Did you know exactly how to start adulting when you turned 18? I did not. If you didn’t and still don’t that is okay. However, what is not okay is not seeking the information that you need to help you with adulting. Now, since Adulting Starts Here is all about helping us transition into adulthood, I wrote this post with adulting tips in mind.
Everyone should know adulting tips like pay your credit card statement in full each month and learn to organize your life. However, many of us do not. Schools do not teach this type of stuff and often our parents are not able to help us as much as we would like.
No matter. I have just what you need. Below are 22 adulting tips that every adult should know, especially by the age of 22. There are some real nuggets of wisdom here, so enjoy!
Have a High-Yield Savings Account (HYSA)
High-Yield Savings Accounts are a must-have as an adult. They deliver higher interest returns compared to regular banks and still deliver the same protections if not more.
There are so many online banks out there that deliver higher interest returns and also great perks. Look into these and see what your options are.
Of course, I am not a financial advisor or licensed, so do your own due diligence. I am just stating information in hopes to encourage you to do your own research.
Budgeting Will Be Your Friend In The Long Term
Learning how to create and maintain a budget now will help you get a better grasp on your money as you start earning more. Budgets are spending plans for your money. They help you give every dollar a job so you can see where your money goes and have peace of mind knowing that it is covering what you need it to cover.
There are a ton of budgeting tools out there for you to use. I use a software called YNAB (You Need A Budget) and it helps me not only budget but also plan for my financial future as a whole. If interested, I have a referral link for a 34 day free trial of YNAB. Yes, it is worth every penny.
Read More: Why YNAB Is My Favorite Adulting Tool
Have Money Goals
It is not enough to just budget. You should also develop goals for your money. Do you have student debt? If so, one of your money goals should be to pay off that student debt. Are you looking to buy a house soon? If so, that could be a money goal. Your money goals will be unique to you.
So, what are three goals that you have for your money? Your timeline can be short-term, long-term, or both!
Resist Impulse Buying
Just how it is important to budget it is also important to resist impulse buying especially at the expense of your budget. Impulse buying if left unchecked can really wreck your financial standings.
A tip I have been following for a while now to help myself resist impulse buying is waiting 24 hours and saving up twice the cost. Once I do both those things and I still want the item then I will buy it. Often though, I no longer want the item. Unless it is dealing with food… I love my food.
Create And Fund An Emergency Savings Account
This is one of the major adulting tips. Do not overlook it!
Building up strong emergency savings is a must for all adults. The earlier you start, the better and easier it will be. Waiting until later in life to develop this fund means you will need to save more because you will probably have more responsibilities as you grow older. As an 18-year-old though, you really only have to take care of yourself, so your expenses won’t be as high compared to when you have a mortgage and a family. So start building now little by little.
If you do not know anything about emergency funds, I wrote a detailed linked below explaining how to get started developing your emergency savings account. Check it out!
Paying Your Credit Card Statement Monthly Builds Credit
Building credit is extremely important. Good credit helps make adulting so much easier when it comes time to apply for an apartment or mortgage, buy a car, and even finance a new phone. Having a good credit score means you are able to get lower interest rates and thereby not having to pay more money in interest charges.
So pay your credit card statements off each month in full and watch your credit score increase.
Find Ways To Develop Passive Income Streams
Be sure to have more than one income stream, so when one ends you are not stuck with no form of money coming in. Even better though, is to develop passive income streams so that you do not have to trade your time for money.
Start doing research on passive income streams and see where you can diversify your income.
Quality Over Quantity
Realize that quality is better than quantity. This rings true in so many different facets of life from clothes to friends.
Find those high-quality, high-value things and focus on those. It could be as simple as paying a little extra for better quality underwear or as complex as finding better friends.
Pay Yourself First
This is one of the most common adulting tips.
When you get income, always always always pay yourself first. It does not matter if it is just $1. Pay yourself first. As you continue to grow your income, increase the amount that you pay yourself first. Now this money isn’t for spending. Use this money to grow your savings and set yourself up for retirement.
You could start off by paying yourself 10% of any income that you receive. As you become comfortable doing that, try and up that 10% to 20%. If you couple this with increasing your actual income, you are increasing the amount you can pay yourself even further.
