Schools and universities excel at teaching book knowledge, but they often fail to teach basic life skills like how to apply for a credit card or how to cook a balanced meal. After young adults enter the real world, they sometimes feel overwhelmed by the new responsibilities they face. If you’re unsure where to start, try working toward these 10 goals to help you live a fulfilling life. From how to budget so you can comfortably afford your dream luxury watches to maintaining your friendships, every adult should strive to reach these goals.
1. Get on Top of Your Finances
Many young people don’t learn how to manage their finances in school and struggle with budgeting after getting their first job. This financial illiteracy may result in extensive credit card debt, which can have a lasting, negative impact on your credit score, making it harder for you to buy a car or get a mortgage. Keep track of your expenses and income using a budgeting app or an excel sheet. Budgeting doesn’t mean forgoing things you want. If you’re a technology fiend, set aside a certain amount every month to fund your next smartphone. For lovers of luxury jewelry, save money by buying a pre-owned luxury watch instead of reaching for a brand-new one.
2. Be Social
It’s easier when you’re in school to stay in touch with your friends. However, as we age, life gets busy, meaning that our friendships sometimes fall to the wayside. Make a schedule to text or call your friends regularly. Whether that’s once a week or once a month, both you and your friends will enjoy the catch-up. By building and maintaining strong friendships, you’re also creating a support system that will be there for all your celebrations and other life events.
3. Improve Your Cooking Skills
When life gets busy, you might order more delivery and eat a lot of frozen pizzas. While these conveniences save you time, takeaway can get expensive and is often unhealthy. Learning to cook means you can keep yourself healthier and develop a new hobby. Cooking is also a way to explore the world through flavors. Once you’ve mastered the basics, challenge yourself to create an authentic Pad Thai or a decadent boeuf bourguignon. As a bonus, you can impress family and friends with your extensive culinary knowledge.
4. Keep Learning
Whether you want to learn French or how to crochet, it’s important to continue learning throughout your life. Taking up new hobbies helps you connect with more people and expand your horizons, helping you to grow as a person.
Learning a new language can also improve your resume since many companies want bilingual employees. It will also give you a new perspective on the world since understanding other cultures can be difficult with a language barrier. If you prefer physical activity, challenge yourself to learn a new dance style or learn how to rock climb. Whatever your passion, there are always new things to learn.
5. Plan for Retirement
Every adult should plan for their retirement. Besides social security, consider investing in another retirement fund. People are having fewer children and living longer, causing a drain on the social security system. By 2035, analysts predict the social security fund will run out of money unless the system changes significantly.
Consider investing in an IRA, a Roth IRA, or a Health Savings Account to ensure you have enough money to live comfortably after retiring. If you plan on staying home to raise children or need to retire early, check your eligibility for Medicare before deciding. If you have gained at least 40 work credits—which usually takes around ten years of working—you will be eligible for Medicare; otherwise, you may need to pay a monthly fee for your healthcare after retirement.
6. Stay Fit
As we age, it becomes harder to get healthy. It’s much easier to stick to pre-established routines like regular runs or yoga classes. There are many ways to keep yourself fit. If you dislike running, try going for regular walks around your neighbourhood, or head out to the nearest national park for a camping and hiking weekend.
You might prefer staying indoors for your exercise, especially if your climate goes from blistering hot to freezing. Try swimming or an indoor sport like basketball. Having an exercise buddy can help keep you motivated, even on tough days. Stay connected with your exercise friends through apps if you can’t physically get together.
7. Give Back
Once you’ve established yourself, try to give back to your community. Many of us have benefitted from the kindness of others, from scholarships, an attentive teacher, or a kind stranger. Whether you want to tutor disadvantaged youth or give to a charity, you have a chance to repay the kindness once offered to you.
Before donating to a charity, research to ensure that they use their donations responsibly. Some charities misuse their donations, using a large proportion to fund their paychecks or non-essential activities. The Charity Navigator makes it easy to learn how your charity of choice uses its funds. Use it to ensure that your money is going to support your cause.
8. Create an Emergency Fund
Life comes with its difficulties, and unexpected life events can be expensive. Try to put away at least three months’ worth of salary, or, if you can manage it, even more. Unexpected tragedies like car accidents, house fires, or medical problems are all less stressful to deal with if you have an emergency fund. The fund can also help you cover rent for several extra months if you lose your job without notice.
9. Read More Books
Today’s world is fast-paced, and much of our time is spent reading short articles or endlessly scrolling. Challenge yourself to read more books to help increase your attention span and keep your brain active. Try to read books from a variety of genres. Head to the New York Times Bestselling list and read the number one book from each genre.
Reading books will also give your eyes a break from computers and their blue screens, which make it harder to relax and fall asleep. Instead of spending 30 minutes scrolling through Instagram before bed, try reading a chapter of your current book, and you might find it easier to fall asleep.
10. Get Enough Sleep
Between work, socializing, time for ourselves, and taking care of our family, it’s hard to get in enough shut-eye. Lack of sleep can cause irritability, memory problems, and decreased immunity. Additionally, driving while tired significantly increases your risk of being involved in an accident. Adults should get between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. Try cutting off screens about an hour before bed and using a white noise machine if you have trouble falling asleep.