As teenagers hurry into adulthood, they find themselves stumped and running into roadblocks, with a head full of dreams, a mountain of debt and no clue how to get that successful future they envisioned. It doesn’t have to be this way. Entering your adult life shouldn’t be a bumpy discouraging journey.
So, to help teenagers along the road into their adult independent life, we have brought together some great pieces of expert advice on adulting.
“There is no set guide to adulting or life for that matter and like most things, it is going to be a different experience for each one of us. You can prepare yourself for it, you cannot predict it. Remember to always be open to the idea of the change because in the next few years there will be a few changes you will have to come to terms with, changes both good and bad. Try and learn as much as you can about financial independence and set short-term goals for yourself. Understand that as you grow, you are going to meet new people, understand old ones better and lose few others. It's a continuous process of learning, relearning and growth. Mitsyourself, your mental, physical and spiritual health a priority. Keep your surroundings clean, eat healthy food and make sure to include some form of exercise into your routine. Discovering yourself will require time, patience and strength because the things you discover won't always be only the best, brightest parts of you. You will learn that things aren't always black and white and that understanding the grey might be difficult but that doesn't negate it's presence. There will be days that are slower and sadder than others, during days like this learn to pick yourself up. You are your greatest investment so make sure you invest wisely!”
Thomas Fultz, CEO and Founder Coffeeble.com
“One of the most critical aspects in budgeting for the future is determining your monthly spending. Keep track of your expenditure to determine how your money is spent. Examine your spending closely and discover places where you may save money or products you can eliminate from the list. Create a realistic budget in order to free up more funds for saves. Enhance your spending habits and begin saving by prioritizing what is essential and eliminating what is not.”
Paul Oppong, Author, Speaker, and Business Transformation Consultant
“The most important things you can do to secure your future is to budget and do a financial plan. Mastering your own finances and being in control of your financial destiny is the best way to secure your future. Knowing how much you spend and what you can save and invest will help you plan for the future. Your budget should include all mortgage and debt payments, anticipated taxes, home maintenance, personal and household spending such as groceries, clothing, laundry, health care, insurance, education, and entertainment spending. Your budget will show you whether you can sustain your current lifestyle or will need to increase your income or decrease spending in the future. Pull together financial information such as your payroll statements, bank account statements, investment account statements, credit card statements, tax returns for the past five years and business partnership agreements. Organize income information such as payroll statements, investment property income, insurance coverage information and deeds and titles for vehicles and real estate. For someone who has never done it before it can be daunting. Working with a financial planner or wealth manager can help you be in control. Investing assets for future growth is an important part of the financial picture. You need to be realistic about investment returns. You need to account for market risk. You cannot assume that the same return will occur every year. You cannot forget about inflation and taxes. Those will affect your investments and, figure in longevity. We are now living to be in our 90's. Make sure your plan takes into account that it may need to sustain you for many, many years! You need to take into account health care and long term care. Make a list of your needs, your wants and your wishes and see how your plan works in fulfilling those. And don't forget to revisit your plan regularly to see if anything has changed. Do not just set it and forget it. Many things can happen to change your plans- the world has both expected (marriage, children, retirement) and unexpected events.”
Aviva Pinto is a Managing Director and member of the Advisory Committee at Wealthspire Advisors
“The best adulting tip I can give to anybody is to make an emergency fund. Saving money is extremely important, as it helps us secure our future in case there’s an immediate financial emergency we need to cover. Saving money also helps us pay off the larger purchases, steer clear of the debt, and reduce financial stress. By some estimates, only a small number of people have the emergency fund (less than 20 percent) and say they could live off of it for at least six months, while almost 40 percent of them state they’d need to borrow money in case of financial emergency. There are plenty of reasons why we could potentially experience financial emergencies such as unexpected car repair, unexpected medical costs, or a job loss. Not having anything set aside can only damage your budget and put you in a debt that’s hard to come out of. To avoid this from happening to you, I advise everybody to save as much as they can every month. The ideal case is that you have enough money to cover three to six months of expenses. You can start small and save 10 or 20 percent off your salary at the beginning, and slowly progress towards saving more, as you advance and get better at saving money.”
Andriana Moskovska, Founder of DontDisappointMe
“The hardest thing about growing up may be the realization that you need to be an adult. To be an adult where nobody else is an adult may be daunting, but the sooner you get the hang of managing your adult life, the sooner you’ll enjoy the perks of being one. Schedule basic chores: It could be washing the dishes, watering your plants, or cleaning your house, setting aside time so that you won't put it off. Develop a schedule and stick to it: It could be doing your laundry in the middle of the week, or putting out the trash on the weekends. It’ll be less stressful when you have clean clothes to wear when you have to go to work. Learn to cook: Try your hand at preparing your meals, there are tons of recipes that are easy to follow online. It could be a simple salad, an excellent egg omelet, or a milkshake. Learn how to make your food. This will help you cut your expenses and it will encourage you to eat healthier. Be Responsible for Your Life: How you run your life is now your choice, life may be unfair sometimes, but what you do to change it is entirely up to you. Taking responsibility for your choices instead of looking for somebody to blame is being an adult.”
Samantha Moss, Editor & Content Ambassador, romantific.com
“Meditation, reading and mindful exercises are key components of developing your personal life and inner self while trying to balance your place in community and professional life. As you grow up, life will get busier and more complex which can be a hard transition to make when you are not spending enough time serving your internal needs. You must spend time caring for your mental and emotional health so you will be able to properly manage your career and relationships.”
Brent Sanders, CEO of Wicksly
Following some of the great advice on adulting, youngsters can plan how to secure their future and begin work in the right direction. Learning some basic workings of adult life, like housekeeping, personal finance and most importantly- how to take care of your own mental and physical health can greatly ease your way into adult life.