Learn To Cook
Cooking at home is usually way cheaper than eating out in the long term. Learn to do it. It will save you money and you will build a skill that is kind of a necessity to have. If you do not currently enjoy cooking, figure out what you do not like about it and then try and fix that.
Do you think cooking is boring? Try and make cooking a way to express your creativity by preparing unique meals.
Start off with just trying to cook one new meal every 2 weeks. Stick to that for a few months and re-evaluate your stance on cooking. You might find that you now enjoy it!
Organize Your Life
As an adult, it is on you to stay on top of things. Organize your life so that you can properly manage yourself. You want to live a proactive life, not a reactive one. So, use a calendar and figure out an organization method that works best for you. If interested, I have an article linked below that dives more into how to organize your life as an adult.
Read More: How To Organize Your Life As A New Adult
It is time to stop blaming others for what is happening in your life. You write your own story. If life is not going in the way you planned, take a step back, re-evaluate, and make a change. Be proactive. Additionally, this means owning up to your mistakes.
Recognize where you have fallen short, acknowledge them, and work to be better. Embrace accountability and you will put yourself in a better position to make your life what you want it to be.
Keep A Clean Living Space
A cluttered space often creates a cluttered mind. Your things need to have a home. Establish a home for your items and then make an effort to keep those items in their designated areas. Personally, I enjoy coming home to a nice clean space. It really helps me relax after a long day.
Ask For Help
No one has all the answers. Ask for help when you need it. Recognize that help comes in different forms as well. Go to a therapist, doctor, life coach, or whoever you need to and get the assistance you need.
There is no need to go at it alone when there are people who can help you. Just be wary of asking for help before you attempt to do the work yourself.
Remember you should be leading your life.
How to Delegate
Just how you should know how to ask for help, you should know how to delegate as well. Delegating tasks can be immensely helpful when we have too much to handle ourselves. This will especially become evident in the workplace.
Delegating works in personal relationships as well. Here is a very simple example. When it comes to cleaning I hate to dust. My girlfriend however does not mind dusting. So, I delegate that task to her.
How to Say “No”
It’s important to develop your boundaries and understand where your limits lay. It is okay and often necessary to say no, especially when being asked to take on more work or stress. Know when to say no, but be aware as to not stifle your development. You are capable of more than you think.
How To Prioritize
Knowing how to prioritize is an essential skill to have as an adult. There is so much that goes on in life and you must decide where to spend your time, energy, and money. You have to prioritize and prioritize well. Otherwise, you might see things fall through the cracks that you do not want to lose out on.
Make Time For Fun
It’s okay to have fun. Just because you are an adult, it does not mean that you must give up all things enjoyable in life. Just don’t let the fun derail you at all, like losing your job so now you cannot pay rent.
Maintain Some Type of Fitness Routine
Your health is important. Nurture your health by sticking to some type of fitness routine. Developing the routine now as a young adult will make it easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle once the world comes knocking and life gets busy.
If you don’t know how to come up with a routine there are plenty of free apps that you can download for that. You don’t even have to go to the gym. There are plenty of at-home workout apps and online sources that you can use.
The most important thing is to just get active and continue to do so on a consistent schedule.
Protect Your Privacy
Another of the overlooked adulting tips.
Your privacy is important, especially as more and more information goes online.
Do not just give up your privacy rights. Be aware of when, where, and how you give out your personal information. You are an adult now. Having your identity stolen can be difficult to come back from.
Social Media Is Forever
I am sure you have heard the saying “social media is forever” and it is not a joke. What you post and share can be found by those who really want to find it. Be cognizant of what you post and share especially if you want to enter into certain public service roles.
Delayed gratification is such an important thing everyone should know by 18.
It is my favorite of the adulting tips.
Understanding how to resist the pull of immediate rewards in pursuit of more long-term gains is essential.
More so, it is powerful.
Practicing delayed gratification increases your ability to adapt, develop dedication, and progress in all aspects of life. It is a very versatile skill to practice and nurture.
What are your thoughts? Do you have any adulting tips to share? Tell us in the comments!
Best of luck adulting!
Adulting Starts Here
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About The Author
Donald Williams, Jr.
Donald is an avid believer in helping young people prepare for adulthood. He spends his time working on Adulting Starts Here and helping new adults plan for the future. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and going to the beach.