Getting a fabulous apartment in a major city and living happily ever after isn’t a reality for many college graduates. In fact, it’s not becoming a reality for an increasing number of post-grads. Your childhood bedroom might not be where you dreamed of ending up after receiving your diploma, but it can be a necessary and financially wise step toward independent adulthood.
You might not feel like an adult all the time, but you can control when and how much you act like one. Here’s how:
TAKE ON AS MUCH RESPONSIBILITY AS YOU CAN
Just because you have the option for someone to do your laundry and cook your meals doesn’t mean you should take advantage of that. Offer to commandeer Taco Tuesdays, pitch in for food, or do your own laundry. Your family will appreciate the gesture.
CULTIVATE ADULT RELATIONSHIPS
It’s easy to fall back into your old relationships, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Your friends from high school may be going through the same things in life and are great to hang out with for this fact. Your friends from college may be local, and great to keep in touch with as well.
That being said, it can only help you to start making professional connections to jumpstart your career. Don’t limit your social circle. Aim to connect with a variety of people of different age groups and walks of life. It’ll only help you in the long run.
GET A HANDLE ON YOUR PERSONAL FINANCES
Just because you don’t have to pay rent doesn’t mean you should double your spending money. This is a true opportunity to get ahead of your peers by saving up as much as you can.
Pay off your student loans quickly. Make sure you don’t have credit card debt, make a 5-year financial plan and consider investing. Some great, easily digestible personal finance books are I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi and Rich Bitch by Nicole Lapin, a total boss babe who was the youngest anchor ever at CNN.
GIVE YOURSELF A RETREAT
Whether it’s your bedroom, the basement, or the backyard treehouse, make sure you create a safe haven where you can go for alone time. Everyone needs a break from their family sometimes.
Remember, this is a give-and-take, too. Make sure to give your parents space once in awhile.
TREAT YOUR PARENTS
Having you at home is probably more of a joy than a burden, but everyone likes to be treated every now and then. Even appetizers and drinks beats the cost of rent.
ENJOY THE PERKS
There are tons of cool benefits that come with living at home, like in-unit laundry, access to a car and probably a Netflix subscription you don’t have to pay for. Enjoy those things while you can! They make up for the fact that your mom still texts you asking why you aren’t home at 1 a.m.
CRASH WITH FRIENDS OCCASIONALLY
Remember that freedom you savored when your parents first dropped you off at college? No doubt that many late nights, pizza boxes on the floor and futon crashing followed. It’s nice to have a night out once in a while to reconnect with the feeling that you can do pretty much do whatever you want. And to remind you that it’s only a matter of time until you have that again.
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(Featured image allthetreesofthefield.tumblr.com)