As a new adult, a lot of responsibility has come your way whether you are prepared for it or not. You might have had the thought of, what exactly are some of the main responsibilities that come with adulthood? This post highlights some of those main responsibilities of adulthood.
The biggest responsibility that comes with adulthood is taking responsibility for where you are at in life. It’s a shift in mindset from that of someone who’s had things done for them to now being the one to get the things done. Along with this shift in mindset you have to start providing for yourself, paying taxes, managing your own money, planning for your future, and managing various other aspects of life.
Sadly, there are many of us who are not facing these responsibilities head-on or we don’t even know we should be handling them. Keep reading to see what these responsibilities are in more detail and how you can start facing them!
Take Responsibility For Where You Are At In Life
The biggest responsibility of adulthood is responsibility itself. You are responsible for yourself.
You are responsible for what you do and don’t do. As the old saying goes “the buck stops with you” – meaning the ultimate responsibility is yours.
As an adult, it is very important to start taking responsibility for where you are at in life. More importantly, though, you have to start taking responsibility for where you are wanting to go.
Some people call it shifting from a victim mindset to a hero mindset. Life no longer happens to you.
No matter what you call it, the weight of your future rests solely on your shoulders.
This one is pretty straightforward and it’s one of the least fun of the responsibilities of adulthood.
Did you know that the average person pays over 40% of their lifetime income in taxes?
We all have to do it. It’s best to accept that and inform ourselves on how to mitigate the downsides.
In the vein of information sharing, I have an article linked below that goes into ways to save money on taxes and other things. Check it out. It has some really good information that I hope will help you along your financial literacy journey.
Read More: 5 Tax Hacks That Could Save You Thousands.”
Providing For Yourself
This is a big one! You are your own provider now. You must find work to make money so you can have food, shelter, and all the other things that you want in life.
Will it suck at times? Yes, very much so.
It’s on you, so find ways to enjoy it.
There’s not much to say outside of that.
Managing Your Own Money
Pretty soon, if not already, you are going to be earning more money than you ever have before. Knowing how to manage it and how to grow your earning capabilities is a must-know.
At a minimum, you should know how to create and balance a budget. Having a solid money foundation can be one of the biggest helpers in setting yourself up for retirement and a more financially free life.
Some of the most important lessons to know when it comes to managing your money are to live below your means and buy new only if absolutely necessary.
Living below your means as you enter into adulthood helps you keep your costs low as your earning power increases. The beauty in this is that by keeping costs low you give yourself a higher disposable income, or income after all necessities are paid for.
With a greater disposable income you can do all types of things like max out your Roth IRA and 401 (k), buy a home, buy a car if needed, and so much more.
Develop a Budget
A major part of the responsibilities of adulthood is the managing of your finances. If you have read any of my other posts you know that I am a major advocate of creating and living off a budget. Controlling your money habits early on is integral to building a healthy life.
You should have a budget. It doesn’t matter if you are making $250,000 a year or $25,000 a year. A budget helps you keep a handle on your spending and highlights your lifestyle.
When I talk to friends about budgets, they seem to have a negative connotation of the word. A budget is not bad. It is not a cage for your money. Living by a budget doesn’t mean that you must remove all fun or entertainment from your life.
A budget is just another tool, albeit an important tool, to help you organize your life. I like to think of a budget as a spending plan instead of something that says what I can and cannot do.
One cool thing to think about is wherever you spend your money, that’s a priority to you.
Remove the food and shelter aspect. Look at your budget.
Focus On Sustainable Budgeting
You can see what some of your priorities are. Do you spend $200 a month on dining out? If yes, a priority for you might be social spending.
The only question you would really need to ask yourself is if that spending is sustainable. If it is then no need to really change that particular spending category of your life.
Developing a budget can be such a helpful tool to add to your life as you look to organize it and take more control.
Now, there are plenty of budgeting tools out there for you to use. I would be remiss if I didn’t let you know which budgeting tool that I live by.
I use a budgeting software called YNAB (You Need A Budget) and it has transformed my financial life.
It is an intuitive software that helps you give “every dollar a job” and I am really reaping the benefits from this service. I’ve even convinced a few of my friends to check it out.
So, I wanted to put that out there and let you know that if you do want to check out YNAB I have a referral link. You get a free 34-day trial and at the end of that trial if you sign up for the subscription you get another free month using my referral link.
Of course, using my link comes at no extra cost to you. So, check it out if you want.
Improve Your Financial Literacy
For many adults, money is a major stressor. A lot of people feel like they aren’t making enough money or don’t know how to grow the money they do have.
No matter the situation, the truth of the matter is you need to improve your financial literacy as an adult.
The better understanding you have of money and how to use it as a tool, the better your chances of decreasing money as a stressor in adulthood.
