In your 20s, life is no longer all about procrastinating through college, binge-watching Game of Thrones on weekends, and dreaming about the future. Instead, you are now paying bills, buying groceries to fill your empty cupboards, and taking actual steps to achieve the future you’ve always dreamed of—all on your own, of course.
Congratulations! You are now on this rough patch called “adulting” (aka doing grown-up things) and holding responsibilities such as working on a nine-to-five job, paying rents, or anything that makes one think and act like a grown-up.
Let us not sugarcoat it, adulting is hard, especially for someone who has just finished college or has landed his first job. It is okay to cry. It is okay to be broke. It is okay to call your mom for help. You are still adjusting from being reckless to becoming responsible.
Sure, it is not easy to figure out how to spend your money when you splurge like a spoiled teenager, cook your meals, and deal with life in general. Don’t fret because here are some of the greatest investments that you should have when you want to be successful in adulting:
- A reliable laptop
Although your 10-year old laptop has been with you through ups and downs—your treasured thesis born out of sleepless nights and tears or your crammed reflection paper—it needs to be replaced with something reliable and high end. It does not matter if you eye a pricey MacBook Air or settle for an Asus model as long as you purchase a quality laptop with long battery life, large memory to store your downloaded movies and TV series (thanks, Torrent), and is light enough to carry everywhere.
- Durable pairs of shoes
For ladies who plan to run the world, you should invest on a pair of neutral-colored heels or flats that matches with everything in your wardrobe. Men, on the other hand, have to keep their Nikes inside their closet and wear sturdy leather brogues or oxfords instead to achieve that dapper look. Shoes are not unnecessary investments because working people can wear these durable footwear during fancy dates, big interviews, important meetings, and other events that require you to look smart and professional.
- A grown up work bag
Newsflash: you cannot wear your favorite school backpack to office unless you want to look like a little kid lost in the corporate world. We are not saying that you should buy a Hermes or Louis Vuitton bag; you still cannot afford one. A handbag or canvas tote is perfect for working girls, while a sleek satchel or briefcase is a must for men’s daily office attire. Also make sure that your work bag does not only look smart but is sturdy enough to carry all your belongings to and from the office.
- The beauty regimen
With adulthood comes greater responsibilities and more stress. You might be busy and tired because of work but let’s be honest: as you go older, there is a myriad of skin issues that you have to combat. While skin issues are totally normal, they serve as a challenge for you to go an extra mile in upping your beauty game. Maintain a youthful and healthy skin by applying a good face cream, becoming friends with sunscreen, and removing your makeup at night.
- A travel fund
Being in your 20s is the best way to not only discover yourself but also to discover other cultures and places through traveling. Traveling—be it alone or with friends—will help you get away from ignorance and confront you with ideas and realities that you are not comfortable with. Eventually, you will grow from these experiences. So start setting aside a little bit of money from your paycheck and go somewhere amazing to reward yourself.
6. A relationship
Yes, you are busy excelling in your chosen career. Yes, you are figuring out who you are. But hey, you are independent and young. Why not look for commitment? Start your quest for someone who will love and understand you—that person you’re willing to spend the rest of your life with. At an early age, you will learn to build trust and what it takes to work toward a successful relationship. But don’t marry him or her just yet. Wait until you are thirty or when both of you are stable and ready to start a family.
No one ever tells you how hard it is to be an adult until it is too late. But your future self will thank you if you invest in these essentials early in your adulting phase. Remember that adulting does not get better; it is you who get better in the long run.