View Full Version : I'm learning how to be an adult! Any tips?

electro girl
2014-03-03, 08:42 PM
So I got offered a job on my 23rd birthday. I've been there for a month and now I own a car and wear a tie just like a real grownup. The disposable income is great and all but I'd really like to strike out on my own and move out of my parent's house for good so obviously living expenses will put a dent in that.

I lived in a house with friends (and one dickhead) when I was at uni so I've got the basics down and even though I only get free time at evenings and weekends I try my hand at the extra curricular stuff too (I still exhibit my art, play in a band and I joined a roller derby team).

So I want to know about you guys and your experiences and advice on making a life for yourselves and becoming grownups. Any help is appreciated.

2014-03-03, 08:52 PM
My advice concerns money responsibility:

Do you know how to budget? Learn how to budget. Always put money away.

I rarely budgeted (dunno about Hound, but he seems to be in the same boat in regards to budgeting practice) when I was in my 20's and it's biting us in the ass now. Always alwaysalwaysalways ALWAYS have some money put away in savings and don't touch it unless it's a real emergency.

And if a part of your dreeeems for the future include a house, start saving (seperately from your emerg stash) now. Never too early...

Utility usage can be a bitch when you strike out on your own. Learn to live using less and you'll save money down the road.

Make grocery lists.

electro girl
2014-03-03, 09:23 PM
Make grocery lists.

I've always been terrible at this. There was a convenience store right near my house at uni so I just shopped there as and when, almost treating it like an extension of the cupboard. When attempting a big shop I'd always be overwhelmed by choice and return home with the most useless assortment of crap.

2014-03-03, 11:35 PM
Most of the choice is just stuff that's bad for you. If you start with the core basics you can build meals around, get them on an imprest basis and it's a lot easier to keep track -- not to say never deviate from that and grab a takeaway, but aim to get some routine. Personally that tends to be things like lentils, sausage, eggs, beans, frozen veg, tomatoes, canned tuna, muesli, etc. And because there are times you won't give a toss, make as many as possible quick to prepare without having to resort to overly processed food. [Taking a decent multivitamin isn't a bad habit to get into, either.]

Try not to pass thirty having stopped paying attention to exercise, whether you've picked up injuries or not -- if the latter is the case it's actually more important. I find free weights, bodyweight exercise and walking fits in with time available, whereas it just doesn't happen if it's dependent on going somewhere specific to do it.

Don't put your dick in crazy or vice versa.


2014-03-04, 01:00 AM
Don't put your dick in crazy or vice versa.Don't put crazy in your dick? :p

Um, I'm actually terrible at being grownup. If saving fails just always remember to get the bills paid and the groceries bought first before you spend anything else. If you can manage that you'll survive.

Oh and debt sucks. Avoid it at all costs.

2014-03-04, 03:36 AM
Do not eat yellow snow and know the difference between a towel and toilet paper.

Makes life and making friends much easier.

Trust me.

Rack 'n Ruin
2014-03-04, 09:05 AM
Give up all hope now. It only gets worse.

2014-03-04, 01:52 PM
One thing that might help going forward is to have a separate bank account for bills and stuff. Tot up your outgoings for these and have a chunk of your salary paid into this to cover your bills (you'll need to keep an eye on this though for any changes in your gas, electric and water bills - for the latter, check if any prospective house has a water meter. Not all homes in the UK do (anything built before October 1989 generally), and if the Rateable Value used to calculate any water bill is over 100 and there's only you, then get a meter put in - its usually free and you can switch back in 12 months if you're no better off , although the meter wont be taken out. If you're renting then always ask your landlord's permission first as anyone whom moves in after you would then be billed on the meter.).

I found that a real help when I got my first house (at your age). I have the same arrangement now, albeit a bit different with all the bills being in my partner's name, I transfer her the money monthly and we check everything annually when the monthly payments renew.

I'd second Denyer's point about eating right and exercise. I worked retail handling deliveries and stock auditing, and it was physically demanding stuff (hauling pallets about, lifting flatpacks etc etc) and I left to work in finance, and really felt my body start to feel less sprightly than it was. I work out at home a bit and do lots of walking now and feel much better for it. Didn't join a gym as I thought I can't see myself making the effort to go.

Not really much I can add to what everyone else has said.

2014-03-04, 05:51 PM
Yeah, if you are with someone, a separate joint account for bills is a particularly good idea.
Don't put crazy in your dick? :p
Stay away from heroin, and indeed anyone who deals hard drugs.

That's more received wisdom from Irvine Welsh than extensive first-hand experience, thankfully.

inflatable dalek
2014-03-04, 06:39 PM
The way things are going in the Ukraine at the moment I'd suggest you all put your penises in as much crazy as you can whilst there's still some crazy left to put them in.

[This post accepts no responsibility if World War III doesn't happen in the next month because everyone realises Russia is a big country with a big army and just decides to let them do what they want in the Ukraine.]

2014-03-04, 08:44 PM
My family came from Ukraine so it's probably best not to bring that topic up unless you want me to derail the thread with a lengthy ultranationalistic diatribe. :)

(This is what happens when you've got immigrant grandparents with an axe to grind.)

