woman thinking while looking at a planner

How to embrace responsibility while still living an awesome life

Adulting doesn’t have to be as traumatizing as TV makes it out to be. Contrary to popular belief, you can get your act together and still be awesome. In fact, getting your responsibilities in check will only make you more fun to be around, because you won’t drop the ball. Here’s how to make it happen without sacrificing the fun.

Stay organized

Successful people tend to be meticulous planners, so get organized. Opt for a planner that’s aesthetically striking so you want to use it, and keep it small to bring anywhere. The inside should consist of both calendar and a side page for notes. Mark important plans in the calendar section, then write details on the notes page.

Automate your finances

Skip errands and paperwork with a little online planning. Add up your monthly bills (use the highest bill of the year as the benchmark) and keep that sum in your savings account, where it earns more interest. Automatically transfer the amount you'll need to checking after the start of the month. Be sure to leave enough money in checking for unexpected costs. If you're not exceeding your bank's limit on savings transactions for the month, you can pay bills directly from there instead -- through auto-payments, natch. Put your credit card to work A credit card with a rewards program can be a huge advantage if used properly. You're going to spend money anyway, so why not get a percentage of it back? The key to this is paying off the balance in full every month. Points back for travel or coupon and cash redemption are like free cash.

Health is wealth

Nothing says “adult” like actually taking care of yourself. The easiest way to do that? Get yourself a gym membership and freakin' use it. According to a survey by Goldman Sachs, roughly 20% of millennials are dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle, but a separate study found that 60% of gym members never use their memberships. To make sure you stay out of the majority, opt for a program that holds you accountable. Classpass is offered in 29 major cities across the country -- including New York, Austin, LA, Chicago, and Boston -- and every time you try to bail on a class you registered for before realizing brunch is more fun than kickboxing, you get charged $15-$20. Purge Your Social Media Do you really need to know what everyone you went to middle school with is doing? No, and you really don’t need to compare your life to theirs either, so stop doing it.

Stop eating out and learn how to cook

Federal data from 2016 showed that average price points for food declined 0.2% in January. In short: back away from the takeout app and head to the grocery store at least once a week to stock up on food. Say goodbye to spending $12 on a sad sandwich every day at work and teach yourself how to cook.

Update and backup your stuff

We get it, waiting out an iCloud update seems tedious when the time could be better spent swiping right on Tinder, but the service makes your life ten times easier. Apple’s online storage container allows you to find important files across all of your Apple products, meaning you’re instantly more organized (remember? From before? You’re doing it now with the literal push of a button.) as soon as you press “update.”

Turn your apartment into a real apartment -- and keep it clean 

Welcome to the world of adulthood, where you have a real job, real bills, and a real salary. With that being said, it's time to stop living like a freshman in college. Transform your space into an adult apartment by replacing your floor mattress with a legit bed (we're talking the whole nine yards -- bed frame, headboard, comforter, big fluffy pillows fit for a king), and make sure to keep things clean. Utilize your LinkedIn account & keep your resume fresh Full disclosure: getting your dream job takes work. Get ahead by being aware of your resources and how to use them. A 2016 survey found that 85% of all jobs were filled via networking, meaning keeping your resume sharp and updated is a must. Always have it on hand – especially when out at a work event – and get your name out there. Make it stand out by highlighting your accomplishments rather than describing your daily workday, keeping your points direct and concise, and tailoring it to the job you’re looking for. Also, skip the irrelevant info -- it’s cool that you worked at that pizza shop in college, but it’s time to let that go. Find the full article here.

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