life as a 20-something person can be quite a confusing experience. It is at this point that you have yet to develop any true skills for living on your own (for the average person at least). And you are just starting to live without any real support from somebody who is entirely devoted to your existence.
This is in no way an all encompassing guide, however it might give you some pointers at what to do if you find yourself in one of these common place yet often tricky for somebody inexperienced situations.
1. Money problems
By far the most frequent and most depressing problem you might have to deal with is monetary issues. At this age you are either studying to be a certain profession or you are just starting out to work somewhere so financial trouble is to be expected.
Being frugal is about the best thing you can do if working another part time job is out of the question. You should reconsider your spendings completely, some starters are avoiding eating out, doing your own laundry and cutting on nightlife, if you are really in a pinch there are a whole lot of things you can save on as long as you take the time to think about it (more on that later).
At this age you might often need to switch the place you live (due to work, education, financial concerns again). If you have ever helped your parents do it you would remember how stressed out they were and how much of a chore the experience was. Doing it yourself is just as cheap in this case as to hire a man with van in London is (not a removal service, mind you man and van tends to be cheaper).
One of the benefits of actually cooking your food yourself is that you can keep track of what you put into it and this way it’s easier to keep a healthy lifestyle. As a general rule of thumb you should buy stuff in bulk when there are promotions so plan adequately ahead. Rice is quite cheap, very filling and extremely easy to cook. When you buy meat, you should do so at discounted prices and keep it frozen. Vegetables are healthy and readily affordable, avoid shopping from small local grocery stores as the prices are usually set high.
4. Work out
This is mostly concerning your health but you should never really stop training or watching what you eat. You might be ok eating trash right now but in a few years time you metabolism slows down and unless you are prepared you can pack on a lot of weight and a lot of problems. Think in advance about this. You can find cheap gym memberships, or alternatively some types of training don’t require any investment.
5. Buying clothes
Thrift shops are awesome when it comes to saving money. There is nothing shameful about visiting them and you can find some decent clothing there, consider checking when they get new shipments of clothes.
Learn to treat your electrical appliances properly avoid going to electronics shops. Cheap ones are again a no-go since you might end up wasting even more money. If you really need to buy something make sure you get it with a complete warranty, since accidents happen.
On a side note some basic electrician skills could be quite useful. Proper wiring is key to avoiding house fires and other types of damage, don’t overdo it with the extenders and you should be ok.
One of the two certain things in life, as much as we hate it, it is only fair we pay for the service other people provide for us. It is relatively easy to save up on your house bills. Do not waste too much water by using the taps as little as possible and doing the dishes by hands. Turn off electrical appliances, lights and boilers when you are not using them and consider a lower room temperature during the cold months in exchange for slightly thicker clothing.
As far as gas is concerned, if you are a driver – carpool and split the gas bill afterwards, both eco-friendly and cheaper and you can use the carpooling lane (if one is present) as a side benefit. If you aren’t one invest in a card for public transport… or again carpool.
It’s awful for sure, however there is no avoiding it. If you don’t know what you are doing you can end up wasting a whole lot of money on this. As always think in advance and buy in bulk, don’t go to cheap on the cleaning products as you might get something that barely does any work or even worse – causes damage to your property.
9. Keep positive
Whatever hardships you might be experiencing right now are only temporary and will make you a better person in the future. It is easy to feel worthless and slip into depression due to the sudden transition into being an actual full-fledged member of society.
What is essential to understand is that nobody grows up. The whole process involves people gradually finding out what to do with their lives. It is ok if you make mistakes, you might have some trouble with what you are studying or your work. There is no shame in failing an exam or getting laid off, in fact it is all too common right now, what is important is that you pick yourself up and do better next time.
One last very important thing is not to be a mooch. One can often lose himself and become selfish when he is trying to save, however being fair and honest with people, especially those close to you is worth so much more than a bit of money saved, and besides they are more likely to help you in your time of need if you do the same for them and treat them with respect.