And if a part of your dreeeems for the future include a house, start saving (seperately from your emerg stash) now. Never too early...
This is definitely important, if you ever want to be a homeowner. But if you've got a good job, the savings can add up quickly. My wife and I started out with a couple grand in savings when we got married and were able to comfortably afford a down payment on a house three years later.

Utility usage can be a bitch when you strike out on your own. Learn to live using less and you'll save money down the road.
Another thing to keep in mind -- utility bills will be a lot higher in the winter. How much higher depends on how cold it gets in your part of the world, obviously, but this year our combined gas/electric bill was $60 in the summertime and $220 last month! Of course, this was the coldest winter in 35 years and I live in one of the coldest cities in the world, but it's still something you need to plan for when you make your budget.

Make grocery lists.
This is important too probably the most important advice in the thread! Even if you're living on your own. That way you actually have to think about what you're going to eat for the next week or two, which will hopefully help you eat healthier. It's also a lot cheaper than buying your food one meal at a time at the corner store.

Also, having fresh fruit and vegetables on hand will (hopefully) help keep you away from junk food, especially once you realize that if you don't eat it, it'll go bad and you've just tossed your money away.

Another thing that's helpful if you're living alone or with one other person: don't just cook one meal at a time! If you're making a dish that requires more than a couple minutes' prep time, make enough for two or three meals and keep the rest in the fridge. That way, on those days when you get home from work and just don't feel like cooking you'll still have a fresh, healthy dinner instead of ordering in.

2014-03-04, 08:59 PM
Mmm. Stews, curries, lentils, etc. all freeze well once cooked.

My family came from Ukraine so it's probably best not to bring that topic up unless you want me to derail the thread with a lengthy ultranationalistic diatribe.
Way too many fingers in it politically. Hope any family back there are okay.

2014-03-05, 02:33 AM
As most advice is on money: try to use other people's money as much as possible. The best way to save.

And most important ( at least in germany): start yhinking about how you want to finance your old age, after you retire. Seems far away, but eventually you need to save money in various configurations which will relieve your tax as long as you work and will pay your food afterwards.

With a decent income, the retirement money from the state is reduced to nothing here, as you are regarded rich.

If you start considering old age when you become 35 or 40 you lose valuable contribution time.

Also keeo in mind, that with an inflation of 2% the value of money will become half withon 30 years.

So if you plan on working 45 years and you have an idea on how much money you will need, it is safe to multiply this monthly amount by 2.5 to be able.to oau the bills.

2014-03-05, 08:09 AM
My spin on it, very "newb-friendly".

You're in the UK, so I can even recommend stores for you.

Food---the essentials are, IMHO, Cans of tuna, cans of beans, bread, cheese, mayonaise. If you have an Iceland close to you, get your [frozen] meat from them. Huge packs of sausages are like 2 pounds. Huge pack of chicken drumsticks is 2.5 pounds. Then see if there's an Aldi nearby as well. Fruits/vegetables can be sourced from there, along with rice, cereals, pasta, pasta sauces.

Bills/rent---this greatly depends on your income. Try looking for a place to lodge in, it can be a good start. Most houses that take in lodgers usually offer prices inclusive of all bills, which is a great help in planning your finances in the long term. My way of thinking is that your rent should be less than half your paycheck. If it includes bills as well, all the best. Don't go way over your head and rent a place on your own, depending on how much you earn it can be a slow financial suicide.

Again, if money allows it, keep a separate savings account. That's your emergency pillow. Even 100 pounds per month, for 1 year, equal to 1200 pounds, which is a rent safety pillow for 3-4 months.

At least until you get a taste of everyday life and what YOU need out of it, keep your expenses to a minimum. Make coffee/tea at home, don't go crazy on food takeaways, don't go out every friday/saturday for drinks.

Moreover, since you must be in the age target group, go buy a 16-25 railcard. Seriously, go buy it. It cost me 30 pounds in August and immediately, as in, first ticket I booked right away with it, saved me 50 pounds.

So to sum up, for a "healthy" beginning...

Limit your food expenses to around 40-50 pounds a month [VERY doable if you have access to aldi+iceland]
Try to keep your rent+bills [in a houseshare] to less than 50% of your paycheck.
Don't live beyond your means

Enjoy ;)

2014-03-05, 08:00 PM

2014-03-05, 11:42 PM
All I have to add is: lagom.

Don't waste you cash on buying too much you will never need and thus cluttering up the space best used for what you do need. And then buy a spare e.g. two bath towels, two sets of bed linen. Buy the best you can afford, saving up if necessary or plotting to get one or two items a month (but don't compromise savings).

Remember what Vimes said? A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars.... But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while a poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

Also, my generation inherited the save-it-in-case-you-ever-need-it mentality of the generation who lived through the WWII. And I have far too many nick-nacks, just like my mother and sister-in-law did, because... Clutter and cleaning do not go together when you're working and want to enjoy evenings and weekends.

And don't grow up. Seriously. Hold onto being young and seize life with both hands. OK, so that may be to choke it now and then, 'cos life's like that...

