I'm learning how to be an adult! Any tips?

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electro girl
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I'm learning how to be an adult! Any tips?

Post by electro girl » Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:42 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.
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Sades
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Post by Sades » Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:52 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.
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electro girl
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Post by electro girl » Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:23 pm

Sades wrote:
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.
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Denyer
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Post by Denyer » Mon Mar 03, 2014 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.

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Post by Hound » Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:00 am

Denyer wrote: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.

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Sades
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Post by Sades » Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:19 am

Hound wrote: 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.
I talk a good game, however this ^^ game here is actually where we're at right now. And tbh not having savings sucks. Hound really is terrible at being a grownup. :p But on the flipside, we have old debt and it is mostly mine. Equally as stressful.

BUT we have a budget drawn up for next month (I insisted, HAHAHAHA), should be fun.
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Addl
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Post by Addl » Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:36 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.
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Post by Rack 'n Ruin » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:05 am

Give up all hope now. It only gets worse.
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Skyquake87
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Post by Skyquake87 » Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:52 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.

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Post by Denyer » Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:51 pm

Yeah, if you are with someone, a separate joint account for bills is a particularly good idea.
Hound wrote: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.

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Post by inflatable dalek » Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:39 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.]
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Post by Warcry » Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:44 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.)
Sades wrote: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.
Sades wrote: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.
Sades wrote: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.

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Post by Denyer » Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:59 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.

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Addl
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Post by Addl » Wed Mar 05, 2014 2:33 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.
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Post by Knightdramon » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:09 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 ;)
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Post by Denyer » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:00 pm


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Post by Clogs » Wed Mar 05, 2014 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!
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Post by Addl » Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:36 am

Knightdramon wrote: Don't live beyond your means

Clogs wrote:
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.
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Post by angloconvoy » Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:26 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.
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Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:02 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?
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