The hardest thing that I’ve had to accept as an (almost) post grad is the fact that I’m an adult now. Being an adult isn’t all bad. I can get queso delivered and eat only that for dinner if I want to. And I do because I’m disgusting. But I also have to buy practical things. Hell, the most excited I’ve been about a purchase this month was when I bought an electric dog trimmer. (Ain’t nobody got the funds to get a 100lb golden retriever groomed on the reg.)
With this adult power comes adult responsibility.
Here to speak on this is someone who has embraced the adult life and wants to help you to do so as well. Please welcome M, my boyfriend, as he shares the 10 things that he thinks that all new adults should have in their lives.
Not everything you buy or invest in is fun. Buy something nice the first time and you’ll only cry once…’cause it mostly all has to do with money.
As a student, you are so used to skimping to get by and buying things that you either need right then or things that you really want. As a post grad, you need to get over that mentality. Some things are good investments or things to have that might not have ever seemed like absolute necessities before.
1. A Ladder
Let’s face it. When you were young, you wanted to be taller.
You climbed trees. You wanted to pick the stars out of the skies. You wanted to slam dunk like Shaq.
Well, you know what? Thanks to your awful genetics, you never got tall. Ladders help.
Beat the system. As an adult, you’ll need to clean gutters, hang pictures, and get those cobwebs down off of the corners of the room. Put shit on the top shelf of the pantry. Get shit off of the top shelf of the pantry. If you have an apartment, you’ll still need at least a step ladder.
You’ll regret not having one when you are trying hang curtains and balance with one foot on the dresser and one on your spinning desk chair.
2. Good Kitchen Stuff
Whether you’re cooking your way through Julia Child’s cookbook or blue box mac n cheese, you need some pots and pans that will distribute heat evenly; not fall apart after using them for six months; and, worst-case scenario, just look sexy hanging up in your big-boy or girl place should you choose to go that route. No need to go all Le Creuset; I’ve been pleased with Biltmore.
This also applies to a good knife or knife set. If you’re gonna only get one (they can get EXPENSIVE), I recommend an 8-inch or so chef’s knife. Splurge a little. Chances are, it’ll hold a nice sharp edge, and you won’t fillet your fucking hand along with that sick cut of beef you picked up at your local butcher. Get a good one, practice a little, and you’ll be showing off five-fingered knife tricks in no time. (Also, invest in a cutting glove if you know you suck and don’t want to have to practice four-fingered knife tricks).
Since you’re also a lazy fuck/have an active lifestyle, I suggest picking up a slow cooker. You throw some shit in there, it cooks while you’re out pretending to know what you’re doing in real life while meanwhile playing Pokemon Go, stinks up your house with deliciousness, and then you get to pretend you slaved over this melt in your mouth roast/stew/whatever. Plus you can make queso.
They’re like $30, you cheap ass. Go get one.
3. A Few Good Recipes (and Quality Ingredients)
Okay, so now you’ve spent a paycheck on pots, pans, knives, and maybe even found a Crock Pot at the local Goodwill to save a buck. Adulting like a motherfucker.
Now you’ve gotta learn to cook. Doesn’t really matter what. You just need to get in the kitchen and play! You do remember what it’s like to play, right?
Be prepared to be somewhat disappointed with your final products until you get the hang of your stove range, shiny new cookware (a.k.a. TFKoAT or The Fun Kind of Adult Toys), and rudimentary cooking techniques. Pick something fairly basic, and eventually you’ll nail it. Perfect it. Learn a couple of staple recipes that you can whip up without much thought and adjust to your tastes. Learn them well enough that you wouldn’t be ashamed to take to show off to peers at work or have people over for dinner. People will say behind your back that you’ve got it going on, and they’re basically right.
I stand firm though that you have to use quality ingredients, even at their most basic. ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter’ wasn’t just invented for no reason; real butter tastes better than margarine. Spend the extra 80 cents, you cheap, cheap bastard. You won’t be standing around, trying to figure out why that one restaurant makes a better tasting grilled cheese than you at 4x the cost.
4. A Nice Suit & Wardrobe
Look, you’re getting older. People are going to invite you to weddings. People are going to die. You’ll need to buy some dressier clothes eventually to attend the coinciding events.
At least this way, if you’re still insisting on sporting a beard like you stepped off of the label of Bounty paper towels, people won’t think you’re homeless when you’re posing for pictures or resting a hand on Aunt Sierra’s shoulder.
Facts are facts, and it doesn’t matter how you feel about judging others based on appearance. When you look nice, people treat you nicer. Doesn’t make it right, doesn’t mean that you’re not a good person, but it’s the damn truth. People like good looking people. It’s why the Kartrashians have a tv show and make money hand over fist what you and I ever will for doing not a damn thing but living their lives. Sad but true.
