — find a “good” job, buy a house, settle down, get married, wear nice clothes, drive a nice, grown-up car, have kids, and many other expensive life events.

Some of these things are great! But you know what? None of them is necessary. And all of them are expensive.

As a grownup, I’ve learned (and to be honest, am still learning) that there are plenty of happy, healthy, content other grownups out there living life their own way, and I can too!

Even though I could afford a new car, nicer clothes, or living by myself, I choose to forego these grownup conveniences in the interest of financial freedom. I have gotten plenty of questioning looks when I show up at a fancy corporate retreat in my beater of a car, explain that the first place I go to shop is at Goodwill, or tell people that I have three housemates. I know that most of my colleagues think I’m nuts, and I’ve come to embrace it; I wish someone had told me earlier how much fun it can be to be a weirdo!

Sure, it’s inconvenient sometimes, but I have a plan and I’m sticking to it. My grown-up house will be paid off in less than five years, I’ll treat myself to a new-to-me grown-up car for my 40th birthday in 2019 (after 15 years of owning this one), and I’m developing a more discerning sense of grown-up style on my $500/year clothing budget.

And in the meantime, I still get to be a grownup and do other, more fun grownup things like traveling to Europe for a friend’s wedding, or owning a laundry room, or talking about the stock market with my favorite roommate. My life is freaking awesome, and there’s nothing I would do differently. How many grownups do you hear say that every day?

© 2015, Cheddar Pie. All rights reserved.

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