Are you in your 20s but don’t yet feel like an adult? Do you feel like you act more like a teenager than an adult? If so, this is the post for you. Below I will outline 10 things that you can add to your life to help you on your journey of feeling more like an adult.
To feel more like an adult, take steps to gain greater control over yourself, your finances, and your future prospects. You can do this by properly managing your money, better managing your time, and embracing accountability.
Of, course this is not all. I have to more share below. Keep reading and let’s dig deeper.
Properly Manage Your Money
It is time to start managing your money like an adult which means prioritizing needs over wants. If you don’t have them already, bills are a staple of adult life. No matter if you live a debt-free life, make $10 million a year, or am just trying to get by, we all have bills to pay.
Managing your bills and other expenses takes care and forward thought. You must ensure that you have the proper tools to help you budget, track your income and spending, and grow your money.
So take the time today to look into tools that can help you better manage your money. I will say that my favorite budgeting software is called You Need A Budget (YNAB). It has undoubtedly been the most integral part of my adulting success so far.
If interested, I have a referral link for a 34 day free trial of YNAB. Click the link to learn more about how YNAB can help you!
Create A Money Plan
It is not enough to just manage your everyday spending. You must also create a plan for your money. The plan should grow the money that you have as well as diversify your income.
Creating a money plan does not have to be complex, at least at first. It can be as simple as picking up a side hustle, or another job. Eventually, though, you want to have a money plan that makes use of passive income more than active income.
Because right now you are probably exchanging your time for money which is called active income. Yet, time is something that we can never get back. Plus, as we get older we are not able to do as much as we could when we were younger.
So, we have to develop passive income streams that do not rely on us exchanging our time for money.
Better Manage Your Time
Just how we have to manage our money better, we have to manage our time better. One thing that you will see as you get older is that there never seems to be enough hours in the day to accomplish what you want.
This is where time management becomes so necessary. We have to work, maintain personal relationships, take care of family and have time for rest. For most people, those things are only the beginning.
It will become very evident if you have good time management skills as you further transition into adulthood. Take the time now to educate yourself on proper time management methods. You will be thankful that you did.
If you are interested in learning more about how to manage your time and organize your life, check out my article titled “How To Organize Your Life As A New Adult”.
Embrace The DIY Life
Knowing how to fix the basics in life can save you a ton of money over your lifetime. The most classic example of this is knowing how to change a tire. If you know how to change a tire you save money by not having to call anyone to come and fix it.
A more personal example is learning how to cut your own hair. I moved from a cheaper southern city to a more expensive northern city that saw my hair cut price change from $12 to $30. So, I bought my own clippers and have been teaching myself how to cut my hair. Since I like to cut my hair often, I am saving about $100 a month on haircuts alone.
Feeling more like an adult means finding these DIY opportunities and embracing the challenge of learning how to do them.
Say “No” More
As a kid, we couldn’t really tell people no as much as we would like. We had to do what we were told. But as an adult, we have no obligation to do that anymore. We can say no.
So if you want to feel more like an adult, say no more often. If you don’t want to do something or do not feel comfortable doing it just say no.
Additionally, you do not have to explain yourself all the time. When you say no, you don’t have to give an explanation as if you need approval. Now, of course, you have to use this in the correct context. If your boss is asking you to complete a task and you say no because you don’t want to, well that could get you in trouble. Make sure that it is a task not in your job description at the least.
Honestly, feeling more like an adult means knowing when and how to say know. The best way to hone that skill is to practice and learn from your mistakes.
Cook More And Meal Prep
The time for eating fast food takeout most nights out of the week will soon come to a close. For one, it can get pretty expensive, and second, it is not good for your long-term health.
Take the time now to start improving your culinary skills by cooking more at home. You can start off slow by cooking just one real meal a day at home. From there you can increase it to two meals and keep going until all if not most of your meals are home-cooked.
Once you get a hang of the cooking then you can branch out into meal prepping. This allows you to cook your meals upfront so you can save time during the week.
Get Up Early
The old saying “the early bird gets the worm” is still very much true. As discussed earlier, we often have a lot that we must accomplish in a day. When we spend our mornings sleeping in we lose a lot of time.
For example, I will compare my schedule when I used to wake up at 8 am vs now when I wake up at 6 am. Looking at the chart below you can see that I have more time to devote to Life V Lifestyle and my personal well-being when I wake up earlier.
|6 AM – Get Up
|8 AM – Get Up And Shower
|6:15 AM – Work Out
|8:15 AM Eat Breakfast
|7 AM – Shower
|8:30 Get Dressed and Listen to News
|7:15 AM – Eat Breakfast
|9 AM Head to Work
|7:30 AM – Work on Life v Lifestyle
|8:30 AM – Get Dressed And Listen to News
|9 AM – Head to Work
When I woke up at 8 AM I actually spent my nights working on Life v Lifestyle, but that was at the expense of personal relationships. This was not worth it for me. I had to figure something else out. So, when I started waking up earlier, I devoted those hours to myself and Life v Lifestyle. It allows me to keep my nights open for nurturing personal relationships.
You can really accomplish much more in the day by choosing to wake up earlier. Give it a try and see if it helps you better manage your time and get more accomplished.
Create A Bedtime Routine
Just how it is important to get up early and create a routine in the morning, the same can be said for the night. If you want to feel more like an adult, let go of those all-nighters and creatine an earlier bedtime routine for yourself. Doing this can also help you more easily get up earlier.
A bedtime routine for yourself can look something like this:
No Electronics after 8:30 PM
Shower at 8:30 PM
Read A Book or Talk With Your Roommate/Partner until 10:30 PM
Lights Out At 10:30 PM
Buy A Plant And Take Care Of It
Learning how to take care of something besides yourself is an important part of feeling more like an adult. More importantly, it is an important part of developing as a compassionate and caring human being.
So instead of having a child because that is the ultimate responsibility, why not get a plant! You can still love the heck out of a plant, talk to it, and care for it – it’s just that the stakes are a lot lower than raising a child.
You can go to your local Home Depot or Lowes and buy a plant that you like. Once you buy it, research it and learn about what type of sunlight it likes, how often it needs water, and what type of potting soil is best. Take care of the plant, show it love, and watch it grow as a result.
You are helping to grow life and that is a beautiful and empowering feeling.
At the end of the day, all being an adult ultimately comes down to is embracing accountability.
So, if you don’t feel like an adult, ask yourself if you are truly taking accountability for your life.
You are in control of your life, what you do, and how you respond to what is done unto you.
Feeling more like an adult means embracing the mentality that you are not the victim of your story but the hero of it. Life does not happen to you.
The power lies within you to take action and change the circumstances of your situation if you do not like them. So, get started!
What are your thoughts? Think you have any other other tips to share for those of us that don’t feel like an adult? Let us know 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.