Let's be clear on one thing before we begin. Just because I am writing to you about adulting doesn't mean I have it all together or that I can, in fact, call myself an adult. I still sleep with my baby blanket, I call my parents to ask "how do I…" before I even google it, I fail to notice I haven't received my tab renewal notice and sometimes renew my April tabs in August… With all my non-adult tendencies, there are some adulting hacks that I adopted over the years and that is what I'm sharing with you today!
I got this life hack from one of my favorite books on finances, I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi. He suggests having an account strictly for spending. You determine how much you can spend every month (while still saving, paying bills, etc) and transfer that amount into a separate account. You can use it up each month, or, whatever is left over gets carried into the next month. What I love about this concept is that it allows for guilt-free spending. I know my number and I don't have to think twice about using the account (unless I've already spent my limit for the month - then that's a different story!).
Knowing Good vs. Bad Automatic Payments
Automatic payments are not created equally. Some, like auto debits for student loan payments, rent, 401k, etc., are really good. It's the perfect place to use the set it and forget it method. There are some bad apples out there. Be careful with automatic payments for things like gym memberships, tanning salons, TV subscription services. I may have unintentionally let some of these automatic payment programs run WAY longer than they needed to.... It's like throwing money into the toilet every month and flushing it - over and over again.
Assigning Tasks to Days
I used to celebrate something called "Exfoliation Mondays". Every Monday, I would make time to exfoliate my face after I washed it. It sounds dumb but showering at the crack of dawn before work wouldn't always support some of my favorite beauty habits (aka when I'm half asleep and crabby about being up so early I'm not thinking "oh joyful day! time to exfoliate!"). I had to assign the habit a day so that I wouldn't forget to do it. One of these that came in handy recently was "Wedding Wednesdays". Dane and I knew every Wednesday night leading up to the wedding we'd have something wedding related going on. It was easier to set that on auto pilot instead of trying to find a new time every week.
There's a lot of talk going on around this right now. You can call it Tidying Up or Minimalism but I just call it easy. Since graduating from college, I've transformed my closet from "I have nothing to wear" *staring into a closet full of clothes* to "I'll wear this!". I realized that there were certain colors, certain types of shirts, pants and dresses and certain shoes that I loved to wear over and over again. When I shop, I don't deviate from these things. If I find a shirt I love, hello Portofino from Express, I buy multiples. It's just so much easier having a closet full of clothes that I love than a bunch of clothes I bought and wore once for one specific occasion.
Use Your PTO
When I was a full-time employee, I would hoard my PTO. I was almost afraid of using it and I always focused on storing it up to make sure time would roll over into the new year. I don't really know why I was saving the time because we had a really good time-off package. It wasn't like I was accruing days or needed to save them. The worst thing you can do, especially in your transition from college to career, is to not take your time off. You have it for a reason. PLEASE use it. Use it because you need breaks, even if you don't feel like you need a break. Oh, if you're one of those lucky ducks that has separate PTO and sick time, it's ok to call in sick and not actually be sick. Use a sick day if you just need to get your hair cut or you feel like sleeping in. You don't have to give an excuse.
Sam's Club Membership
I can't reference the Sam's Club Saga and not fill you in on the whole story. Dane and I have done a lot of adulting this year. Getting married, changing my name, budgets, meeting with realtors, etc. to name a few. One of the most adult things we did this year was get a membership to Sam's Club. We both acted like we were signing our lives and our youth-hood away by getting this membership. We weren't excited about the purchase until we saw the liquor store on our way out from our first shopping trip - lol #priorities. HOWEVER, I will tell you that Sam's Club sized hummus beats out $5.00 baby sized hummus every day in my mind. The Sam's Club life hack is worth it FOR SOME THINGS.
What are some of the ways that you adult? Got any life hacks to share? Leave them in the comments below!