Tuesday, February 9, 2016

26 Useful Life Lessons

I was talking to some of my 'big sisters' about lessons I've learned being a young adult. Things that may seem like common sense to some people, but may have never crossed someone else's mind. Many times it's about the environment we grew up in (like your parents may have handled certain things, and you never had to think about them). But, here are 26 lessons from a 26-year-old - some of them I've experienced in my own life, and some I've learned through friends:
  1. There's an air filter in your apartment, and you should change it regularly (every other month of so)
  2. Buy a basic toolkit: handheld drill, hammer, nails, screws
  3. Know where the basic fluids are in your car (like the oil, windshield wiper fluid, brake fluid, antifreeze)
  4. Get your oil changed regularly (every 5k or 3k miles - depending on the mileage on the car), and learn how to at least check it yourself
  5. Don't pay a car dealer to repair your car, ask around and find a local handy man
  6. Car batteries only last about 4-5 years
  7. AutoZone is your friend (buy certain items from them - like light bulbs or windshield wipers - and they will install them for free!)
  8. If your car fails inspection, you have a certain amount of days to fix the issue - so don't panic, and don't feel like you have to pony up the cash right away
  9. Uber's surge prices on NYE are stupid - just take a taxi, it's much cheaper
  10. If you don't like your doctor or you feel like s/he isn't listening to you - GET ANOTHER DOCTOR
  11. Male gynecologists are just as qualified as females - don't be scared
  12. Your birth control should be free, if it's not, ask questions
  13. Be aware that some doctor's visits will require out of pocket payments - and you might even receive 2 bills: one from the doctor's office, the second from the place that handled the lab work (and these bills may come WEEKS after your doctor's appointment, so keep note of when you went to the doctor's and what you had done)
  14. When you pay off a loan, use that same money to make a larger payment towards your next debt; this way you're not asking yourself later, "Where did that 'extra' $300/month go?"
  15. Contribute to the max that your company will match in your 401(k) - it's free money (unless you're flat broke, then handle that situation first)
  16. Don't shop just because someone gave you a coupon
  17. Even if you want quality, discount places can still be your friend (Bob's Discount Furniture, Groupon, Nordstrom Rack)
  18. If your nail cuticles don't grow that fast, get a gel color change, instead of a full gel manicure - you cannot tell the difference, and you save like $20/visit and still look cute
  19. Eat breakfast at home - sure you look cute grabbing breakfast in the cafe, or in the Starbucks line...but that's like $20/week you could be saving - microwave some oatmeal, boil an egg, microwave some bacon....
  20. Order chicken instead of beef, you'll be just as full, and your wallet will thank you (or heck, go vegetarian while you're at it)
  21. Find out your credit score - you don't want to be shocked by or not understand your own numbers when it comes time to shop for that new car or house - but at the same time, don't obsess about the number
  22. Save for a rainy day - because that day will come
  23. Ask your parents for your birth certificate, passport, savings bonds, and your immunization record/card when you move out
  24. Always carry cash - you just never know
  25. Your spare key should probably be with someone who lives near you - remember this when you move
  26. Your resume should currently be up to date - even if you have no intentions of using it any time soon
What's a lesson you'd like to share? Leave it in the comments!

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