The Joys of Adulting

Recently my Fianc-bae and I moved to the other side of the country. Literally, the complete opposite side; we went from NC to CA. We have no friends or family here. Everything that we've been experiencing has been completely new and completely REAL. Being a young newly engaged couple certainly has its challenges. Adulting during this process has proved to bring about even more of them. What is Adulting? Adulting is when a person, in our case two persons, begin to realize that they/we want to live outside of tomorrow and actually plan ahead for a future. Adulting involves saving, budgeting, planning and much more. Prior to my revelation that adulting is necessary, Joe and I as unit would spend money faster than we could get. We bought things we wanted instead of saving for things we needed in the future. My credit card debt is out of this world. When you're young, the necessity for credit cards is nothing more than having additional shopping money. I had no clue about APR's and cash back rewards. Sure, I'd heard about them via emails and alerts but all I cared about was that remaining balance at the end of the day. Together we've been managing to get the hang of things and I wanted to share some things that have been helping us through our adulting process.

It is a PROCESS: The first thing that I can NOT stress enough is that adulting is a process!! No one just wakes up with savings in the bank and a 725+ credit score. When you are going through this process, know that everything can not be done at one time. You can't fix a roof that's been leaking for 6+ years in 6 months. Before you fix that roof you have to analyze what needs to be addressed first.

Know your DEBT: Before you begin this process you have to know exactly how deep the rabbit hole goes. Start off by finding out your credit score. I have a Credit Karma account because it is completely free and extremely organized. If you have any debt that has been sent into collections Credit Karma will not only show you the amount, they also provide you with contact information to work out payment plans with those companies. Of course anyone who went to college would have student loans but the great thing about student loans is those companies work with you. After school in 2014 I did not pay one penny to Greatlakes. It's now 2017!! After connecting with them, they understood my situation and gave me a payment plan that suited my needs and corrected my pass due balance down to zero. Communication is key when it comes to creditors.

Set a BUDGET: Budgeting is important because it helps you to hold yourself accountable. When setting a budget it's is key to establish your wants from your needs. Accountability is essential to adulting because part of being an adult is understanding that you are in charge of your circumstances. You have to make a conscious decision that living for your future is more important than eating out every Friday night. We budget out everything!! We budget for bills, rent, groceries, and weekend activities!! Of course sometimes we do have to tweak the budget but it is always best to revise a plan then to never have one in place. 

SAVE for Rainy Days: We can never be sure of what the future holds so savings are that cushion for rainy days. Set aside some "coin" that both you and your spouse agree to "set and forget". To be successful at saving, begin by saving small amounts and then work your way up to the big bills. As long as you can set it aside and understand that it is for EMERGENCY purposes ONLY!! 

Hopefully these four tips I shared were helpful. They've proved to be working out for us wonderfully so far. I look forward to sharing more tips with you in the future as Joe and I navigate this thing together. 

Jennifer Lewis