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Planning Ahead: Skills You'll Need For The Future

Financial Literacy Oct 26, 2022

Adulthood will require an entirely different skillset from you compared to being a child or a teenager - and that's not just referring to knowing how to use Microsoft Excel or deliver a compelling presentation. Just living independently for the first time can be a challenge in of itself, let alone the demands of your occupation. So let's set aside worries about acing job interviews and the like for a moment and focus on adulting.

Keeping It Clean

Nobody wants to go back to a messy home after a long day of work. If you're living in your own apartment or house, it might be your first time cleaning up an entire living space instead of simply your own room - and even if you're living with roommates, you'll be expected to not be messy and take on cleaning duty at times. Here's an indefinite list of how to keep your home clean and organised without much stress:

1) Labels are your best friend! Even scrap paper and Blu-Tac on some boxes will be a good reminder of what goes where.

2) Do not mix cleaning products - if you're not careful, you could accidentally create toxic gas.

3) Check the hiding spots - as in, don't let junk pile up under your bed or in your drawers.

4) Prioritise utility over aesthetic - there's no use if your home looks pretty but you keep forgetting where everything is.

5) Maintain a routine and stick to it - it works for most things, it'll work for cleaning as well. Work out days of the week to clean up and keep things neat instead of just doing it when you feel like it.

Above all, remember that progress is progress. Washing just one dish is better than washing none of them, tidying your desk will still make your home neater. Don't feel bad if you need to split up cleaning the bathroom into several days. The end result is the same, no matter the pace you take.

Feeding Yourself

Buying takeout and ready-made meals every day will probably keep you full just fine, but it's still important to have some cooking skills just in case. You don't have to be able to whip up a Michelin-starred meal on demand, but at least know enough so you can make yourself something to eat without setting the kitchen on fire (not counting instant noodles).

Saving one or two simple recipes online or from a cookbook to make in a pinch will take you farther than you think. Soups or rice dishes can take countless different forms but are all cooked largely similarly - those are good starting points even without cooking experience. Making eggs more than one way, knowing how to cook meat without making it dry and tasteless and putting desserts together are also skills you might find helpful. Most importantly, learn how to cook your favourite food, so you can make it for yourself whenever you want. Don't forget to get at least a decent kitchen knife and a few good-quality pans so you have something good to cook with.

Minding Your Money

For many people, early adulthood is their first venture into managing their own money. The temptation to buy all the things you never got to own in your teenage years will be very strong, but resist it - being careless with money once or twice can cause a slippery slope to insensible spending and struggling to pay for essentials. There'll be time to check off your wishlist later.

Always prioritise obligatory expenses first - things like your rent, bills and groceries, setting aside a certain amount for emergencies. To know just how much you'll have to pay for necessities, putting together a spreadsheet to calculate the total amount of expenses per month will keep you from being surprised. Try to strike a balance between price and quality - don't buy food that's halfway gone bad just because it's cheaper, but don't spend too much on fancy variations of groceries.

If you have money left over at the end of a month, save it for treating yourself to something you've wanted for a while, or just don't spend it. You can never be too careful, and having a large amount of savings is a good safety cushion to fall back on if you ever suddenly lose your job or get into an accident.


Being an adult is not easy - literally anything can happen to inconvenience you, and you might not have enough time to make an emergency Google search. While we can never fully cover the vast scope of worst-case scenarios you might come across, these three topics are what we think is the most important for emerging grownups to know. Unsure how to work under pressure? Now might be a great time to learn.


Ingrid Wong

Writer, poet and harpist - I exist on Twitter as @seaviolets