There are many different examples of adulting and everyone has their own definition. Most people agree that adulting means managing your own finances, working on a 9 to 5, and buying a house. While those are definitely examples of adulting, there are a ton more examples to share.
Regardless, adulting is largely a unique experience with common hurdles. Let’s talk about some of those common hurdles.
Making Your Own Life Decisions
For better or worse you are the captain of your ship. Will your decisions lead you safely to harbor or will they drown you at sea?
Only time will tell. But you decide the actions taken in your journey.
I used to think that a lot of what happened in my life was out of my control. I had to shift my mindset and look at the world in a different way.
More importantly, I had to take responsibility for both my actions and inactions and hold myself accountable for their outcomes – we will talk more about this later.
Read More: Organize Your Life to Make Better Decisions
Whether you are thinking about leaving school, taking a low-paying job that you are passionate about, or what type of credit card to get your choices are your own.
That is an amazing example of adulting. It is also one of the most powerful examples of adulting. Take it seriously and work to nurture your decision-making skills. You don’t want to be abroad and end up getting kicked out of a country for spitting onto concrete.
I know, seems random, but it can happen.
Managing Your Finances
Money comes and money goes. What matters is how you use it. Now, a lot falls under the umbrella of managing your finances but for the sake of this post, I will focus on budgeting.
Other examples of adulting that include managing your finances are investing and retirement planning. They are important as well however without budgeting it is difficult to focus on them. Hence why I will be explaining budgeting.
It is so important to become financially literate. Start learning how to properly manage your money for the present and future. This is arguably one of the hardest parts of adulting, especially in the beginning.
So, what’s the first step in managing your money?
It is learning how to budget. Knowing how to properly budget can be a make-it-or-break-it skill when it comes to adulting.
Budgeting Is Key
As I like to say, the best budget is the one that you will actually stick to. Simple as that. Create a budget where you detail your needs and responsibilities and stick to them.
Recognize that your budget is a reflection of your current state in life, and as you progress throughout the months and years, your budget should change to meet your needs. However, this does not mean that you should be breaking that budget every month with the excuse of “things change.”
Remember, your budget is a spending plan that you create for yourself.
Actively try to stick to your budget. If not, it will hinder your financial development and potentially cause more problems.
Now, there are plenty of ways to budget. You can do it by hand with paper and pencil, use excel, or whatever else suits the way you operate. You just have to choose a budgeting method that you will actively use.
If you are like me and want to use software to budget, I use You Need A Budget (YNAB). It is an intuitive and thorough budgeting software that has helped me greatly improve my financial life.
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
BUT if you are looking for a basic excel type budgeting method, I have a FREE excel budget that you can use. Just fill out the form below and you will get it sent straight to your email!
No matter, what you decide to use to budget, the most important step is building one. Of course, the second step is following it!
Credit is extremely important as an adult. It is usually involved in most if not all major purchases in adulthood.
Your credit score can make or break your finances. It is central to your ability to get the things you want, at least in the United States. You need good credit to secure financing for a car, home, furniture, and even a phone at a reasonable rate.
Otherwise, you will be charged high-interest rates that can cause you to pay more over the life of the financing.
So when you hear people talking about the interest rate they are paying on their mortgage or car loan understand their rate is tied to their credit score.
Admittedly, economic conditions also play a rate in the interest rate you can receive, but the lowest rates most always go to those with the best credit scores.
Plus, if you are someone looking to get a credit card. Credit scores play a major role in how you are approved.
Read More: How To Use Your First Credit Card
To give a clear idea of just how important your credit score is check out this video below. It explains just how having a high credit score can save you thousands of dollars when it comes to purchasing things like a car or a house.
Benjamin Franklin once said there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes. Phew, and he is right. Taxes are here to stay and they need to be paid.
It is still one of the most confusing parts of adulting for me. It boggles my mind that basic tax classes aren’t taught in school, but I digress.
You need to have a basic understanding of how taxes work. Now I am NOT a financial advisor. So please seek one out.
Just know that taxes are a major and often annoying part of adulting.
Read More: Taxes Are A Must, But You Can Still Save
Taking Responsibility and Being Accountable
It is extremely important to recognize that the buck starts and ends with you. You are responsible for your actions and should hold yourself accountable for their outcomes.
Remember, I told you I would talk about this later.
A major point of adulthood and being a real adult is rooted in practicing accountability and responsibility.
Be Accountable. Hold yourself to a standard. If you fall below your standard, take responsibility for that change and take the necessary steps to improve.
Read More: Accountability Makes You A Better Human
Value creation takes many forms. The most common form is working a regular 9 to 5 job. You exchange your time for value creation and a company pays you for that value creation.
It is a simple idea yet it can be extremely complex when put trying to put it into action.
As an adult, we are supposed to be contributing members of society. We should be working to make it better.
We can do that through value creation.
Today, that can mean authoring books, being a medical professional, life coach, financial assistant, and yes, a YouTuber.
There are so many options. It is just important to recognize the power and responsibility that you have to create more in this world.
I would argue it is one of the most underrated examples of adulting and the most impactful example.
So, the question to ask yourself is – What do I want to create?
Best of luck adulting!
Adulting Starts Here
Thanks for reading! If you saw any value in this article, please share it with others. Adulting Starts Here is all about making adulting 101 easier. So share the information – help increase access.
Disclosure: This post may contain some referral links, if you follow them and purchase anything from the recommended services/products, I might receive some commission. I can assure you though that I would never recommend something I don’t trust myself. Thanks for supporting Adulting Starts Here!
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.