So you’ve flown the coop, set up a new nest, and now getting a taste of what real independence feels like. And hey, some days feel pretty damn good. Not hearing the draining repetition of “Where are you going?” 20 times a day is a bit of sweet relief for the ol’ ears.
But when you only have yourself to rely on, it’s not always smooth sailing. Adulting in the real world can get tough, and when it does, you might find yourself longing for your security blanket (a.k.a. your parents) to help you out.
Never fear! Our handy tips on dealing with grown-up responsibilities are here to guide you through the murky unknown and have you adulting like a pro in no time.
With any luck, you won’t be calling out for “Muuuuuummm!!!” anytime soon.
Creating a Budget
Did your parents throw the word ‘budget’ around a lot before you moved out, and did it not make much of an impact? Yep. They were right. Creating and sticking to a budget is perhaps the easiest way to successfully manage your own finances.
Budgets are simple and quick enough to put together – you don’t need to be an accountant! Simply work out your monthly income and use this to determine how much you’ll need for your monthly expenses. Write down all your expenses. This means:
- Phone Bill
- Netflix, Spotify and other streaming services
- Spending money
- It also refers to that $5 you splurged on coffee this morning.
And of course, aim to put away some Dollarydoos to save with every paycheck. Even $10 or $20 a week will go a long way to creating a slush fund for emergencies.
If you need a bit of extra help, there are some awesome apps out there to help manage your money and tracking expenses. ASIC’s Money Smart is also a treasure trove of useful information.
Repair Your Own Clothes
Your mum won’t be too pleased if you call her late at night, citing an emergency, when in fact the emergency is a button fell off your work shirt. Learn how to mediocrely sew on a button. The ladies (and gents) will love it.
How to sew on a button:
- You need a needle, thread, and scissors.
- Pull the thread through the needle until it’s a good length, then snip it so both lengths are equal.
- Tie a knot on one end of the thread.
- Position the button carefully on the garment
- Thread up through the fabric from below, through one hole of the button, then back down through the second hole.
- Repeat threading up and down through the holes enough times ‘til secure.
- Tie it off by wrapping the thread around the button 6 times.
- Push the needle back below the fabric and make 4 stitches, then tie it.
- Snip the leftover thread.
- Bask in the sweet glory of success.
Schedule Your Own Appointments
Remember how nice it was to have mum being your personal assistant and organising all your appointments for you? Those days are O-V-E-R buddy. With no one pestering you to go to the dentist, taking you there and then footing the bill, the only reminder you’ll get is when your teeth start to ache… and that’s leaving it just little bit late. Stick your reminders in your phone’s calendar and make sure you schedule them as needed.
Pro Tip: Tell mum how organised you’ve been, and she may even offer to pay, depending on how out of character your newfound organisational prowess is.
As a general guide, dentist and doctor check-ups are only needed once a year if you’re fit and healthy. And if you injure yourself, don’t put off that physio appointment! Adulting means you get things done.
Storing Your Fruit and Veg
Confused as to why your freshly bought fruits and veggies are turning into a festering heap so quickly? If you ain’t storing them right, they ain’t going to last.
Your apples, berries, grapes and any half-eaten fruits should be refrigerated pronto. Bananas, avocados, tomatoes and melons are all good to sit on the countertop.
Cucumbers, carrots, celery, green beans, broccoli, lettuce, mushrooms and pumpkin halves should all be left in the fridge.
Garlic, onion, potato, sweet potato and whole pumpkin can hang together in the pantry.
Check Your Car’s Oil
Did you know you should check your car’s oil at least once a month? Heck, some specialists say you should be doing it every week. In case you missed the memo: you probably need to check your engine oil right about…now… or next time you’re at the servo and micro-pressing the pump for that glorious $0.02 of free petrol.
When checking the oil, your car should be warm and resting on level ground.
- Stop the engine and wait a few minutes.
- Locate the dipstick (no, not your brother – the coloured ring pull in the engine bay).
- Removing the dipstick and wipe it clean with a paper towel.
- Push the dipstick back in and then pull it back out.
- Check how far the oil comes up the metal – if it’s resting between the two markings on the stick, it means it’s within the normal range.
Congratulations, you’re now officially an adult!
About to move out of home and start the adulting life? Have a look at this moving house checklist for more tips on making the transition as smooth as possible.