“Adulting” is a term that everyone knows and has either come to love or hate.
As children, we are reminded that being an adult is the end-all be-all. Things like “not until you’re older” and “you can be anything you want to be when you are grown” were said to us on the regular, thus setting up adulthood as this beautiful time in our lives that would give us everything we ever hoped and dreamed for if we just worked hard enough for it.
So you have finally reached that stage of independence. What’s next?
You have paychecks in the bank, an apartment, and real furniture and dishware. However, being an adult is much more than that – it’s also a time of growth, learning and of course, responsibility.
Things like setting up a 401k, balancing a career/personal life and planning for your future all come with adulting.
It seems like these days millennials are handling things a bit differently than past generations. I’ve noticed a trend amongst myself and my peers – and that is that we’re all a little unsure of what we’re doing.
However, I’ve learned a few things along the way that can land somewhere near the category of “adulting,” so I thought I would share them today with any fellow millennials out there who are struggling a bit.
LEARN TO EMBRACE ORGANIZATION
With all the other things we have got going on in our lives, why add disorganization into the mix?
If organization is not a habit that comes organically, now’s the time to learn it. Mastering the art of organization can save you so much time in the long run. Grab some storage bins, some folders, perhaps even a label maker and get to work. I make sure to keep all my important papers and documents stored in a manila envelope in my room so that I always have easy access to them. I also like to keep both a physical and electronic record of all my bills, so that I know how much I paid, and on what date it was paid just in case I ever need that info.
It may feel tempting to leave some of this stuff to chance, but trust me, you’ll be kicking yourself later when you’re searching over an hour for something that could have been neatly labeled and in a place you could easily find it.
DON’T KEEP A DIRTY HOUSE
Even though you are full-on adulting now, that doesn’t mean you can neglect house duties. There’s a certain sense of pride and accomplishment that usually comes with keeping your home neat and tidy. I like to pick Sunday as my big cleaning day. I will vacuum, clean my bathroom, fold some laundry that’s been piling up for the last two weeks, you name it. Do whatever works best for you and your schedule.
When you were a kid, did you ever dream about the day that you would be able to eat a whole pint of ice cream for breakfast? Me too. The sad truth, however, is that our health only becomes more important the older we get. It may sound downright tedious to plan a workout schedule around an already hectic day, or to have to prep healthy meals when all you want to do is hit the sheets when you come home. However, the good thing about growing up means you get to make the decisions. Hate a certain vegetable? Find one you that you semi-tolerate and cook that instead. Does the thought of going for a jog or taking a Zumba class almost bring you to the verge of tears? Find a physical activity that you enjoy. You’re the boss. So choose some lifestyle habits that you can be pumped up about.
KEEP TRACK OF YOUR FUNDS
This one is one of the most important things to keep in mind, especially if you’re planning on moving into your spot or have already been living out in the real world. Keeping track of your finances and budgeting each month is imperative so that all of your bills are paid on time, and you don’t start to make bad decisions that can affect your credit score.
I’ve found what works best for me is physically typing out a budget – yes, really. I jot down all of my income sources for the month in an excel spreadsheet and keep track of things that way. Anything additional gets split up between savings, an emergency fund, and what I like to call my “treat yo self” money.
WORK HARD BEFORE YOU PLAY HARD
Once you no longer have to check in with the “rents” for every decision you have ever made, it might seem like being an adult means you can go out, have fun, and hang out with friends rather than getting your work done. It was super easy to get the bare minimum done each day instead of pushing myself to go above and beyond the norm. But, don’t just settle for mediocre – strive for beating your personal best and setting goals that urge you to grow.
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