You’ll need to be presentable at most every function of your adult life from here on out. I won’t go so far as to research this point enough to make spreadsheets and pie graphs for you because all you have to do is look around. Well-dressed, put-together looking people make more money. Lord knows you could use that.
5. A Notebook/Expo board/Calendar to Keep Track of Your Finances
“All this shit you’ve mentioned costs money$. Like you’ve suggested, buying really nice stuff, so….money$$$$$$. I can’t afford this shit!” Suck it up, buddy. I’ll try to help you get on the right track.
First of all, let’s get your shit together. You pay your bills, right? ON TIME, right?
Keep your shit together. Know when your bills are due, and write everything down so that you can stay on top of things. Sign up for any auto-pay or draft discounts you can get. Basically, any time you’re not paying late penalties or additional interest, you’re saving money. NO ONE likes paying bills, but if you’re going to have the money to go to that sweet three day music festival that Mommy wouldn’t cover the cost of, you’re going to need to save every little penny that you can.
Which brings me to….
6. Get a savings account/401k/Roth IRA/bank that saves for you.
Save what you never see, on top of whatever you can. Have a savings account, 401k, Roth IRA, or any myriad of these take money out of your checks before they even get to you. You’ll slowly but surely get the pride of feeling like you’ve got “stacks on stacks” and may actually get to retire before your third hip replacement and you can’t remember your grandkids’ names.
Saving is the most boring, God-awful thing in the world. So much so that I advocate never thinking about it. Let people or apps do it for you.
There’s also debit cards that will do it for you, such as Simple, but I’ll let Katie tell you more about those. Lord knows that she will if you ask about it.
7. Credit card(s)
It may seem counterintuitive against everything that I mentioned in the last two entries, but you do need a credit card to build credit effectively, you dig? And, with good credit, companies essentially GIVE YOU STUFF because they trust you with money. But not in the “OMG, free money!” way that a lot of youths take it.
You buy shit every month, right? “All the damn time. That Amazon order ain’t free.” “Duh, I like beer and wine. My habit isn’t going to pay for itself.” Gas to work, groceries to eat on, a date to Chick-Fil-A. Whatever. It adds up.
Look, fact of the matter is that the credit card companies reward you with free money for using their cards. Keep em paid up and you can’t go wrong.
I know it’s easier said than done, and it’s very easy to get over your head before you know it, but be strict about your spending and you’ll be aight. Look, I know you and I have agreed that you’re an adult now, but you don’t really need that iPad Pro, do you? That $400 Louis Vuitton wallet or $800 purse that is supposed to carry money? Naw, dawg. You can do without. But your power/water/internet/grocery bill will be paid regardless (hopefully). You might as well make some money back from The Man.
8. Paper Shredder
You are killing it as an adult by now!! I’m so proud of you. And look – it shows….every day….every DAMN DAY, you get a shopping ad, an Ulta catalog, and approximately five fucking offers from AmEx, Capital One, whoever wanting you to open another credit card. Tempting! Free money, right?! Can’t sign up for em all though. You’ll kill that credit you worked so hard to build up, so you’ve gotta get rid of those sexy lil requests. But…identity thieves! This is where the paper shredder comes in.
Identity thieves are the least sexy criminals in the world. They are the little boiling cysts of society just waiting to form an unsightly blemish on all that we’ve worked on so far. Hiding behind a little computer screen, they will fuck you and your hard work up, so SHRED YOUR SHIT. At least make things that much harder for them when they’re scrounging around in a landfill looking for sensitive documents.
9. Programmable Thermostat
Although it’s probably the least sexy thing you’ll ever purchase in your life, a programmable thermostat is a necessity and will pay for itself in due time. The gist is this…program the thing to turn the thermostat up when you’re away, and then program it to get your home comfortable again by the time you’re home. I mean, damn. Money saved, man. You didn’t do anything, yet you reap the monetary benefits.
10. A Guitar
I feel like I know what you’re thinking. “How is this useful or adult-y? You’re a ding dong.” Look….Chicks think guys that play guitar are sexy, and girls that play guitar are sexy to guys. Universal sexiness. Even if you never learn to play the damn thing, you can hang it on the wall and all of a sudden it looks like a work of art.
IF YOU DO learn to play a couple of songs, you have the opportunity to impress friends and have a way to kill dead time, and there’s not much more satisfying than banging out a Weezer or Dashboard Confessional song when you’re drunk or getting over a breakup.
It also can be used to half-assedly defend your home should you ever have a break in. A weapon that you can play? Can’t beat that.
There you have it, folks. M’s take on the necessities for post grad life. Hope that you heed his wise words. Nothing is as satisfying as having great homemade food while shredding your random junk mail, amiright?
What do you consider a necessary thing to invest in when you cross the line into adulthood?