Once you graduate from school, the excitement of being able to create your own path in life and walk on it burns even brighter. The anticipation that at long last you will no longer be completely dependent on your parents because you can earn your own money grows even bigger. But adulting would hit you hard if your eyes are not open to the realities of the grown-up world, where you would not have professors grading you or classmates to compete with. What you will be up against is real life, where you might lose your job if you keep getting late for work or be considered as a criminal for not paying your taxes.
Adulting is hard but you might be better prepared for it if you know the basics.
1. Keep up with your responsibilities at work
One thing you have to be once you get a job is to be grateful that you even have one in the first place. You got the spot after competing with several other applicants. But more than ever, your job is your living. You cannot put food on your table, pay the bills, and take care of your family if you lose your job so you have to take care of it.
Be punctual. Fulfill your responsibilities. Respect your employers and workmates. Most of all, continue to learn. Learning does not stop just because you are already out of school. You have to continue reading, studying, training, or even get a master’s or doctoral degree if you want to move up the ladder in your industry. And doing all these can take up so much of your time, but you still have to keep up with the work and personal life balance.
2. Manage your finances
You are earning your own money. Hurray! But that also means you need to learn how to budget it properly. This is when the headache probably sets in as you think about how much you’re bringing home as your net income and how much of it will be used to pay for your expected expenses, such as the utilities, rent, credit card bills, clothes, and personal items. On top of these, responsible financial management would mean setting aside money for your savings, emergency fund, and investments, which would make budgeting more challenging.
3. Pay your bills
Once you have set aside money for your dues, there comes the part about actually paying the bills, either at the bank or Bayad Center. There are also due dates to keep up with, which makes scheduling your bills’ payment on a proper calendar a practical and efficient way to settle your dues.
4. Buy groceries and do some shopping
This is an especially critical task if you are living alone or away from your family. You would likely starve if you don’t keep your kitchen stocked properly. While you can just buy food from various food stalls and eateries, it is still healthier if you fix your own food. And your groceries do not only consist of food. There are also personal things, laundry products, and similar things that you need at home.
5. Take care of the elderly and the kids
Filipinos are known for our close-knit families ingrained in our minds that we have to look after our elderly and younger members of the family, not only our spouse and kids. That is just how we are that it is quite common to live at home with multiple generations of families. Sometimes, we even take in our relatives. Just like how our family has taken care of us, there will come a time when we have to take care of them, too.
6. Maintain your home
You won’t be able to function normally if the dirty dishes have piled up, the laundry basket has been overflown, the pets were uncared for, or the rooms have not been swept and dusted. A dirty home just becomes the perfect nesting place for germs and bacteria and with these come lots of illnesses. If you want to keep with your professional and personal responsibilities, regular cleaning is a must. And given Filipinos’ warm hospitality, your home should be neat, clean, and welcoming.
7. Have a social life
This is part of maintaining a work-life balance. You need to go out with friends, eat with your loved ones, relax with your colleagues, and join organizations with causes that you are also advocating for. If you forego having a life outside work, the compounding stress will eventually cause long-term damage not only to your work but also to your health and relationships. An improved work-life balance will lead to increased productivity, a happier you, lower absenteeism, better health, more sources of motivation and loyalty, and reduced chances of leaving your job. The more stable your career is, the better it will be for your peace of mind and bank account.
8. Run personal errands
You cannot exactly go out and socialize if you are not confident with the way you look and that requires a bit of maintenance. It usually includes going shopping for your wardrobe, getting pampered at the salon for a haircut or mani-pedi, and enjoying a massage and other spa services. Personal errands may also include gift shopping and gift-wrapping for families, friends, and colleagues during special occasions, going to your dentists’ appointment with your kids, and keeping your pets’ appointment with the vet if you have some.
It is indeed both exciting and exhausting to finally become an adult. Sometimes, you might not have enough time to do everything on your to-do list. That is when you might wish you can get help to manage your to-do’s. A good handyman can help you fix things at home, an errand boy to help you pay your bills or buy groceries for you, or a butler to keep your home in order and attend to the needs of your family. Don’t stretch yourself too thin. Get help if you need help.