Make the most of who you are and who you want to be.

And don't ever, never ever get into debt!

2014-03-06, 02:36 AM
Don't live beyond your means

And don't ever, never ever get into debt!

Although this is true and I also live by this so far, the cocept or loaning money, living on credit card and bying via leasing seems to be very popular in the anglo-saxon world.

This " save and only soend what you have" is a very german concept.

It is explaind easily, while being aa reaonable concept anyway:
In german, the word for dept is " schuld" which translates to blame.
In german mindset throughout the middle ages the concept of honor and truth forbids to be blamed. It is the feeling of being ashamed.

Still a loan is done ( me aswell if i want to buy a house) , but the resistance is higher than in some other cultures.

2014-03-06, 02:26 PM
Never ever get into debt is a noble goal, but sometimes shit happens. I hope it never happens to you (certainly don't do it willingly), but if it does then I'd say this. Don't be too proud to accept help, but be careful where you accept it from, continue to keep a budget, no matter how depressing looking at that red is. Stay fit and healthy, don't give up, and claw your way back up to zero. Do what you need to.
If you can resist temptation, then use a credit card, but pay it off in full every month so you don't incur any interest. If you choose your card carefully this will have the dual benefit of points (or air miles, whichever) and generating a good credit score, which will make something like getting a mortgage much easier in the future should you choose to go that way.

inflatable dalek
2014-03-07, 02:02 PM
As it's been a few days since he last posted, I think we can guess we accidentally killed Electro Girl with our advice?

Rack 'n Ruin
2014-03-07, 02:46 PM

2014-03-08, 04:51 AM

electro girl
2014-03-08, 11:20 PM
As it's been a few days since he last posted, I think we can guess we accidentally killed Electro Girl with our advice?

I'm alive, I'm just a busy man y'know what with my new job and everything. Can't spend all the live long day replying to threads.

2014-03-08, 11:32 PM
I'm alive, I'm just a busy man y'know what with my new job and everything. Can't spend all the live long day replying to threads.

What kind of job is it? Hours?

Cause I'm also a busy man with a full time job yet any time after half past five in the afternoon you can find me around for the entire remaining day replying to threads :lol:

2014-03-08, 11:42 PM
I only do it when things get slow around the office, though.

My guess is that he's young, full of energy and out having fun every night, unlike us tired old fossils and our "in bed by eight" lifestyles. :glance:

2014-03-09, 02:53 PM
ha! speak for yourself! I got to bed at 10.30...sometimes even 11.


2014-03-09, 03:30 PM
To be fair, us liberal arts majors have difficulty in concentrating on more than one thing at a time.

electro girl
2014-03-09, 07:07 PM
Had an unwanted grown up ordeal to deal with today. Long story short my new car has been written off and I'm waiting for a steering wheel shaped bruise to appear on my chest. Man, being an adult is bullshit there is so much paperwork.

Rack 'n Ruin
2014-03-09, 08:45 PM
Ouch. That sucks. Hope you (and anyone else involved) are OK, your chest bruises excepted. That's definitely the main thing. A car is just a piece of tin to use as a tool, after all, and who hasn't been involved in a prang? One of those (admittedly annoying) things.

2014-03-09, 09:15 PM
Anyone else involved? Insurance-wise it generally boils down to the front of whose car hit whom; i.e. if someone goes into the back or side of you, they're considered at fault, otherwise it's assumed you weren't keeping sufficient distance.

2014-03-10, 04:49 AM
Ouch. ouchouchouch. Hope everyone is okay.

I'm on Parental leave... and I took the combined Maternity and Parental leave, which gave me 12 months off. So I can post whenever the fudge I want!

When baby is distracted/is asleep/Until late April, anyway.

electro girl
2014-03-10, 09:33 PM
Went to hospital today and got prodded and an x-ray done. Thankfully there are no breaks just a bruised sternum and whiplash related injuries. They told me to take pain killers regularly and no physical activity until the pain goes away but because its a chest injury that could mean no more roller derby for 8-12 weeks.

I got to work ok as my neighbour was incredibly kind and gave me a lift in the morning and I got the train home to find my courtesy car had arrived. The worst part is all the faff involved with sorting out insurance/travel/courtesy car/hospital but at least the guy who caused the accident has admitted full responsibility so everyone involved can claim of that prick. Its just a massive inconvenience I could've really done without, I've certainly felt out of my depth the last couple days.

Pfft, grownup stuff eh? Waddayagonnado?

2014-03-11, 08:03 PM
Glad to hear you're doing better and you've got a replacement car for now.

Sadly this whole ordeal isn't necessarily an adult situation...I know I'm older than you and never involved in any such situations because I don't drive :lol:

Can't really call somebody a prick when they've done the adult thing and admitted full responsibility though ;)

You're not still in York, right?

electro girl
2014-03-11, 09:43 PM
You're not still in York, right?

Nope. I was on my way there when the accident happened though :lol:

2014-03-12, 08:58 PM
Nope. I was on my way there when the accident happened though :lol:

Considering that 9 out of 10 people working in York aren't living in York, a road accident here and there is bound to happen.