There are some things that are just easier to learn before you take a shot at independence. Some are a little trickier than others, but they all serve a purpose and are incredibly rewarding to understand.
Knowing how to brew coffee is one of the more practical things you should probably figure out sometime soon, if you haven’t already. The machinery and the methods may differ, but the process is always the same. Think of all that Starbucks money you could be saving.
Changing a Tire
Probably less practical, but completely achievable is the good ol’ skill of changing a tire. It’s a lot less intimidating than it sounds and unless you have a couple of hours to spare after a blow-out, it’s a lot more convenient to give it a shot.
You laugh, but most people don’t know how to pay a bill— online or by mail. You can get by like this for a while. But if you plan to put a bill in your name at any point, it’s worth learning how to do it the right way.
Unless the idea of clean clothes freaks you out or you pay to have your delicates washed, correctly doing laundry is crucial to living on your own. There’s also way more to it than just shoving things in a washing machine.
Cooking a Meal
Eating out can get incredibly expensive. Finding time to learn how to cook something for yourself, even the simplest of things, will make tricky times a little less tricky. It’s also nice for your mom to know you use your kitchen for more than just storage.
Balancing your time can seem overwhelming and maybe a little far-fetched. It’s possible. Investing in a planner or utilizing the calendar on your phone is a good start. Setting an alarm every once in a while can’t hurt either.
This isn’t just a part of your driving test that you have to pass— barely. It’s an extremely useful skill to have, especially for those city adventures or really crowded side streets at house parties.
Mailing a letter is another one of those simple skills, but, again, not everyone knows how to do it. It takes more than just filling out the envelope. Regardless of where you live, it’s a good idea to be aware of where the nearest post office is just in case you don’t have a mailbox of your own.
Using a Library Card
The holy grail to your extended learning experience— the library card. The good thing about them is that, as long as you have proof of residence at some point, you can get one and end up with many. There’s no such thing as too many library cards. Go nuts.
It not only helps those spring-cleaning tendencies, but it gives someone else a chance to find something they might be needing. From old clothes to a tired blanket, one person’s trash is truly another person’s treasure.
After you land your first job, taxes become a whole thing. There are only so many years you can be claimed by somebody else. The first step to income tax season is, you guessed it, filing those taxes.
Coupons are the best trend to exist. Saving money should never go out of style. There are plenty of apps that clip the coupons for you if you’re uncomfortable with a pair of scissors and the newspaper. Cents add up— so it makes sense.
Jump-Start a Car
If you have a car, you need a pair of jumper cables. That’s the gist. The odds of your car dying on you could be incredibly slim, but why chance it if you don’t have to? Even if you don’t know how to jump your car, you can always ask. Heck, you might be the person somebody else asks. The act of having a pair of cables is the first step to acquiring this skill.
Writing a Check
A check is good for various situations and since it takes a few days to clear, you don’t necessarily need the money in your account right away. Learning the fundamentals of writing a check can save you from future headaches when it comes to you and your (almost) money.
Do not, I repeat— do not take these deals for granted. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to pay full price for things. Don't let the cheaper (yet just as fine) things pass you by. Happy hours and matinees are just a couple of highlights. Explore your neighborhood to find social hacks close to you.
Doing your part in trying to do better in the political climate is never a bad idea. There's no need to become an expert in politics or elections, but knowing which booth to step in and how the ballot works is useful if you do choose to vote. In the end, this is a useful skill, but one that's completely up to you to utilise.
No server wants you to leave them your spare change when you hand them $20 for a $19.84 tab. And nobody wants to hear your rant about servers needing to find another job if they want to make real money. It isn't their fault you aren't a good tipper. Your tips are a reflection of you. Tip the way you'd like to be tipped if you were them.
Using Power Tools
There's no need to run down to the closest Home Depot and rent every power-tool known to man. But there are a few basics you might want to learn how to use— like a drill. Understanding the basics of a drill make hanging that TV in your new apartment when you have no idea who your neighbors are yet a whole lot easier.
Issues will inevitably present themselves and when they do, it'd be great to know how to talk with those people who are able to help you find a solution. Every phone call you make or take is a learning opportunity. There are more effective ways of communicating and it'd be worth your while to learn a few before going anywhere solo.
The goal here is to be effective in shopping for the things you need and maybe a few things you want. Make a list if it helps. Familiarize yourself with neighborhood grocery stores and the items you're better off buying at each of them. Buying food to make for yourself later shouldn't be a painful process.
Whether you join a gym or read a book, unwinding is important when you have quite a bit on your plate. There are plenty of ways to relieve stress. By all means, find what works for you and go from there.
There are so many things to pay for and sometimes you just don't have enough money. The only way to stay afloat when you move on your own is to learn how to budget— the number one thing that'll save you from borrowing money every time rent's due. Separating your wants from your needs can make budgeting and spending a little clearer.
For the sake of all that is good in the world, learn how to clean. Understanding the basics of what cleaning supply does what is an incredible skill to own. Your space and any guests you ever have over will thank you for it.
Maintaining a Calendar
There comes a time when setting your own appointments is the natural order of things. You can no longer expect family members to make appointments for doctors you've never seen. It's a good idea to find regular doctors and professionals. They're all a phone-call away.
Reading a Road Map
Imagine your phone dying midway through a long car ride. You no longer have access to the GPS on your phone and you just want to get home. Something like this is where knowing how to read a map, even a little bit, can change the course of that adventure.