9 Things They Don’t Tell You | Adultish

In my short 24-ish years I have learned a lot of things I really wish someone would have told me (or at least warned me!). But I got to learn the way everyone else did, trial and error. Who knows, maybe if I knew these things years ago I would be 7ft tall and a millionaire (disclaimer- you will not be 7ft tall nor a millionaire).

  1. Your credit score can make or break your existence. Use Credit Karma and constantly check your score to see where it’s at and keep an eye out for if there is a sudden change. Do not have late payments, negatively closed accounts or outstanding balances on things. Your credit score impacts the homes you can buy/ rent, your interest on your vehicle, and basically if you’re allowed to breathe or not.
  2. The importance of servicing your car. There’s a reason to change your oil every 5,000 miles and to get your tires rotated- trust the process. When you neglect other things (annual dr visits/ taxes) the repercussions are always worse. Servicing your car is the exact same. Take care of that huge chunk of metal and it will take care of you.
  3. Keep your mouth closed. At work, at home, in mixed company- keeping your secrets secrets will only pay off in the end. Don’t over share about information you wouldn’t want the entire world to know, because a lot of times the entire world will end up knowing.
  4. How practical safes/ fireproof lock boxes are. You know, those big metal things people keep guns or money in. Get your self one of the small ones, just big enough for your personal documents like your social security card and passport type items. Start putting your spare cash in there too- you will be surprised how you won’t spend the money if you can’t see it.
  5. The importance and danger of credit cards. On the one hand credit cards are awesome for online purchases, building your credit and as an “oh shit” fund in case you popped a tire. On the other hand if you are not careful your credit cards can be the downfall of your credit score (see number one).
  6. You need to have car insurance, and health insurance. Health insurance since it’s the law, and smart in case you accidentally chop your arm off. Car insurance because why in the hell would you not have it. If you get in a wreck, your car is stolen, Godzillla smashes it to a million pieces- chances are you don’t have the funds to go out and buy a brand new car all over again.
  7. Learn to budget your money through an app, Dave Ramsey, or through YouTube videos about budgeting. Know what your account balance is at all times, and don’t make impulse buys.
  8. You will die if you don’t drink coffee. Okay, “die” might be a little strong. But really, I am nothing with out coffee.
  9. Invest in your 401k if you have one, or set up an alternative retirement savings. Even if you are only 20 and can only contribute 3% of your income- do it. Additionally, look into having savings automatically withdrawn from each paycheck into a savings you can’t touch- helpful for when Godzilla does smack down your car and you have to uber.

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Adultish’s Crash Course in Budgeting- Dave Ramsey Style

This blog is brought to you in part by divorce, learning to survive your twenties and the inevitable mental breakdown.

I “grew up” really fast. I would say my childhood was completed by the time of 8, and then it was all about responsibility. I always had a really good cushion in life though when it came to my living situation. When I moved out I went to live with my aunt and uncle, rent free. Then I moved in with my then-boyfriend-now-ex-husband, rent free. But when I got divorced it was a whole new world of rent, car insurance, and meals for one. WHAT IS LIFE. Who knows, but these are my tips along the way.

Budget, budget, and budget again. I know a lot of concern comes from when we feel the budget we just implemented doesn’t work after a few weeks- that’s because a budget should be ever evolving. The moment there is a $5 discrepancy, or you had an emergency expense come up- it’s time for a new budget.

Along with budgeting is automatic bill pay. Be it scheduling a check to go out a few days prior to when rent is due, or signing up for automatic payment with Sprint for your phone bill.

Don’t utilize all of your available credit. For instance, if you have a credit card and the limit is $500 a month, do not put $500 on it even if you’re paying it off. Your credit score is based on the amount of credit you’re using paired with the amount of remaining credit. If you utilize all of your available credit you are “maxing out”, even if you pay off or not.

Shop around. Amazon is really tempting but the dollar store and Walmart are usually cheaper- and no need to wait for it to ship.

Also with Amazon, use your shopping cart for thinking. If you REALLY want a new car stereo- add it in your cart and let it be. One of three things will happen. One- you will decide against it. Two- it will go on sale and you will buy it. Three- you will buy it after waiting and know your decision was justified. 2/3 involve saving money.

Your health is really important. I am really NOT  the most reliable source for healthy eating as my diet is mainly coffee and leftovers- but small simple changes make a huge impact. Drink all the coffee you want- but flush it out with water. Eat (at least) three meals a day. Make at least one high in protein, one high in veggies/ vitamins/ minerals, and another just make it delicious! Meal prep and save your life. (nobutseriously) know what you like, buy it and make it. You won’t go out to eat as much, and you’ll actually eat!

Challenge yourself to 30 days of no spending. This is easiest at the beginning of a month. Pay your rent, insurance, gas- all the necessities. Buy groceries that you NEED to make the meals you will EAT. And *do not spend another penny* this is when the amazon cart trick is helpful, same with meal planning.

Look up anything and everything by Dave Ramsey. Figure out how to debt snowball- GET OUT OF DEBT. This has got to be the biggest thing ever. Once you pay off your debts you will have so much additional money left over each month- it’s almost like a second job.

Build your savings. Start with saving $1,000 and DO NOT TOUCH IT. This comes in handy when you do have automatic bill pay but not enough money in your checking’s. (Sidenote: make sure you bank doesn’t penalize you if they have to take out of your savings)

 

Finally- realize that all of these things combined help you reach your end goal in life- financial freedom… oh, and being an adult/ having your shit together.