When you reach adulthood, it’s time to start learning about all the important things that aren’t taught in school. Here are some of the most important adulting lessons you didn’t learn in school.
1. It’s important to balance a check.
It can be tough to balance a check, but it’s important to do so if you want to stay financially healthy. If you are wondering what I mean by “balance a check” it really just means budgeting since people rarely use checks now. So, knowing how to budget is extremely important in adulthood.
I talk about it extensively throughout this blog, so definitely use the search bar to learn more about the important adulting lesson of budgeting.
Now, if you are someone that does know that they want to start budgeting but not sure how to set one up, I have a free excel budget for you to use. Just enter your email below and you will get the excel sheet link sent right to your email!
2. It is important to learn about credit cards.
Credit cards can be a great way to get approved for loans and to buy things you may not have been able to afford otherwise. However, they also make it easy to rack up debt if you aren’t careful.
There are a ton of people being crushed by credit card debt every day. According to Finder.com, credit card debt is most prominent in the $40k to $80k income range which unsurprisingly is the income range of most Americans.
Lately, it seems like credit cards are thought to be avoided at all costs. But they can be an outstanding financial tool if used properly. When used properly credit cards can replace cash and debit cards as your daily payment method while offering benefits that you wouldn’t get if you paid with cash or a debit card. For example, cash back rewards and points are benefits that you usually can only get with a credit card.
You also have added protections like fraud protection, extended warranty protection, and even insurances like baggage delay insurance or trip cancellation/interruption insurance. These are added benefits at no additional cost to you just for paying with a credit card.
It’s important to learn about credit cards and how to use them responsibly if you want to stay in good financial shape and schools do not teach this information. Hence why this is one of the important adulting lessons to know.
Now, I’ve made a visual series and posted it on YouTube that explains how credit cards work and how best to use them. Check out the playlist linked here and below to start learning! These videos are all super short too so they are the perfect length for a lunch break or a coffee break.
3. It is important to have a solid credit score.
You may have heard the term “credit score” thrown around quite a bit in personal finance discussions. What is a credit score, and why is it so important?
Your credit score is essentially a measure of how trustworthy you are when it comes to paying your bills on time. That means if you have a lot of outstanding debts on several different accounts, for example, your credit score will be lower because you appear less trustworthy and more like someone who frequently misses payments.
So, it is based off of your credit history which includes your debts, payment history, loans, and other credit-related factors. Your credit score can affect your ability to get a loan, get approved for a mortgage, or even rent an apartment.
It is EXTREMELY important to understand credit scores even if you are someone that never wants a credit card.
Credit scores can also be pulled when you apply for a job and some employers even check them.
Credit scores are arguably the most important adulting lesson that schools fail to teach you about. It is remarkable how much a good credit score can help you get things and save you money while a poor credit score will block you from those things.
So, in case you are curious about learning about credit scores which I hope you are here is another visual series to help explain how everything works. Check out the playlist linked here as well as one of the main explainer videos below.
4. It is very important to learn about taxes
Being aware of things like the tax brackets for your income and the type of deductions you can claim can save you money on taxes. Even if you don’t want a career in accounting or finance it is still important to learn about the basics of income tax laws so you can be smart about your money.
Here is an article from us about ways you could potentially save thousands in taxes.
5. Knowing about Health Insurance is an adulting must
Finding quality health insurance is a must. You never know when there might be an emergency medical event and you do not want to be stuck with the full bill if something does happen.
Plus health insurance encourages you to go to the doctor more and have those routine checkups to make sure your health is in order.
Deciding on what type of coverage you need can be a confusing process. There is a lot to consider in this choice.
So with that in mind, there are a few key things you need to know about health insurance when deciding on a plan:
- The kind of coverage you need
2. How much the premium will cost each month
3. About out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles and copayments.
4. About what benefits are included (e.g. maternity care) and what are not
5. What to expect if you have a pre-existing condition
6. How to make an appointment to talk with a healthcare adviser
7. How to request a complete copy of your health insurance policy
It might also be wise to consider avoiding gaps in coverage by also enrolling in dental and vision insurance plans.
6. Start learning about retirement
Retirement planning is a very important process that should be started as soon as possible. It is definitely one of those adulting lessons never mentioned in school. Thankfully there are a number of good resources out there to help you get started on retirement planning.
I have been a long-time fan of the personal finance subreddit. It is as good a place to start as any when looking for resources on the internet.
But what else do you think is an important lesson not taught in school? Share your thoughts below!
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.