Elective courses have come a long way since the days of shop for boys and home ec for girls. Now students in high school may opt to take Mandarin, graphic design, oceanography or computer networking. However, there is an area where most schools are still not teaching essential skills: General Life as an Adult. Whether you’re about to send your kids off to college or you’re about to graduate, there are some necessary skills all young adults should be taught. Here we will address young people who are ready to take responsibility for their own lives and cover some basic tasks that should be undertaken when one heads out into the adult world.
One of the most important things that everyone should be taught before they are living on their own is how to create a budget and stick to it. Spending less than you make sounds easy on paper, and young people who have never done it may not think it will challenge them at all to do so. It’s not as simple as it appears though, overspending can happen before you realize it, particularly with the easy availability of credit cards nowadays.
Start budgeting before you have to. While you still live at home, or have a safety net to help you, such as parents or financial aid, look at your income and your debit card statement to figure out how much you spend on what each month. Divide your expenditures into categories, food, clothing, entertainment, gas, etc… then use a free online program to help you create a budget. Mint, for example, is a mobile app that allows you to sync your bank accounts, credit cards and bills to help you stay on track.
Another step toward complete, successful independence is learning to cook for yourself. Eating at home rather than getting take out or fast food can save a significant amount of money. There are plenty of websites that offer budget meal ideas for novice cooks, try out some of these and familiarize yourself with the process of creating some basic, nutritious meal options.
While you may long for the day you don’t have to make your bed or pick up your laundry, it’s still essential to know how to keep your house clean. While scrubbing a toilet or vacuuming the carpets isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time, it is simply unhygienic to not keep up with household chores like washing dishes or cleaning the bathroom. Make a house cleaning schedule (you can can find printable and customizable ones online) and stick to it!
Speaking of cleaning, it is also important to know how to do the laundry. You want to sort by color (whites with whites, darks with darks, brights with brights) and be sure to check your pockets. Whites can be washed in hot water with bleach, colors should be washed in cold water. If you exercise frequently or live in a hot climate, you’ll want to use odor fighting detergent that can release trapped sweat from fabrics. Make certain to thoroughly clean the lint trap every time you run the dryer, to prevent creating a fire hazard.
Lastly, train yourself to maintain your personal safety as well as that of your property. Be aware of your surroundings and anything out of the ordinary whenever you are coming and going. Always lock your car and home doors, both when you leave and when you are inside.
Being able to take charge of all of these things sets you on the road to being an independent, capable adult, which leads to greater responsibilities and joys, such as home-ownership. When you are ready to start looking for your first home, Setco Services would be proud to provide you with all the assistance you need to get to the closing table. If you are a parent whose nest will soon be empty, we can also provide custom tailored closing services for you when you find that perfect smaller house or condo on the beach!
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