Growing up may be fun, but realising you’re an adult and you have to act like one… not so much.
I have to admit: I don’t feel like an adult. Yes, I pay my own bills, rent, cravings and so on, but still… don’t feel like an adult. Do you? Most of the time I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing… I mean, God help us all figuring it out!
Growing older (and hopefully wiser) I made mistakes and learnt from them. Transitioning from a teenager to a young adult who lives and sustains herself, I learnt some things the hard way and I wish I knew them before.
Here are some adulting tips I wish so damn hard I knew earlier.
I think when it comes to finances, there will always be things we want to know and learn. The living proof for this is the fact we all struggle understanding and managing financial resources.
And the truth is… it’s hard not to splurge cash when you have it.
Start using a budget and stick to it
When you just started to make your very own money that can actually sustain your living, it’s easy to spend them on useless things. I mean… you worked a whole month for that money and YOLO, you deserve to spoil yourself a little! Usually that “a little” will translate into: “your whole salary”.
What I did not realise, was that I was not earning enough to be able to splurge and also save money.
So my partner convinced me to use a budget and track all my expenses.
A budget (if you stick to it) gives you such a great overview of where you’re money’s going and what you could do about it. I highly encourage you to track every single penny you spend, until you get into the habit of actually control your spendings. I personally use this budget which is super fun and easy to use and I love it.
Internet banking FTW
I’ve never been to a utility desk (or whatever it’s called) to pay the bills ever in my life. And that’s thanks to internet banking.
It’s super easy to manage your payments, accounts and in case you need it – restrictions.
I personally love ING right now. Their internet banking service is my favourite and they’re available worldwide, especially in Europe. Makes it easier when travelling. When choosing a bank, look at their app and its functionalities: does it allow automated payments, recurrent savings and other things you need? Also, pay close attention to commissions and other costs.
Automated savings and payments
As I said, splurging money is super easy. Saving them… not that much.
The only thing that helped me start saving was to set an individual saving account attached to my main bank account that had an automated withdrawal. On the 10th of each month, a certain amount of money was withdrawn from my main account to my savings account.
Start small and increase the amount when you feel comfortable.
Also, setting automated payments for your utilities is super helpful. You don’t have to worry about it and you can set the payment date close to your payday.
Set your priorities straight and don’t buy what everyone else buys
We all had at least one classmate that always had the latest smartphone, computer, gaming console, cool clothes and so on. And the truth is that they had all of those because their parents had money. Somehow we’ve set ourselves to “when’ll I’ll grow up, I’ll be like that”-mindset that is the worst mindset of all.
My priorities – when it comes to spending money – are good quality food and skincare products, health and travel. I don’t spend money on the latest iPhone, MacBook or whatever new handbag some fashion house came up with.
People get in debt to have these “luxury items” for the status quo. Most of them don’t even realise they are doing this and you can save a lot of money for more important things for you. For example, I’m not looking to stay in 4-stars hotels when travelling – I would much rather spend that extra money on good food and experiencing the local culture; after all, I just need a nice and clean space to sleep since I’ll mostly be out exploring. Similarly, I never have the latest iPhone, because it’s not vital to me and I prefer to invest that money in skincare products.
The point is to not feel pressured about making certain purchases that you can’t afford and aren’t truly meaningful for you.
Have patience and pay for quality
I never had a problem of spending more on things that are of higher quality. It’s something that I always saw at my parents as a kid, so I guess it’s in my blood.
I have sensitive skin – sort of. My skin gets red super easy, but it doesn’t get irritated or anything. If I use shitty products or wear clothes made of fully synthetic or itchy materials, my skin sensitiveness will drive me crazy.
So… I came to the conclusion that it’s best to wait for a little, to have some extra money and buy a few quality skincare products, for example. Skincare is something that I’m comfortable investing in, but inexplicable high prices are still a big no-no. Right now, my guilty favourites are Kiehl’s and L’Occitane products.
It could be haircare, skincare, extremely good sunglasses for sensitive eyes, etc. In my case it’s skincare and eye-related items – I wear glasses since I was 3, so taking extremely good care of my eyes is a priority for me. I won’t invest so much in hair care for example because I don’t style my hair and I don’t dye it.
