It can be downright overwhelming to tackle the task of being in charge of your whole life. Many of us reach the age of “adulthood” with very little experience in actually managing our lives. If you can relate (feeling a bit like your life is out of control?) it’s okay to strip it back and focus on the basics. Start with these 20 critical responsibilities to reign it all back in and get back to being you.
If you’ve just left home for the first time – or if you never had a stable home in the first place – you may be floating through your 20s feeling a bit confused. None of us are born knowing how to handle being an adult; we learn it along the way. Here’s a little adulthood 101 for you: 20 basic tasks you should learn how to handle without input (and without coaching from anyone else).
Show Your Independence By Taking on These Responsibilities.
- Do your laundry. Don’t take dirty clothes to your mom! Bite the bullet, get a pile of quarters and go to the laundromat.
- Cook real food. The Internet is chock full of recipes that give step-by-step instructions.
- Go grocery shopping. You’ll save money and eat better if you do real grocery shopping.
- Make your own appointments. Pick up the phone. Make the call. They won’t bite, and self-care is SUPER important.
- Clean the bathroom. The room you use to get clean should not be disgustingly dirty.
- Manage your finances. Set up a household budget and know where your money goes. This just might be the most IMPORTANT step.
- Maintain your car. Be responsible and call the mechanic to schedule an inspection or tuneup. Your safety matters!
- Get up for work or school. Living on your own means no one will wake you up in the morning. Stay disciplined and stay real by getting YOURSELF up.
- Keep a schedule. Use a day planner to make sure you have all your work shifts, classes and appointments in one place. Follow it (always).
- Pay your own insurance. Health, renters and auto insurance are adult responsibilities. They’re also a great failsafe if something happens.
- Get your own Netflix account. It’s not that much, and do you really want your parents to know some of the things you choose to watch? This also counts for Hulu.
- Own a household toolbox. You don’t want to break a heel trying to put a nail in the wall to hang a picture. A basic toolkit is a must.
- Have a first aid kit. You might be surprised how often you need a band-aid or peroxide. Do the research and create your own!
- Host a dinner party. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but have people over to eat and socialize once in a while. The friends you meet in your 20s? Those are the friends who stick around for life.
- Monitor and build your credit. It is important to know your credit score and build credit toward buying your own home. Start with CreditKarma.com and work hard to improve it.
- Save money for a down payment. Save for a car or house down payment, it’s more important than clubbing every weekend. Even if you put away $20 a month, it will still add up over time.
- Have an Internet service provider. Stop stealing your neighbor’s Wi-Fi! Not only is it unreliable, there are affordable options out there now.
- Handle your own cell phone account. No more using all of your parents’ data. Get your own – and manage the minutes you use.
- Handle problems on the job. Learning to live and let live is important. Deal with problems without quitting your job (even if you don’t always love it).
- Take care of yourself. Include hobbies, fitness and relaxation time in your schedule. Most importantly? Let loose once in a while. You deserve it.
Sure, it’s nice to have Mom or Dad handle the tough stuff for us, and it makes them feel needed as well. Eventually, though, you will need to be a capable and responsible adult. No one is saying you have to achieve it all at once, but this list will put you on the fast track! Hang in there, you’re doing WAY better than you think!