Once you arrived at the point in life where you’re old enough to drink legally, vote, and rent a car, that’s only the beginning of all the fun grown-up stuff you’re officially adult enough to do. By the time you reach age 25, the world expects you to be able to mark a few items off your ever-expanding checklist of tasks you can handle, especially now that you’re a full-fledged adult.
Although some life situations get easier after turning 25, you might still call on your parents for assistance from time to time. But bear in mind there are some immature habits to break by the time the time you reach the quarter-of-a-century mark, including relying heavily on other adults to help you sort out your personal affairs.
At the risk of sounding like well-meaning-but-still-nagging parents, here are some handy tasks everyone should know how to do before they’re 25.
1Cook a meal.
Before long, you’ll find that eating out every day can get old, expensive — and in some cases, extremely unhealthy — really fast. Therefore it will soon become necessary for you to dig deep down in your bag of “I’m a Grownup Now” tricks and come up with a kick-ass meal that will keep some money in your pockets and your butt out of the drive-thru.
In the event that you’re a culinary novice, try your hand at some easy crockpot recipes that will at least help you feel like an adult even though it seems like you’re trying hard to impersonate one.
2Come up with a budget — and stick to it.
Don’t go too hard on yourself if you struggle with the latter part of this task, but that’s no reason to avoid properly managing your money and at least attempting to break bad financial habits.
We can all relate to the struggle to avoid impulse spending, but by your mid-20s, setting yourself up to be financially stable in the future should be more of a priority than splurging on random items you can’t actually afford.
3Do your own grocery shopping.
Sure, you may feel like a meemaw-in-training because you clip coupons (and actually use them!), plus you know when specific food items are on sale and schedule your shopping trips accordingly. But there’s no shame in familiarizing yourself with the grocery store. It’s simply a sign that you’re already a pro at this adulting thing. #killingit
4Fix and maintain basic things around your apartment.
No one’s expecting you to tackle hard-core renovations like a TLC reality star, but by the age of 25, you should definitely be able to shop for and replace a lightbulb, remember to remove the lint from your dryer, and locate the fuse box. Ya know, basic stuff.
5Schedule routine doctor’s appointments.
Between your annual checkup, dental and eye exams, and other random appointments, scheduling time to see your doctor is the one task that absolutely nobody looks forward to. But at this point in life, you realize it’s better to keep tabs on your health than to slack off under the illusion that you’re automatically healthy because you’re still in your 20s.
6Understand health insurance.
How much is your annual deductible? How does a flexible spending account work? Can you find a doctor who accepts your insurance, and does it always cover therapy?
If these questions read like gibberish, it’s best to learn to decipher them before you turn 26, the age when young adults are unceremoniously kicked off their parents’ insurance.
7Make your own travel arrangements.
While it’s one of the most nerve-racking tasks on this list, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to book plane tickets, a hotel and a rental car on your own at this point in life. Even if you haven’t worked up the courage to take a solo vacation, there’s no time like the present to get more comfortable with making your own travel arrangements so you’ll be a pro at finding great accommodations should you ever want to go it alone.
Still working on this list and 25 is in your rearview window, it’s time to step your game up and hone some serious life skills. Adulthood takes up the majority of your life, and you’ve still got time to make sure you’re confident, capable, and responsible enough to make the most of yours.