Take the time to research and learn about 401(k)s, investing in real estate, and crypto.
A great place to start is actually with the benefits that your job offers. You can learn about the health plan options, 401(k) options, and start to see where your financial literacy is versus where it needs to be.
Please do not over look financial literacy. It is another other of the essential responsibilities of adulthood.
Planning For The Future
Often a lot of the issues that arise as an adult stem from a lack of planning whether intentionally or unintentionally. Placing a greater focus on the future and what’s next can help alleviate a lot of the pressures of adulting, especially in the earlier stages.
So, take the time to research some of the milestones that come with the early transition years into adulthood. From these milestones, create a rough outline for yourself to give you a better picture of your trajectory.
Read More: How To Organize Your Life As A New Adult
One of the most common ways of doing this is creating a vision board. A vision board is a great start especially if you are new to planning for the future.
I’ve created many vision boards that helped me chart paths for myself. The really cool thing about vision boards is that they are meant to be visual, giving you a glimpse at what you are working towards.
They double as a plan and a motivation helping you reach those ideas you set forth for yourself on the board.
Plus, doing a vision board can be a fun DIY project. You only need a few supplies like a poster board, some old magazines for pictures, and glue. If you don’t have magazines or want more exact pictures you can always just print them online and the rest of the supplies can usually be found at your local Dollar Tree.
So, take a few hours this upcoming weekend and have a go at creating a vision board for yourself. It will help you figure out what you want and how to get there thereby decreasing some of the pressure you might feel from adulting.
Managing Your Relationships
You have been managing relationships all your life. Now as an adult you are pretty much doing most of the same thing. You have really just switched between dealing with people in a classroom to dealing with people in a work setting.
More than that though, it is your responsibility to nurture those relationships most important to you. Often, these relationships might try and pull you in different directions.
An example would be wanting to nurture a professional relationship while also trying to give the same attention to a personal relationship – hence the good ole idea of work-life balance.
Are you someone who is willing to let their personal relationships falter in pursuit of professional ones or vice versa?
Managing Your Health
Managing your health is not just one of the responsibilities of adulthood it is a responsibility to yourself.
If you are not living a healthy life, then you are putting yourself at a disadvantage to tackle the obstacles that will arise in life. Now, this does not mean that you have to exercise every day for hours on end and only eat vegetables.
What taking care of your health means is taking the time and effort to ensure that you are receiving the proper nutrients you need daily to function and that you are also keeping out of too many stressful or harmful situations.
This means not skipping that semi-annual doctor’s appointment and making sure that you go to the dentist for those checkups.
Keeping up to date on these checkups will help you stay on top of your health. And if a healthcare scare does happen, hopefully, it will be caught early on.
Managing Your Personal And Professional Development
From the original idea of Adulting Starts Here, as a new adult, it can be extremely difficult to find the balance between personal and professional development. Do you embrace the hustle culture or go in a different direction?
So many people say when you are young, it’s best to focus on your career and the rest will follow. Others say they’ve done that and now they are living life with no one to share it with. What pathway do you choose?
How are you going to manage and nurture both?
Everyone is different and so is their pathway. It is your responsibility to manage your personal and professional development for better or worse.
I will add that Adulting Starts Here was created to help make managing the transition into adulthood easier especially when it comes to the balance between personal and professional life.
Write A Will
Nothing screams responsibilities of adulthood like writing a will.
As a new adult, it might seem weird that you have to write a will. However, it is a necessity, especially if or once you have dependents such as children.
A will matters so much especially when children are involved. If you die without a will that names a guardian for your children and specifies what funds are available to care for them, you have zero control over who raises your kids and how much money remains for their support.
Your state’s courts, with government social services, are going to decide what happens to your kids, who raises them and how your money is divided up.
That’s you essentially have very little to no say in how the rest of your children’s lives will go. I think that is a scary thought.
So, this is why writing a will is one of the responsibilities of adulthood.
There are 3 main decisions to figure out when writing a will. You have to name a guardian, decide what happens to your remaining assets, and then name an executor of the will.
If you are worried about having to afford an attorney for a will, you have options. You can do a DIY will in some cases.
I must remind you though, that I am not a licensed individual in this and this is not professional advice. This information is purely for educational purposes. As always, do your own due diligence.
Be An Informed And Rational Citizen
It is your duty to get and remain informed of the news that affects your daily life. Make learning a life-long journey and always do your own due diligence.
The development and longevity of our society depend on the citizens that make it up. If we are not working to grow our knowledge base, critical thinking skills, and interpersonal skills we are holding back our future.
What are your thoughts? Have any responsibilities of adulthood that you want to share? Tell us in the comments 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.