Rather than give you another list of adult advice like, “Dance like no one’s watching,” here’s some wisdom you can actually use.
Bleach kills clothes: No matter how careful you are, you WILL get bleach on your favorite blouse when trying to clean the mold off bathtub caulk. If you’re cleaning with bleach, do it in clothes you REALLY don’t care about or in the nude.
Shit is EXPENSIVE: Anything you do will have a hidden cost. Cars need repairs. Pets need the vet. And food. Your friend wants to go to the expensive restaurant. Have extra cash. Or don’t get the pet.
Buy a used car: You know what’s a waste of money? A car. Buy it used. Try to pay cash or as close as you can get. Drive it until it dies and you hate it.
No one remembers what you wear: You know how you look at your closet and you are sick of EVERYTHING and then you run to Target to buy some cheap crap? People aren’t sick of your clothes. So save the money.
Take the days off: You get 10 days of PTO (if you’re lucky). Use them. They are part of your benefits package. Not taking them is like giving money back to your employer.
Say no. A lot. At a younger age, I said yes to everything. Need the TPS reports by Monday, 8 a.m.? Sure! You know what? You can say no. You have a life. You’re probably not going to paid anymore for working your ass off. Unless you’re hourly. In which case: OVERTIME BITCHES!
Don’t buy a house: MANY will disagree with me on this one, but so many of my friends bought houses in their early 20s right when the housing boom was at its peak. And now they have no money. Those who didn’t lose all their money are trapped by roof repairs, flooded basements, and black mold. If you rent, you don’t need to worry about that shit.
Don’t set engagement ultimatums: Of course there are exceptions to this rule, but generally don’t. Just don’t. If your significant other is dragging their feet after 4.5 years, just walk away. To put it another way: he’s just not that into you if he won’t shit or get off the pot.
Save your money: Really, if it’s just $50 a month into your 401K, do it. The money you save at 20, however small the amount may be, is worth way more than what you save at 30, 40, or 50. It’s called compound interest.
Cultivate small pleasures: Life sucks most of the time. Take bubble baths. Start a beer-making habit. Learn to cross-stitch. These will help save your sanity.
What did you expect? Life’s not a bowl of cherries: This was one of my grandma’s favorite things to say. Basically, life is shit sometimes, but you’ve got food in your belly and a roof over your head. She was a child of the Great Depression so her idea of what is a good life is very different from our luxurious lifestyle, but it’s still good advice.
So what are your untold adult secrets?