Thursday, June 9, 2016
How to Adult
Remember when you were six years-old and being "grown up" sounded like the best thing in the world? If only I could tell my younger self what I know now...
Let's be real, being an adult is HARD. Personally I think it's harder to be an adult these days because everyone is forced to grow up so fast. Heck by 18 most people I knew had around $20,000 in debt just for their first year of college. Being that young and facing that much debt scares me. Heck at 21 debt (of any amount) still scares me!
Being an adult doesn't have to be so scary if you're smart about it. There's not a perfect formula to being an adult, but here are some tips to making "adulting" a little easier.
1.Set Financial Goals
Getting your finances in order should be your number one priority at any age. At a very young age my parents taught me the importance of saving money and whenever I got a gift of money or a paycheck they made sure I set some aside in my savings account. I'm thankful my parents instilled in me good financial practices and set a good example for me because it will benefit me for the rest of my life.
Some of my friends consider me to a cheapo, but in reality I have priorities. I have a monthly budget which includes groceries, healthcare, bills, savings, and if there's money left over then maybe a little spending money. Contrary to popular belief you do not have to spend money to have fun, especially if you have specific financial goals in mind.
It's also important to start building credit at a young age. Down the road you're probably going to want to buy a car, house, etc. To get approved for loans (with a decent interest rate) you need to have a good credit history. If you have no idea where to start or what to look for in a credit card Credit Card Insider breaks credit cards down by type (if you're a student, business, travel, etc.), issuer (American Express, Capital One, Discover, etc.), and by credit score. It's a great tool for anyone because it makes it easy to find the right credit card for you.
2. Make Your Health A Priority
Health should be a priority at any age, but getting on top of it while you're young will instill lifelong habits and benefit you in the future. I love working out and cooking my own healthy meals, but not all people like those things. Working out doesn't mean punishing yourself for an hour on the treadmill everyday. Find something you like to do- lifting weights, running, hiking, cycling, yoga, zumba, piyo, barre, etc. There are ENDLESS possibilities and these days you don't have to have a gym membership. I include a gym membership in my monthly healthcare costs, but there are TONS of workouts you can do in your home. If you're looking for some fun home workout ideas that don't need equipment checkout Blogilates on YouTube.
3. Learn To Cook
Cooking at home will save you a TON of money. I make all my meals at home and always meal prep for the week ahead. To meal prep I browse local grocery store ads to see what's on sale and then plan a week of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. When I grocery shop I ONLY buy what's on my list and I never grocery shop when I'm hungry (you're more likely to buy more when you're hungry).
Usually I prep on Sunday and by "prep" I mean I cook up whatever I'm having that week. So if for lunch I'm having salads I'll make all the salads and if for dinner I'm having roasted potatoes, salmon and green beans then I'll cook all of that. Typically, I'll have everything packed in individual containers so I can just grab one and go. If you're looking for meal prep ideas I have a ton of ideas in my recipe index.
There's a lot of unknowns in life, but you can make plans. I'm a planner by nature so I have a plan for just about everything. For example, if I'm going on a trip I'll make a list of everything I need to pack (I even categorize it because I'm OCD like that) so that way I don't forget anything- it also helps to avoid the overpacking issue. Life doesn't always happen according to plan, but if you're organized and prepared the unexpected moments are usually easier to handle, or so I've found.
5. Build Your Network
I'm sure you've heard someone say it, but connections are EVERYTHING. You're more likely to get a job if you know someone. It can be hard to reach out to people, but just do it. I can't tell you how many letters I wrote to complete strangers in college asking for interviews for my college TV station. People are generally willing to help, plus it allowed me to build relationships and a network of connections. Don't be scared to email or call professionals to ask for advice or help, despite what people think the world is not full of completely awful people. Besides, when you reach out it makes you look good and you never know the relationship can blossom into a friendship.
These are just a few ideas that can make adulting a little easier. What are some ways you 'adult?'
*Credit Card Insider asked me to share some 'adulting' tips, but I was in no way compensated for this post. All tips, thoughts and opinions are my own.
Posted by Rachael Miner