What are the main things that every adult should know about? There’s a lot to know or at least be aware of, so this post will focus on those things most important that new adults, 30 and younger, should know.
How to manage your time stands to be the most important thing that you should know how to do as an adult. Next, is how to say no and how to grow your interpersonal skills. Having a handle on finances such as knowing about budgeting, taxes, credit scores, and investing is integral as well.
As you read, you will see more detail in this post with examples and links to helpful tools and methods. So, get to reading! I am sure this post has plenty of helpful information for you!
How To Manage Your Time
As an adult, it is a necessity that you know how to manage your time. It is the one thing that we do not get back. So, do not let people or things waste your time.
From growing a career to nurturing a personal life, there are a lot of things that demand our time. To better manage what life asks of you, make use of tools and methods. Hopefully, you are using a daily calendar and have your days scheduled out. If not, definitely think about using google calendar, apple calendar, or something of the sort to help schedule out your days.
Additionally, create a morning and night routine for yourself.
A morning routine offers organization that helps us start our days off moving forward. A night routine works in the same manner except it helps us wind down from the day instead of getting it started.
Implementing a morning and night routine is a simple yet effective step in organizing your life as an adult.
An example morning routine could be as follows:
For example, a morning routine might go something like this:
|Head to the Gym
|Leave the Gym
|Eat Breakfast and Listen to News
|Read Emails and Start Work Day
This might sound rigid, but it is important to give yourself some type of structure. With structure, you have an idea of what is next.
And if you know what is next, you can make better decisions.
How To Say No
You should know how to say no. It one of those skills that’s better learned early. If not it becomes one of those things every adult should know but fails to know.
Life will pull you in all directions. You have to have the discernment and conviction to say no to certain things. It will save you time, money, and so much more.
Early on as an adult though, I think knowing when to say no is more important than any other time in your life. It couples well with the idea of delayed gratification which is something I will discuss later.
What does saying no look like in our 20s and early 30s?
The want to spend and show off our life is a major one. Most of the debt that we acquire as adults are acquired in our early years of adulthood. We say yes to the new car. Yes, to the drinks and expensive apartment. We say yes to all the work without the extra pay.
Knowing how and when to say no keeps you in control of your direction.
You should know how to speak to people and how to manage yourself around different types of people. Being versatile in your people skills will get you far in life. Continue to nurture your interpersonal skills and make them one of your best assets.
One sure-fire way to start the development processs is to take a public speaking class. If you don’t want to do that, you could find an activity that forces you to practice public speaking and mingling with different types of people.
Getting a job in a restaurant or retail position can be another avenue to improve your interpersonal skills. In both of those industries, you will be dealing with a lot of people from a lot of different walks of life.
Learn how to deal with them. Better yet, learn how to have them leave your presence in a better mood than when they arrived. Honing that skill will make you a powerful person.
People like people who make them feel good. Nurture that skill.
How To Build And Maintain A Budget
You should know how to build, follow, and adjust a budget. If you don’t please start learning how today.
Knowing how to manage your money and actively practicing good money management will do wonders for your financial future.
Not to mention help keep the stress at a minimum.
If you are thinking that a budget is too constricting for you – I want you to think of a budget like this…
A budget is just a spending plan. It is a spending plan that you create based on your income and lifestyle. There is only one main rule. It is your job to make sure that your lifestyle does not exceed your income.
How you go about that is complety up to you. Your budget is a completely personal spending plan.
I use a software called YNAB (You Need A Budget) and it helps me not only budget but plan for my financial future. If interested, I have a referral link for a 34 day free trial of YNAB. Yes, it is worth every penny.
No matter, what you decide to use to budget, the most important step is building one. Of course, the second step is following it.
How Taxes Work
We all have to pay them. So, why not try and learn how they affect your finances.
Taxes is one of the most unifying things every adult should know about.
Additionally, taxes is something that you don’t want to overpay or underpay. One is giving money away interest free and the other will have the IRS coming at you. Neither are ideal.
So, educate yourself on the happy medium and learn ways that you can save on your taxes while meeting your civic obligation.
I have an article linked below, that outlines some ways that you could save thousands on your taxes. Give it a read and see how you can save money.
How A Credit Score Works
Having a good credit score is such an overlooked part of being an adult.
It is one of the essential things every adult should know. Unfortunately, not as many as there should be do.
Developing a good credit score early on helps make being an adult a lot easier.
Do you know why?
It helps you get those milestone items usually at a better rate.
