Independence is the true mark of adulthood. Having the freedom to be self-sufficient financially, emotionally, professionally, intellectually, and healthily defines adulthood, in a nutshell.
We all long to metamorphose into full-fledged, responsible individuals, right? Naturally, one of our major goals is to support ourselves and our families in a way that guarantees happiness, success, and health. It’s the perfect recipe to living a long, satisfied life.
Which begs the question: how can we achieve this independent adulthood we so long for?
At GenTwenty, we want to simplify the process for you. We’ve put together eight foolproof ways to achieve independence in your twenties so you can live that self-sufficient lifestyle now.
1. Work full-time.
Need money? Apply for a full-time job or paid internship during your twenties. If being self-sufficient financially is important to you (and it should be) be sure to work full-time to earn a steady income to afford your bills and lifestyle.
Working long hours early on will help you achieve a financially independent future sooner. By earning reliable wages and committing to the demands of a profession, you will learn the ins and outs of maintaining a career. Keeping and growing in a job can be stressful work, but ultimately this experience will shape you into an independent adult.
2. Move into an apartment.
Once you’re working in a consistent job and have enough money to live on your own, move out of your childhood home. Even if you decide to share an apartment with a roommate or rent a house with some friends, these options are still going to shape you into an adult.
Living on your own means your parents are not around to put food in the refrigerator or pay for the electric bill. Having an apartment means you’re responsible for cleaning up the messes you make because no one else will do it for you.
The decision to move out is a massive choice, but it will do you a world of good to learn how to maintain your own home life. You will achieve independence by taking care of yourself.
3. Maintain your own accounts.
There comes a time when you need to separate yourself from your parents’ accounts. Things like health insurance, phone bill, car insurance, cable, and utilities should be kept under your own name.
As much as this tip relates to being financially independent, it’s also incredibly important in terms of taking care of your own wants and needs. Your parents won’t be able to make decisions for you forever regarding car insurance quotes or your cell phone’s monthly data allowance. You need to take action by managing these accounts on your own, which is absolutely going to make you self-sufficient.
4. Learn to cook.
Once you’re actually living on your own, a major responsibility will be to cook for yourself. Ordering takeout and eating at restaurants will only hold its charm for so long. Eventually, money will become too tight because food is expensive, and you’ll need to rework your budget by eating at home.
Take a cooking class to learn some basic skills in the kitchen. Watch the cooking network on television and YouTube videos about cooking to pick up some tips. Try researching Pinterest boards for simple recipes.
Even better, sift through our archives on G20 Eats for recipe inspiration! Do what you can to learn your way around the kitchen to cook healthy meals on a budget. That is independence!
5. Budget your money and your time.
Budgeting is an extremely useful skill to learn early on in life. Not only does this habit help you track where your money and time go, but it also helps you maintain balance.
Budgeting money is extremely important for obvious reasons. You want to pay your bills on time, make sure every facet of your life is financially supported, while also saving money for the future. If you spend money recklessly you won’t be able to do these things, which is why a budget keeps you on track.
Similarly, budgeting your time assures you’re living a balanced life. Don’t spend too much time with your friends at the risk of missing work and possibly losing your job. Conversely, don’t spend all your time working with no play. Make sure you’re taking care of your mental health by dividing your time up into fair, balanced increments.
To be independent, you need to budget yourself.
6. Set goals for yourself.
Regularly having goals to work toward is a sure sign of independent adulthood. It means you’re looking ahead, planning for the future you want for yourself. Living with your friends in an apartment now might be fun, but in your thirties you’ll probably want to become a homeowner or living with a significant other.
Maybe you want children, and setting money aside to raise a family is your goal. Whatever goals you want to set for yourself, be sure you’re writing them down and working toward them each and every day. These goals won’t magically be reached overnight. It takes time, hard work, and drive to achieve what you want in life. Set goals now for the life you want later.
7. Make your own decisions.
To truly become an adult, you need to be comfortable making choices on your own. Whether it’s something lofty such as a decision to travel abroad for a year, or something smaller like changing up your hairstyle, be confident with making choices on your own.
Being proactive about your life and making choices for yourself is absolutely essential in order to become more settled in adulthood. Think about this thoughtfully, but don’t allow anyone to bully or pressure you into a decision that you don’t stand by. Be confident and comfortable with your instincts.
8. Chase your happiness.
At the end of the day, life is about being happy. With all of the stresses adulthood brings, it’s important to remember to make happiness a priority. You work, pay bills, earn an education, maintain relationships, and the like which can be challenging at times.
Remember to chase your happiness. When happiness is among your top priorities, you’ll discover just how independent you are. Refusing to settle, trying for more, and always aligning yourself with your values will only make you happy and satisfied with life. This is independence in adulthood and it matters so much!
As an adult, independence is critical to achieve success. It’s no secret that everything falls on your shoulders once you reach your twenties and thirties. Take action now by working towards self-sufficiency.
By exploring these tips, you may discover that you’re already independent in many ways. And if you’re not, there’s still time to grow to be your best self. Make achieving independence a priority in your twenties. Your future self will thank you!
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