4 Easy Ways to Be More Adult

With Junior year of college coming to a close and an internship on the horizon, the #realworld is getting closer and closer every minute! While I’m not quite ready to leave the comfort of college yet (thank goodness I have one more year!) there are a few things that I’m doing to try to prepare myself for adult life!

easy ways to be an adult

Now don’t worry, I’m not here to tell you how to open a Roth-IRA account or how to write a check (although these things are good to know). Keep scrolling to read 4 easy (and kind of fun) ways that I’m preparing myself to be a full-fledged 20-something adult!

1. Get Informed

One of the easiest ways to transition into adulthood is to stay up-to-date on current events. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time during the day to tune into NBC/ABC/CBS/etc and watch reporters chat about the news for hours on end. I need my news quickly, and I need it on a platform that I can easily access during the day. That’s where the beauty of daily emails come in.

I get four emails every weekday morning. These emails all have similar styles but vary in content –

TheSkimm: Current events (with a little pinch of millennial sass)

easy ways to be an adult

The Morning Brew
Business news (that even this non-business major can understand)

easy ways to be an adult
The Casual Spectator: Sports news (because I don’t have time to watch 4+ hour sports games)

easy ways to be an adult
New York Times Morning Briefing: Current events (traditional reporting + links to other interesting articles)

easy ways to be an adult

It’s my morning routine to grab a coffee, sit down at my computer, and read each email as I get over my initial grogginess from waking up. Four emails seems like a lot, but none of them take more than 5 or so minutes to read!

By getting my news all in one chunk in the morning, I’m never caught off guard when news breaks during the day (no more “wait, the President made an arms deal? I didn’t even know he was in the Middle East!” or “wait, Snap stock is down? I didn’t even know Snap was a company!”).

Also, you can impress your friends/family/coworkers/boss by chatting about the latest current events, and actually know what you’re talking about.

2. Save Money

I’m really bad at saving money – I have a savings account but I’m more of an impulse buyer when it comes to my own checking account. That really won’t fly as an adult, so I’m learning to budget for essentials and save for the big-ticket items that I want. But how do you set aside money for those big purchases??

Enter Qapital, an app that saves you money that you didn’t even know you have. Say what??

easy ways to be an adult

Qapital saves you money by using personalized “rules” to take small chunks of money (I’m talking nickels and dimes) out of your bank account every time you make a purchase. You can tell Quapital what you want to save for and how much it costs.

Before you know it, all of that small change adds up to be enough for one big purchase. And you didn’t even have to think about saving money!

So what are these rules? Here are a few rules that I’m using to save up for a new $200 Nikon lens:

Round Up: This rule rounds up the value of your purchase to the nearest $1 or $2 and deposits the money in your Qapital account. For instance, I have a $2 Round Up rule on every purchase: if my meal costs $12.75, then Qapital adds 25 cents + another $1 to my account.

easy ways to be an adult
Guilty Pleasure: This rule adds money to your Qapital account every time you spend money on a guilty pleasure – for me this is Starbucks. Every time I spend money at Starbucks, $1 is added to my Qapital account.

easy ways to be an adult

These are just a few of the many rules that you can implement using Qapital. The 52-Week Rule adds $1 the first week, $2 the second week, etc. etc. These savings end up being over $1000 saved by week 52!. The IFTTT rule (IFTTT = If This Then That) saves on designated occasions. For instance, if it rains in your city, then set aside $x to save for a beach vacation).

I just started using Qapital and already have $20 saved. Every little bit counts! If you sign up using my Qapital link, we both get $5. In the future, I hope to use this app to save up for a down payment on a car or a big girl vacation!

3. Upgrade your Wardrobe from “Ill-Fitting Khakis” to Trendy Young Adult

Now I love my college t-shirts and Target leggings as much as the next girl. But my “running-to-Starbucks-hope-I-don’t-see-anyone” outfit really won’t fly in the real world. That’s why it’s super important to invest in a few “big-girl” pieces that can take you from job interview to networking event to a real job or internship!

A few basic business pieces that you can mix and match are all you need to start out. I would recommend nice dress pants or a skirt, a cute patterned tank top, and a well-fitting blazer (no busting buttons or tight shoulders!).

For shoes, opt for something comfortable that you can stand in for hours at a time – those heels are cute for like 10 minutes before you start to wish that you just didn’t have feet at all.

So where do I shop for my business clothes? Banana Republic and Loft are great places to start, and they always have great coupons and sales. I’ve also found a nice pair of black dress pants at the clearance rack of J.Crew. And if something doesn’t fit perfectly, a tailor can work wonders for only a few extra dollars.

Well-fitting business clothes will make a great impression on future employers – it lets them know that you’re mature and ready for a big-person job (and paycheck!).

4. Travel

Jubilee Bridge, Big Ben, The London Eye

Jubilee Bridge, London

Denver in 5 Days

Seven Falls, Colorado Springs

Weekend in Dublin

Guinness Lake, County Wicklow, Ireland

I love love love to travel. Traveling is such a great way to learn without ever having to sit in a classroom.

As an adult, I think it’s important to understand a variety of cultures and viewpoints. Not everything in the world is cut and dry or exactly as how you might see it! Traveling makes you more understanding and more informed. And let’s be honest, you get to eat and have fun while doing it!

Traveling also doesn’t mean you have to take a $2000 flight to Europe. Even a road trip to a nearby town or state can still be eye opening. Some of my friends and I went to Denver for five days in May. Even though it was only a 4-hour plane ride, I still felt like I was in a totally different culture! I live by the beach, so the mile-high elevation change and mountain trails were something that I’ve never experienced before (but I loved!).

Travel while you’re young, explore new places, and try everything! You never know what you might find.

