Ugh. Growing up. Something we all have to do and it’s something we don’t always want to do. As I reach the end of my 20s, I really do think that age is just a number, but nonetheless, your 20s are such a defining decade in your life. Think about it: you finish school, you get your first real jobs, you start building the life that you truly want to live. This quarter-life segment of our life gives us so much to consider or try for the first time. Between 20 and 30 there is so much “adulting” still to learn!
This is what I’m calling “My Quarter-Life Mini Guide to Adulting!” Enjoy! 🙂
- Learn how to budget! — To me, this one is simple. I know lots of us have/had Mint accounts, but I’m talking about going back to the basics. Learn how to do one on paper (or a spreadsheet if you are that afraid of the calculator) and see what you can do. Don’t let an app do the work for a while because seeing those numbers in your handwriting makes it so much more tangible for you. Once you’ve accomplished one on paper successfully, go back to your apps and spreadsheets. This is one skill that so many people lack, but it’s crucial for adulting.
- Learn self care! — As we get in the rat race of employment and commitments, we so easily forget how to take care of ourselves. We forget to find pleasure in the things that we used to enjoy outside of working. Whether that’s a daily run on your own, pedicures, a trip to the movies, or whatever, there’s no shame in finding time for yourself.
- Cultivate SOMETHING that’s important to you! — I don’t care what this is, but doing this is important for everyone. To you, this might be building new friendships or a new professional network of contacts. For others, this could be starting a blog or a side business that means a lot to you. Maybe it’s getting a certification in becoming a sports referee or even maintaining that First Aid and CPR certification. This could mean involvement with a non-profit and so on – the options are endless as long as the project means something to you. You can even try something that is completely new to you! It’s so easy to get stuck in “work mode” that we forget about the other things that bring us joys as humans.
- Volunteer your time. — Like I’ve mentioned above with cultivating something that is important to you, I also think it’s important to give your time to something that is important to you or your community. I consider that an opportunity to meet new people, try a new skill, and perhaps find a future job. Plus, it makes you feel good to help out organizations (or people) whenever you can.
- Invest in a nest egg. — Yes, invest in something that you don’t touch. I don’t care if it’s a liquid savings account, rental property, or a retirement account. Invest your money in something that provides you an income, security, and hopefully some flexibility for choices in your life.
- Go on at least ONE online date. — This. Is. Everything. I know it sounds absolutely crazy, but do it. You can’t learn about the types of people you want in your life unless you are out and about meeting different people. It’s also a great way to discover the type of people that you don’t want in your life. The online aspect of finding those people can also really help broaden your horizons. Also, it’s another chance to practice small talk and make new connections.
- Meet with your HR department. — I find this extremely simple to do! Meet up with a representative in your HR department to make sure that you understand all of your benefits. Are you getting a company match on your 401K or HSA? Do you know what health insurance costs should be covered by your plan? Are you aware of any company discounts on travel arrangements or rental cars? What about reciprocal benefits at other related businesses or organizations? Don’t leave any benefits out on the table just because you didn’t know that they were there.
- Pay off the student loans. — Yes, the big elephant in the room. These things tend to be leeches on us millennial people! I know I still haven’t done this yet, but I continue to make my payments and not accrue any more student loans. This was something that I intended to have done already, but life has happened. I know it’s possible to make major headway on these things if one tries, so if you can, I highly suggest you do. Pay them off and get that elephant off your back to move on with your life!
These are just a few ideas of some things that you can accomplish in this quarter-life segment of our lives! The best part about this list is that it will be different for everyone, so tell me about your list!
What are some things that you believe we should “check off” in our 20s & 30s?