For many people, leaving university and entering the real world of paying bills, arranging council tax and booking your own dentist appointments can seem like a daunting inevitability. That’s why it’s not really surprising that, according to our research, young Brits don’t really turn into official ‘adults’ until the age of 25, six years after legal adulthood!
If you’re ready and raring to enter into your next life phase, here are our top ten tips to prove you’re officially an ‘adult.’
1. Pay your utility bills
Whilst paying bills isn’t anyones favourite activity, it’s an important rite of passage when you start renting for the first time. Between reading meters, negotiating with suppliers, and making sure you pay your bills on time, your ability to understand and stay on top of your utility bills is a sure fire way to prove you’re officially an ‘adult.’
2. Do some washing and ironing
Why is it that all of these ‘adulting’ activities seem to be to do with household chores? According to our research, washing and ironing is next on the list as an indication of adulthood. Whilst the ironing part is arguably negotiable (really, who actually irons their jeans?) the washing part certainly isn’t, and you’ll likely be filled with a feeling of pride when you pick up washing tabs at the supermarket for the first time. Just make sure to separate your whites!
3. Plan out a budget
As well as being a sign of adulthood, planning a budget is a good idea at any point in life – whether it be prior to uni, whilst you’re at uni, or after you’ve already entered the world of work, a budget can help you feel financially secure so that you can save for those bigger expenditures, like cars, holidays and houses! Calculate your monthly income, set up direct debits for all of your outgoings, and then whatever is leftover can be spent on whatever you like!
4. Move out of the family home
Let’s face it, living at home with mum and dad is the best – you always have company, they generally have a lot more cooking expertise, and if you’re lucky there’s no cleaning or washing to do either! But whilst this is great when you’re growing up, you may find that as you get older you actually want to start doing some of these things for yourself and gaining some independence. Moving into your own place and starting to take on more responsibility is a big part of being able to prove that you’re officially an ‘adult.’
5. Take out contents insurance
Once you have your own place, it’s important to make sure that you have sufficient contents insurance in place for your belongings so that you can feel financially secure. And if you don’t drive, this may be the first time you’ve had to take out insurance for yourself. Make sure to do your research and understand the cover you’re taking out, as well as making sure that the policy covers for all contingencies (such as cover for your gadgets whilst you’re out and about).
6. Think about buying your own home
This might feel like a long way off, but even if you’re not currently in the financial position to buy your own home, it’s a good idea to plan ahead. Think about how much you might need to save to buy, and whether this is something you can factor into your budget now. And even if you’re not ready to buy your own property, it’s still fun to fantasize about your dream home!
7. Make your own financial decisions
As well as sorting out a budget and thinking about saving to buy a property, in more general terms making your own financial decisions is another way of proving you’re an adult. Whether this be deciding to take out a lease for a new car, or paying your own mobile contract, it’s yet another step towards feeling like you’re in control of your own finances, and gaining some independence.
8. Pay into a pension
There’s no two ways about it, your pensions is one of the most important investments you’ll make in your life, as this is essentially what will sustain you once you’ve retired. Most employers will have a pension scheme, which they’ll furnish you with the details of when you first join. However, it’s important to take the time to make sure you understand it and to increase your voluntary contributions if you are able to, and should you need to.
9. Clean up occasionally
We all remember when we were younger and we simply couldn’t understand why our parents would be blasting the vacuum cleaner loudly whilst we were trying to catch up on our series – why wouldn’t they want to come and watch TV too? But funnily enough, as you get older it’s likely that you’ll find yourself doing the exact same thing! Once you’ve moved out and are paying rent or a mortgage on a monthly basis, you’ll probably find that you actually want to keep your living space clean and tidy, yet another sign that you’re officially an ‘adult.’
10. Do a weekly food shop
Whilst cleaning and organising budgets are slightly harder to get on board with, doing the weekly shop and planning out your meals for the week can actually be quite a fun ‘adult’ task. Just make sure not to shop when you’re hungry!