So those are my four (hopefully not too intimidating) tips for starting to become a real adult! I’m so excited to become more independent and start living that “20-something life”. Is there anything you find yourself doing to transition into adulthood? Let me know down below in the comments or tweet me @theswirlblog.
  • I positively love theSkimm! I am such a news junkee, and I love how understandable they make the news. Thanks for these tips 🙂

    Much love,
    Ashley | dearash.com

    • Yay fellow Skimm reader! I also love how accessible they make the news, especially when it comes to diplomatic stuff. Thanks for reading!


  • Thanks for sharing these tips for adult-ing Hannah. I love reading theSkimm every morning and have made a point to be more “adult” about my finances. Like you I tend to be an impulse purchaser…but I am working on it.

    • It’s so hard not to impulse purchase, especially when things are on sale! I’m trying to be better about it though. And yay for the Skimm!


  • YES to all of this! #1 is especially important, ironically enough, considering we’re surrounded by information 24/7. It’s hard to know what to filter out and take to heart. But reading a variety of news sources and not relying on just your small bubble for the truth is important to staying informed as to what’s happening in the world!

    • I totally agree about not getting too caught up in one source of information. That’s why I get so many daily emails – it’s good to get news from all around!


  • Adulting is a struggle but you are so right! PS I love the Skimm!

    • Yay another Skimm lover! I’m so glad I found it, it’s the perfect daily email!


  • Whitney H

    Staying informed is SO important. With so many things going on (and so quickly) those are all great ways to stay on top of things. I get the New York Times News Alerts and stay up to date on Twitter news accounts and they really help me.

    • I get the NYT alerts too! Paired with their daily emails, I really feel like I’m on top of what’s happening in the world.


  • Girl, I’m 27, and I still don’t feel like an adult. I do work on a cruise ship, which is pretty much reverting back to college life, so that may have a lot to do with it. Traveling is definitely a big part of feeling more adult. That’s why I took my job in the first place, the desire to see the world! I’m still working on getting better with money though. Whoops.

    • That is so cool that you get to travel the world by boat! I’ve never taken a cruise but I would like to in the future!


  • I love looking in Lost for work clothes! I got a pair of black slacks there on clearance for only $26 dollars back in the fall! Now I’m wearing them all the time for work!

    • Oh my gosh yes it gives me so much life when I find deals like that! I could spend hours in Loft 🙂


  • mckenna bleu

    I agree with all of these! Money may be one of the most important when becoming a responsible adult!

    • I agree! Thanks for reading!


  • Saving money is crazy important. Thankfully, my dad had me start saving in 6th grade and I went off to college with over $10k. That is something I want to instill in my future kiddies. Has given me so much freedom in my 20s!

    • That’s fantastic that you started saving so early! I wish more people realized how much money they could save if they started young.


  • Kristine Circenis

    Girl, yes be informed! Also double yes to saving money. Not only is saving better for you in the future should something happen but it makes you feel responsible AF

    • I agree! You never know when something is going to come up, so it’s great to be prepared!


  • This is amazing! There are so many budgeting apps nowadays I don’t even know where to start, but I will try Qapital too! Thanks!

    • Yay I hope Qapital helps you as much as it’s helped me! 🙂


  • thesophiadiaries

    hahahaha ‘trendy young adult’ too true!!! And I love the travel part <3


    • I’m glad! Thanks for reading!


  • Love all of these! Traveling is so important to do to really get that perspective on life, and definitely guilty of needed to upgrade my wardrobe haha. Working from home I end up in leggings and a tee way to often. And also love TheSkimm! So great to read in the am to stay in touch with everything.

    • Ahh yes leggings and a t-shirt is my favorite outfit! It’s so nice that you get to work from home and wear that every day 🙂 Also yay for fellow Skimm lovers!


  • Lacey Anne Douthat

    Yes yes yes to travel! It helps you grow so much!



    • I totally agree! I wish I could travel all the time! 🙂


  • Great points Especially the one on staying informed. I’m a journalism major and my classes keep me super busy, but to make time for reading the news, I downloaded apps like CNN and BuzzFeed news so I get notifications during the day when a major story is unfolding.

    Jasmin // macaronsandmascaraonline.com

    • Yes that’s what I do, too! It really helps me to stay informed and not feel blindsided when a news story is the conversation topic.


  • All so true! I have been trying to run my own business and also be a new adult. The learning curve is super steep!

    • It really is! But I’m enjoying all the new freedom, too 🙂


  • TRAVELING especially by myself was a big “adulting” step for me!


    • I totally agree! It’s so much fun to go out on your own though!


  • I love TheSkimm and TheMorning Brew! Both are SO handy!

    • I agree! I can’t start my day properly if I haven’t read both!


  • I love reading The Skimm- it definitely helps keep me updated on current events and political goings-on. Thanks for sharing these tips and ideas!

    • Yes theSkimm is the best! Thanks for reading 🙂


  • Anna Hubbard

    These are great tips! I definitely need to subscribe to some of those newsletters!

  • Ying @ Navigating Adulthood

    These are such great tips! My tip is adding NPR to your morning commute so you can drive and get the scoop on world news!

  • Oby Grace

    Solo traveling Europe for me was sign of ahdulting and it’s so eye opening to see the world and get to meet knew people from all over the world.

    Oby Grace

  • Amy

    I subscribed for The Skimm about two months ago and I love it! Such a great way to get informed in the morning!


    Amy | Pastel N Pink

  • I love The Skimm! In the process of revamping my high school/college girl wardrobe into something cuter and more professional!

    Kayla | kaylablogs.com

  • Saving money is definitely something I need to focus on!! I also probably need to stop getting my news from Buzzfeed, haha!

    The Classic Brunette