Neighborhood Credit Union

Embrace the ‘Adulting’ World

By Jordan Ottaway (a fellow 20-something)


You’re no longer trapped inside a classroom, library, or huge lecture hall and are finally experiencing the real world making real money. Feels amazing, right? It does until the real world gives you a few, OK a lot, of reality checks. These usually come in the forms of bills, taxes, and lovely surprise expenses.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. The #adulting struggle is real.

Now, I’m not claiming to be an adulting expert—if there’s one out there I would love to meet you—but I have learned some valuable lessons that have helped make the transition from student to adult much easier.

Here are some tips I’ve learned in my short time of “adulting” that I hope help you as well.

Make your own meals

I’m talking about actual meals so put the Ramen down…now.

Whether you’re trying to impress a special someone or just want to eat something other than fast food, cooking is an extremely beneficial, and desirable, skill to have. No, don’t say you can’t because we all know that’s not true. You just need to try it!

Being able to cook for yourself will not only save you money, but it will also help you live a healthier lifestyle and broaden your taste buds. Not to mention the chance to show off your skills at the next potluck you go to.

Where do you start? I have one word for you: crockpot. Go buy one for $20 and become best friends with it. Trust me, it will pay for itself time and time again.

Learn how you handle money

Being financially independent might scare some of you. I was in the same boat. Now that I have more money than I did in college, I made it point to really learn and know my spending and saving habits, spending triggers, and so on.

I can tell you with confidence that your finances may seem scary and complicated, but that’s just you psyching yourself out. There are plenty of articles that can teach you about budgeting, saving, and credit so you’re well-equipped with the knowledge to be confident in your financial independence.

Tackle those soul-draining chores

Laundry, dishes, bills, errands, grocery shopping. These are not glorious tasks and are usually met with a groan and a desire to do anything else. Trust me, I agree with you. But let’s ditch that negative mindset and have that “can-do” attitude where we feel satisfaction when we conquer evil things.

Think about it for a second. You have a long day and feel like you didn’t get anything accomplished. If you conquer a dreaded chore or errand, you get a small feeling of pride and suddenly feel more productive than you were before.

Never stop learning

Learning is forever. Just because you’re out of the classroom doesn’t mean you’re done learning. Yeah, you have your full time job, but what about when you leave the office? How do you make use of your free time?

Now is the perfect time to pick up a new skill that you always wanted to try. With the Internet you can learn literally anything you want to, so don’t let it go to waste. You’re still young so give it a shot!

So when you feel overwhelmed with all the stuff adult life throws at you, just know that you’re not alone. But experiences help you learn and before long you’ll feel like an adulting master.

What adulting tips would you add? I’d love to hear them!