As much as it’s tempting to rely on the bank of Mum and Dad to bail you out, or Uncle Larry for a quick oil and water change, it pays to learn how to hold your own in the game of life. Here’s 14 life skills you should learn before you’re 25 to be a pro #grownup.
1. Change a Tyre
It’s difficult if you’ve never actually had to change one, but knowing how to give it a crack when it does happen is a must-know skill. There are tons of videos on YouTube that can help you understand the anatomy of a tyre, so grab your car’s manual, find your spare tyre and take notes.
2. Open a Savings Account
Okay, this should be a no brainer, but you should be clued up on how to set up new bank accounts by the time you’re 25. You should have access to the necessary identity documents required by the bank, and be confident enough to go online, in branch or make a phone call to set up new accounts.
3. Check Your Car’s Oil and Water
Another car-related skill. It’s really very simple once you know which tubes are which, so get under your car bonnet and enlist a parent or friend to show you the ropes. Oil and water should be checked every few months or before long journeys.
4. Hang a Picture Hook and Assemble Flat Pack Furniture
Yep, hate to break it to you, but you can’t call your Dad up every time you want a hole in the wall or a side table put together. Learn how to use a screwdriver and a drill and your life will be forever changed. YouTube can help you here too!
5. Set a Budget and Stick To It
You knew it was coming. Ideally earlier, but by the time you’re 25 you should be done making money boo-boos and understand how to actually set a budget that works. Make it your mission to never utter the words ‘I’m crap with money’ after 25. Your budget strategy can be as simple or as complex as you like, but as long as you’re consciously spending less than you earn and doing something positive with the leftovers, that counts. My FREE Budget Babe in 7 Days course is a great place to start.
6. Cook a Pasta Sauce from Scratch
Cooking isn’t for everyone, but by the time you’re 25 you should be able to cook yourself something nutritious and cheap – enter, a homemade pasta sauce. Ditch the sugar-filled jars and learn how to make a simple pasta sauce for nights when you’re battling the temptation to order in. Bonus points for keeping the ingredients in your pantry for a rainy day.
7. Tell When Meat is Cooked
If you eat meat, you should be confident in instinctively knowing when your meat is cooked – and how long to cook it for in the first place.
8. Understand When Food Has Gone Bad
On a similar note, you can’t be calling your Mum to ask whether it’s safe to eat the eggs in your fridge! Learn the smells, the signs and the general safety rules when it comes to food.
9. Access Funds in an Emergency
Ideally it would be savings, but maybe it’s an emergency credit card – or a combination of both. But by 25, it’s worth having your own way of paying for things in an emergency. Whether that’s a broken down car, a phone-down-the-toilet, or a cancelled flight home, stand on your own two feet and find a way of handling it without instinctively dialling Mum and Dad to bail you out.
10. File Your Own Tax Return
If you run a business/side gig, or you live in a country that requires you to file your own tax return, you should be taking responsibility for your tax affairs by 25. Try reading up on the basics and educating yourself, or going to an accountant for more specific services. You can’t rely on your parents forever.
11. Get Yourself Home
Yeah, when it’s raining and there are no trains for an hour, it’s tempting to call Dad for a pick up. But to achieve true #adulting status, you should be able to get yourself home safely. With Uber. Shebah and countless other rideshares available, there’s usually an option available – it’s often the cost we’re avoiding facing up to. There’s nothing like a $60 Uber ride home to confront your messy organisation or late night mistakes.
12. Book Your Own Doctor/Dentist/Hospital Appointments
This really should be after age 18, but if you’re not booking your own appointments by 25, have a serious chat with yourself! Knowing when and how to book your own healthcare appointments is a boring and laborious part of life, but it’s something you should be doing yourself.
13. Lodge Own Car Registration/Tax/Service – AND PAY FOR IT!
Putting off learning how to sort out your own car admin is tempting when you’ve got a parent offering to do the heavy lifting for you, but it’s an unfortunate fact of life – and so is the cost. Owning a car gives you freedom, but you earn this freedom by accepting the responsibilities that come with being a driver. Factor car costs into your budget from an early age, and take control of the administration as soon as possible. Nobody wants to be the 30 year old who has to dial Dad when their car needs a service.
14. Check Your Tyre Pressure
It’s boring and you almost always trip over the air hose when you’re doing it, but checking your tyre pressure is something you’ve gotta learn to do. Check them regularly to look out for slow punctures, and give them some extra air before a long journey to prolong the life of your tyres. Most air pumps are fairly self explanatory, but a quick tutorial from a friend or family member will set you right for life. You’ll find your car’s ideal pressure levels in the manual, or via a quick Google search.