8 Life Skills You Should Have Before Moving Out
If you're about to leave home or dorm-life to enter the real world, you may not realize just how comfortable you’ve had it all these years. You'll soon find out that adult life comes with many responsibilities.
If you want to be self-sufficient in the real world, here are eight life skills you should have nailed down:
You don’t need to become the next Food Network star before leaving home, but you should at least have some basic cooking skills under your belt. Eating out every night will get old fast not to mention will also leave you broke.
Think of a handful of recipes to master before going out on your own. Pinterest is an excellent source of easy-to-make meals, and YouTube is a great place to find tutorials on just about anything you’ll need to do in the kitchen.
2. Grocery Shopping
Hand-in-hand with basic cooking is the ability to grocery shop. You may think there is not much to it, but if you haven't shouldered this responsibility before, there is a lot more involved than you think.
Make sure you know how to shop based on the meals you will make in the coming week. You’ll also want to know the best prices for the items you will typically buy since supermarket prices fluctuate. Additionally, you’ll need to know how to pick the best produce and which cuts of meat to buy.
3. Doing Your Laundry
If Mom and Dad have been doing your laundry, make sure you have this all-important skill locked down before leaving home. Learn how to sort your clothes, which temperature to use, and know when something should be hand-washed or dry-cleaned. Along with this, you should learn how to treat stains and also iron your clothes.
4. Cleaning and Basic Home Maintenance
When you have your first place, cleaning will be your responsibility. Set yourself a schedule to make sure you clean routinely.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re capable of basic home maintenance. Your landlord will be responsible for any significant repairs, but you should know how to perform basic tasks like changing light bulbs, fixing a running toilet, or what to do in the event you lose power.
5. Routine Car Maintenance
Believe it or not, car maintenance goes further than just getting gas. You should know how to pop the hood, change a tire, jumpstart a car, and change the oil (or at the very least know when it’s time to have it changed). Also, be sure to take your car in for regularly scheduled service.
6. Budgeting and Paying Your Bills
Be sure to devise a system for paying your bills. Automation is a great way to prevent paying your bills late, but you’ll still need to know when and how much is due as well as how to balance your checkbook or you’ll risk incurring costly overdraft or insufficient funds fees.
7. Time Management
You’ll be juggling multiple responsibilities now, so make sure you know how to manage your time wisely. Sitting down on a daily or weekly basis to write a to-do-list will help you be efficient with your time. Keep track of your schedule and appointments with either a physical or electronic calendar.
A good approach to managing your time is to assign specific tasks to specific days. For example, you could designate Saturday as your cleaning and laundry day and Sunday as a grocery shopping day.
8. Managing Your Healthcare
Once you’re on your own, Mom and Dad will no longer be responsible for maintaining your health—even if you’re still on their insurance. You’ll need to stay on top of your routine dental and medical care by scheduling appointments yourself and making sure you keep them.
Whether you'll be living by yourself or with roommates, make it a point to sharpen these life skills before leaving the comfort of your home or the dorm. Having these skills cemented before you go will make for a smooth entrance into the real world.