Most days, I’m really whiney about being forced to wake up and “adult.” That’s not to say that I am ungrateful because I know that I live a very blessed life. It’s just, sometimes, having to be responsible for myself is much more difficult than I expected it to be.
Now, this miiiight be because I grew up very spoiled. Everything I could ever need or want, my mom and Paul provided. But there are a few other things that I wished they taught us in school (first, because it’d be useful information and second, I was a good student so I would have learned fast).
1. How to fill out those damn W-4 forms.
I’ve had about four jobs since I was in college and these forms stump me every time. Is there something I’m just not getting? Each time, I am confused and I have to Google the best way to go about filling out this form for a single lady.
I mean really, Enter 1 if no one can claim you as a dependent. OK, done.
Enter 1 if you are single and only have one job … OK, yup.
Enter 1 if you are the head of your household. OK, check.
Add it all up and 3 is a shitty start for the number of exemptions so, wtf.
2. How to find an apartment and sign that lease.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my apartment. And at the time, my sweet studio costed about $200 more in rent in comparison to another studio that I was looking at that was much older and in a less appealing area of Honolulu.
HOWEVER, I didn’t take into consideration my actual cost of living. I thought I did, but I failed somehow along the way and now I am perpetually poor. This brings me to my Broke and In Love phase that I am currently in.
Anyway, back to signing my actual lease – It all read like jibberish to me. It basically meant that I was sort of signing my life away – no more savings, no more weekend getaways, no more curfew (LOL, OK this was a plus.
I am definitely learning and will definitely live someplace cheaper or get a roommate next year. So if I’ve learned anything, it’s that.
3. How to buy a car.
A name for my new beauty here is still ~pending~ but she brings me to my Broke and In Love pt. 2 series of my life. Hello, car payments, hello insurance, registration, etc.
A few months ago I ran into tons of car trouble with Rice Rocket (R.I.P.). Everything from needing a new battery, alternator and then evaporator because the damn A/C stopped working and Hawaii summer’s are really just too hot to not have A/C. One thing led to another and I tried selling Rice Rocket.
A nice high school boy and his dad wanted to buy him but when we took the car to get serviced (due diligence, ya know), Rice Rocket was deemed UNSELLABLE because who ever “fixed” my A/C completely ruined EVERYTHING beneath the dash. This was stressful because I was planning to use the money from the sale on my down payment.
Anyway, like everything else in life, things worked out, and I had good enough credit to get this baby all on my own ;).
4. How to do your taxes.
Does this even need an explanation? Who doesn’t struggle with doing taxes? I tread my way through Turbotax but it sure would have been helpful to learn this in school.
5. How to build and follow a budget.
I am the princess of organization so this is what my monthly budget looks like. Do I always follow it? No, because credit card bills and everything-bills pile up and I am still not making much money to not have to worry about such things.
I learned how to do this through online research and since I am a visual learner, I keep this Excel sheet and update it almost daily.
I know I missed a few things on this list … What do you wish you learned in school that would have been helpful in early adulthood? Holla atcha girl!