12 Things People Had No Idea Were So Expensive Until Becoming Adults

Becoming an adult is difficult, primarily because you become responsible for everything, including finances. Do you remember what you were surprised by being so expensive as an adult? I’ll go first and admit that I had no idea how quickly toiletries and cleaning supplies add up. And why do they always run out at the same time? It’s an expensive grocery trip.

After someone polled an online forum for other examples — here is what they had to say.

1. Furniture

couple shopping buying furniture
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YES! Good Lord! And what’s worse? Furniture is not what it was when our grandparents and parents afforded it. It’s cheap pressboard particle materials and costs a small fortune. Bring back affordable solid wood furniture!

2. Appliances

couple shopping buying appliances
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Similarly, appliance expenses are through the roof. I recently bought my first fridge on my dime, and holy cow, they are outrageous. My teenager couldn’t believe how much it was, and I thought: “Just you wait.” The worst part of these purchases is that things used to be built to last. But now, with planned obsolescence, you’re lucky to get five years out of things.

3. Tires

tire shop man holding tire
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New tires are another obscenely expensive necessity. It’s easy to drop a grand on a set of four or more for specialty vehicles. The first time I bought new tires, I sat in aggravated silence, eating free popcorn at Les Schwab. What can you do? Tires are an important safety aspect, so there is no way around it.

4. Groceries

shocked looking at receipt
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As someone who has lived through being single and responsible for a family of four, groceries are obscene, especially with today’s inflation. And by inflation, I mean what appears to be a permanent markup on things. Cilantro jumped from $.89 to $1.89 in 2020 because of the “pandemic,” and it has never come back down. Why would they drop prices when we are already paying them?

5. Kids

kid at pumpkin patch
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“Kids are expensive” is more than an expression. I have a teenager doing cheerleading, and they are really out here making parents pay $40 for a hair bow. Do you think the baby stage is expensive? Wait until you have a teen who needs braces, more expensive shoes and clothing, and eventually, a car. It never gets cheaper.

6. Free Time

hot tub relaxing
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As a kid, you have lots of free time you give away. However, that free time dwindles as an adult, and you find you can barely afford a minute to yourself sometimes.

7. Bras

women bra shopping friends
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A good bra is going to cost you a pretty penny. I’ve tried to skimp out on this purchase, resulting in underwire poking you and a lack of real support. You’ll spend $50-75 for a good bra — easily. Now add that up. Seven days a week, seven bras at $50 is $350, and at $75, it’s $525. Bras are like shoes; they don’t last forever, so it’s a constant expense.

8. Health Insurance

Health Insurance expensive
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Health insurance is one of the most expensive parts of being an adult. From monthly premiums to copays, the cost is neverending. But not having it can bankrupt you overnight. So it’s become a mandatory scam that the government now has its hands in, so I don’t see that getting any better.

9. Cars

buying car
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Have you seen the automobile market lately? What happened to used car options? They are nearly as expensive as buying a brand-new model. It’s another thing blamed on the “pandemic” that I seriously doubt will ever fix itself.

10. Area Rugs

man holding area rug
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Say it again for the people in the back. AREA RUGS are insanely expensive, and for what? I’m actively shopping them for my living room space, and holy crow. You will spend several hundred to thousands of dollars on an area rug of any substantial size.

11. Teeth

woman smiling teeth at dentist
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Teeth are expensive. Whether you are buying costly dental insurance and still paying a portion of the expense, or if you have no insurance and are paying it all, it’s unbelievable how much it costs to maintain good teeth health.

Moreover, neglecting your care because you can’t afford it will only become more expensive. It may result in losing teeth because it’s cheaper to pull them than fix them.

12. Toilet Paper

hoarding toilet paper
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Talk about literally flushing money down the toilet. Why is toilet paper so ridiculously expensive? Oh, that’s right. Because they know we have no choice but to pay for it.




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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and Jesus.