Adulting in 6 (Not-So-Easy) Steps


Your parents love you unconditionally. That’s why they stopped offering to pay for your dinner. Hey, you’re 27, you’re gainfully employed, and you know it’s good for you. But the truth is, even though you would never admit it to your dad, adulting isn’t as easy as it looks on Instagram. Start getting your life in order and make getting all grown up feel like a walk in the park.

1. Career Planning

If your 9-5 is barely paying your monthly student loan payment and covering the occasional happy hour, map out a plan to climb your way to a comfortable income. If your current company is not where you see yourself long-term, consider taking on a side hustle. Generating multiple streams of income can make you less reliant on one source and you could even earn enough to save for retirement or land your dream job. To get started, try networking through LinkedIn or get a side/freelance gig.

2. Investing

It’s hard to think about your future 30 years from now, but your landlord certainly is, as your monthly rent is helping him fund his retirement. Start saving now for your first mortgage so you can enforce your own pet policy. Ask HR about your company’s retirement plan and if they match your contributions. Once you start putting money away, don’t touch it. Just channel legendary investor Warren Buffett and learn about compound interest. It will chill you.

3. Decluttering

We know this is painful, but it’s time to let go. Experts say home clutter makes you feel stressed, anxious, guilty and less productive. So, clean out your closets and the boxes of stuff your parents dumped on you when you moved out. Keep yearbooks and photos. Donate old clothes (they don’t fit anyway) and toys (seriously, your future children will want new stuffed animals).

4. Volunteering

In the real world, caring about a cause means more than showing up for a rally and eating free pizza. It means doing work. Choose a charitable organization in your area that needs an extra hand, and make room in your calendar to volunteer regularly. You may just make new friends or business connections that stick with you for life. Plus, volunteering can reportedly have a positive impact on your health.

5. Caring for your health

Step one: Read your health insurance policy.

Step two: Ask your coworkers for recommendations on primary care providers.

Step three: Pick a doctor and send your childhood medical records there, bonus if you request a copy for yourself.

Then, schedule a yearly vision checkup, twice-yearly dental cleanings and a yearly physical. Take a daily multivitamin and save your sick days for the unknowns in your future… and I don’t mean hangovers.

6. Make a home

This did not used to be a hot weekend date, but now you’re in the lighting aisle at Home Depot with your significant other. And you. Want. Everything. Congratulations! You are now officially an adult. Keep up the commitment factor by hanging pictures on the wall with actual nails and improve your concentration and memory by keeping some houseplants alive. Try resilient succulents like a jade plant for your first try.

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