For example, if you are looking to buy a car, a good credit score can be the difference between a high-interest loan and a low-interest loan. That interest can be the difference between you saving or spending an extra $150 dollars a month.
The same goes for buying a house – which translates into thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars in difference because of interest. Even if you want to rent an apartment, a credit check will be run before your application is approved.
Heck, when you go to finance a new phone, a credit check is run before you can be approved.
Good credit is essential. It removes a lot of the obstacles that come with transitioning into adulthood. Plus it can help you save money.
Where Can You Track Your Credit Score?
Some apps that I use to track my credit score are Mint and CreditWise. They are pretty helpful for the monitoring aspect. CreditWise is actually where I go to simulate how certain things will affect my credit score.
For example, if I am thinking about taking out a loan for a car. I can open the CreditWise app, go to the simulate section, and put in the car loan amount. The app will then show me how that will affect my credit score.
You can simulate other things too, like – opening a new credit card, borrowing money to buy a house, taking out a personal loan, even paying off credit card debt.
It is a pretty helpful feature, especially for new adults looking to learn how certain milestones will actually affect their credit score.
The Importance Of Investing
Investing is extremely important because it makes use of compound interest. It is thereby one the very important things every adult should know.
As Albert Einstein said compounding interest is the 8th wonder of the world.
More specifically, compound interest is the interest you earn on interest. Interest can be compounded at various periods such as daily, monthly, and yearly.
It is essentially what people are referring to when they say make your money work for you.
Let’s look at a very simple example pulled from investor.gov:
Compound interest is the interest you earn on interest.
This can be illustrated by using basic math: if you have $100 and it earns 5% interest each year, you’ll have $105 at the end of the first year. At the end of the second year, you’ll have $110.25. Not only did you earn $5 on the initial $100 deposit, but you also earned $0.25 on the $5 in interest.
While 25 cents may not sound like much at first, it adds up over time. Even if you never add another dime to that account, in 10 years you’ll have more than $162 thanks to the power of compound interest, and in 25 years you’ll have almost $340.
Now, $340 might not sound like a lot. In the grand scheme of things, it isn’t. The power in that example is how compound interest grows your money. So, the more money you have to put in, the more your money will grow.
The Rule of 72
A cool way to see just how much your investment can grow over time is through the rule of 72.
According to investor.gov, the Rule of 72 is a great way to estimate how your investment will grow over time. If you know the interest rate, the Rule of 72 can tell you approximately how long it will take for your investment to double in value. Simply divide the number 72 by your investment’s expected rate of return (interest rate).
Understanding compound interest is the foundation of building a strong investing portfolio. So, get educated.
There are so many resources out there for you to start learning from and many of them are free. Start with compounding interest and go from there.
I must say this is not financial advice. I am not a licensed financial advisor. This information is purely for entertainment and educational purposes. Always complete your own due diligence.
The Importance Of Delayed Gratification
I would argue that delayed gratification is the most underrated skill a person can have. Even more so, it is a golden skill to practice as a new adult.
So, what is delayed gratification?
It is exactly what it sounds like – delaying gratification to a later date. Now, you might be thinking that it sounds like you will be denying yourself things, and you deserve to have things. So why in the world would someone do this?
But I would like to challenge that question. To make this more of a concrete conversation, let’s apply an example.
The Kid and The Cookie
A classic example of delayed gratification is you tell a kid he can have a cookie now or two cookies later if he waits to eat the cookies. For a kid that loves chocolate chip cookies – putting a fresh, soft, oven-melted chocolate chip cookie in front of him will be very compelling. He very well might eat that cookie right then and there, giving in to what is called immediate gratification.
He’s not thinking that he could have two cookies later if he waits. His eyes see the gratification he can get from the cookie that is right in front of him and he wants to feel that gratification right then and right there.
Without getting to existential, this is how much of our human existence goes. We seek gratification in various manners, often on impulse.
Let us jump back to the kid and cookie example.
If the kid waits until later to eat the cookies he can have two of them. Two is definitely better than one in this case.
And arguably he might enjoy those two cookies more than he could have enjoyed that first one purely because he had the self-restraint to wait and get more later – and he would know that.
Now, a kid probably is not thinking about self-restraint or being proud of it. But the example still holds as a method to explain delayed gratification.
As an adult, mastering delayed gratification might help you turn your life into a marathon rather than a sprint. It’s something I work on every day.
Focusing on delayed gratification has allowed me to play my long game better, see more pathways in life, and get more out of what I do.
What are your thoughts? Do you have some things every adult should know? Tell us in the comments below!
Best of luck adulting!
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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.