So, you've come to the dark side: the real world. Long gone are the days when dad would tie your shoes, kiss you on the forehead and send you off to school with a pre-packed lunch made with love by mom.
OK, so you're a little farther along adulthood than those days, but still, this grown-up stuff — paying bills, rent, going to bed at a reasonable hour, time management business — it can be a rough transition when you first start out.
Have no fear, though, the tips laid out here will make adulting a lot easier and cheaper so you can fulfill your best grown-up human being potential.
1. Budgeting and managing finances.
Going to college was a blast right? If you were lucky, you didn't really have to worry about paying for major essentials like tuition, housing, food, clothes. Now that you're cut off from living the good life on daddy's credit card, it's a big-time reality check.
First things first: Create a budget. Consider your income and hard costs and outline how much you'll put aside each month for the necessities. Then, factor in your social life and luxuries and determine how much you're allowed to spend on the leisure side of living.
Setting up a budget plan is the easy step to managing your own finances. The hard part is following through. How on earth can you possibly do it all by yourself? Well, you don't have to — there's an app for that.
Download financial management apps like Level Money, Mint or Wally. These will pull your accounts together and project visual data of your current finances and spending activity.
These visual cues help you better conceptualize what's going in and out of the wallet. Many budgeting apps additionally provide reminders of when your bills are due and warnings of when you've spent too much in a certain category like “dining and nightlife” (aka drinking).
Setting up a budget is the easy step to managing your own finances. The hard part is following through.
2. Paying for your own phone bill.
Life was pretty cush when your parents took care of the good ol' cellphone. But now that you're no longer on the family plan, you're facing all these service fees you've never even seen before or understand.
If you use a lot of data (you know, using Snapchat, Spotify, YouTube or texting non-stop), consider getting a mobile plan with T-Mobile.
The carrier's T-Mobile One plan offers unlimited data usage, texting and calling. And the best part is, all the fees, including taxes and monthly service charges, are rolled into one rate, which is crucial when you're trying to set aside a certain amount of money each month for your phone bill.
To save the most money, it might make sense to get a few other friends who are adulting and combine resources for a family plan. For more information regarding the T-Mobile One plan including unlimited data, visit T-Mobile's website.
3. Balancing work and social life.
Part of becoming an adult is managing your own life. You have the power to choose what you do, remember that.
So when you're first starting out your career, you may find yourself doing the grind, working long hours and trying to prove yourself.
That's all well and good, but keep in mind, you have your entire life to work. It's OK to have a little fun here and there. Having a social life is healthy, as it helps you distress and relax your mind from always thinking about work.
At the same time, the work you put into a job matters. So when push comes to shove, make the right decisions that will directly impact your job positively.
For example, if you're at a weekday happy hour, practice self-control and cut yourself off at two drinks instead of going on a bender. This will help you avoid the hangover at the office the next day and ensure you're at max productivity.
It's all about time management when it comes to work-life balance. Once you hone these skills you'll be set to cruise in your career and social life.
It's all about time management when it comes to work-life balance.
4. Taking care of yourself.
That fast metabolism and fast lifestyle isn't going to last forever. As you grow older, you'll start to notice that some of the crap you once ate that had absolutely no effect on your waistline is starting to build a gut.
This is a turning point in your life when you need to begin healthy lifestyle habits and take care of yourself, your mind and your body.
Going from walking around campus all day to sitting all day at a 9 to 5 desk job can take a real toll on the body. Make it a priority to exercise regularly.
If working out is a drag for you, commit to fitness classes — ones where you have to sign up beforehand and if you cancel, you get penalized. This will force you to go, and your body will thank you.
On top of fitness, nutrition is of the utmost importance. Try downloading an app like MyFitnessPal to track your food and alcohol intake — it'll keep you on track to your target weight and fitness goals.
Also try to avoid eating out during your lunch break. This is where the pounds can creep up on you. Prep lunch items each week for the entire week so they are readily available for you to grab and go when headed to work. And as a bonus, you'll likely save some major coin by doing this.
Being an adult can be rad if you go about it properly. When you get your finances in order, services set up, work-life balance intact and health up to par, you'll be adulting so hard and so well, you just might like this new coming-of-age.