Which would be for you?
Buying clothes is expensive and difficult
One of my major shocks, when I had my own money, was how expensive clothes are! Or how cheap I am when it comes to buying clothes.
I am super picky, so if I’m going to pay that much for it, it better fit me perfectly. If I spot a minor flaw, I won’t get it. This doesn’t apply to dresses with pockets though. I’m a sucker for pockets on dresses.
So it’s either ‘too expensive for a piece of cloth’ or ‘I don’t like it’ sort of situation. Oh, and if I find something that’s really nice and I want to buy it – they won’t have my size.
Yes, buying clothes that
Decluttering is actually therapeutic
We all got the ‘clean your room!’ attitude at a certain point from our parents and who can blame them?! Not my inner OCD person, for sure!
It’s always nice to have a clean and organised house. But the ugly part is that you have to do it now on your own. Mum is not around all day long anymore.
Even though I’m almost never in the mood to clean the house or declutter, it always
Is this something that comes with ageing?
Also… if you get excited searching for cutlery, tea towels, bedsheets and other household items… you’re old and welcome to the adulting world!
You don’t need ALL the products
My Mum has a cleaning product for everything: for the kitchen floor, for the bathroom floor, for the wooden floor, alcohol-free window cleanser and with alcohol, and God knows how many other sprays and cleansers. The same applied to skincare: there are a ton of products you don’t really need.
Seeing this at home, I was hoarding on endless detergents, creams, and household solutions. Until I popped a vein and decided to limit everything to a couple of products for each category.
You don’t really need a special body lotion for your left elbow, as you don’t need four different typed of detergent for your clothes.
Pick a couple that works best for you and stick to them.
Being smart and productive about your time
Here’s the ugly truth: most of us are stuck in the 9-to-5 system and we leave life pass through us because we are too tired to notice it. Sometimes it
I don’t like doing laundry or any household-related activities. Weekends are for resting. Even God got himself a day off after creating the world, right?! So throughout my struggle to get more time and energy for the weekend, I discovered some tricks that I wish I discovered earlier.
Do the laundry during the week
Thanks to the technology innovation we all have now washing machines in our houses that do the job for us.
Sorting clothes and throwing them in the washing machine doesn’t take a lot of time. Taking them out – either. It requires some strong will to actually do it. And… God, I’m so happy when it’s Friday and the laundry
If you have one of those smart washing machines, you can schedule when they should start washing. So you can put the laundry in the morning, and schedule it to start a couple of hours before you get home, so you can take them out.
Clean around the house during the week
Cleaning a little around the bathroom usually takes me less than half an hour. Doing so, I have
Vacuuming during the week also
No dishes before bed
Being an adult means getting happy when there aren’t any dished in the sink in the morning. It’s the little things, I swear.
I made this rule for myself: try to leave the sink empty before going to bed and clean the mess in the kitchen. It makes my mornings much better.
Also, I like to take 5-10 minutes in the morning to quickly clean things around. Nothing big, just receipts that are everywhere, add a new toilet paper roll and so on. Small things that will keep my place clean for me in the morning, when I get back home and throughout the week.
In the end
Waking up early and going to bed early
This sounds such an adult habit! But it’s so nice to go to sleep early. I think my Mum wish to hear me say that a few years ago.
Waking up early in the morning gives you the change to start slow and see how the world wakes up. It’s something magic about it. I find it really calming. Or… you can use the early morning to start working, which also means leaving the office earlier (if possible).
Put everything back
This is another crazy-simple rule that probably everyone heard of, but no one puts it into action. And this is probably one of those rules we all had as kids.
It literally doesn’t take more than 10 seconds to put a thing back where it belongs. If you leave things around the house, it will pile up and in the end, it will only be more mess for you to look after.
Weekends are for you
More of a sum up of the previous points… you should make weekends for you. This includes hobbies, road trips, going out or simply doing nothing.
That’s why I try to do most of the household stuff during the week and pay attention to small things like putting things back to their original place.
I guess that would be it for my first years of adulting. This article will definitely get updated with more tips and tricks as I grow (hopefully) wiser. 🙂
What adulting tips you wish you knew earlier? Also, I would really like to know when you started to actually feel ‘like