What does it mean to be an adult? You may have more responsibilities, less time for staying in bed, and have the opportunity to watch films for viewing by adults only. In many parts of the world, getting a driver’s licence to drive a car is one of the signs of growing up. Learning to drive is a milestone indeed, but to feel like a “proper” grown up, you have to be able to do more than that. With age comes not only wisdom, but practicality and common sense as well, and you find yourself making decisions, especially financial ones, after only weighing in all the factors.
Here are five of the major signs that you’ve entered the zany yet fulfilling world of adult living.
You can drive and maintain your own car. Driving by yourself is a sign of confidence and independence, two things that will make you go a long way in adulthood. Apart from driving, being able to maintain your car also reflects how responsible you are. You take it to be serviced whenever possible, and you can also do basic troubleshooting should your car suddenly decide to die on you in the middle of nowhere.
You don’t rely on mum and dad to make your financial decisions for you. You’re probably earning your own money by now, or have some saved up. When it’s time to make a financial decision, you ask your parents for their advice but the final say rests entirely on you. Being responsible for yourself is something to be proud of—you may make a few mistakes here and there, but it’s all part of the learning process of being a true-blue grown up.
You are building your own nest and can change your own light bulbs. It’s not just renting a house or room we’re talking about here; building your own nest implies settling down, whether with a partner or on your own. Living by yourself by investing on your own flat or small property is a big step and one that will mark you as an adult. Signs of nesting include buying your own furniture, having “best” towels in addition to everyday ones, changing sheets as often as you can, and getting new light bulbs when the old ones conk out.
Independent living also entails paying for mortgage and utilities, maintaining a garden, and keeping a clean, welcoming house.
You can cook a meal from scratch and clean up after yourself. Similarly, you’re turning into an adult when you are able to cook a meal and clean up afterwards. No, none of those ready-to-eat shenanigans and fry-until-it’s-dry things you can buy at convenience stores. We’re talking about a real meal; something you cook from scratch with fresh meat or fish and vegetables. Keep practising and perhaps you can even make your own signature dish! Cleaning up afterwards can be a real chore, but it’s the right—and adult—thing to do.
You budget every month and have invested in life insurance. You’re not getting younger, you may be taking more risks, and you may also have your own family now. Saving up, making a monthly budget, and investing in a life insurance policy isn’t just for you; it’s for your family as well. Through proper budgeting you’ll be able to cut back on unnecessary expenses so you can have savings to tide you over should anything unfortunate happen. By having insurance, you can be sure that your loved ones will be well taken care of even when you’re not around anymore.
Being an adult doesn’t just mean surpassing a set age; it also means having the right perspective and sense of accountability in everything you do. Enjoy your journey!