6 Things Everyone Should Know How To Do Before Turning 30

Turning 30 can be a scary prospect. It can feel like you’re youth is over (it’s not), and like it’s no longer OK to mess up (of course it is). But if you're really worrying about it, then it’s a good idea to learn a thing or two before you turn 30, so you can leave your 20s behind feeling like a grown up.

Of course, everyone’s life goes at different speeds. Some 30-year-olds have been “adulting” for years — they have kids, a house, a job, and are really running their sh*t. While others, try as they might, reach their late 20s and still feel like a kid. Whichever end of the spectrum you fall on, just know that it's fine. I say do your thing, and figure out life as it comes your way.

However it can't hurt to learn as much as you can in your 20s. It's a time of figuring out who you are, what you like, how money work, how to fix mistakes, and how to handle relationships. If you can do all of this while you're young, then you'll have a much easier life later on.

Here are some things you should know before you turn 30, so you can start your new decade as the smart, savvy, and independent grown up.

1. Basic Home Maintenance, Because You Didn't Buy That Hammer For Nothin'

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Many of us buy tool kits with the intention of fixing things around the house, but as soon as something goes wrong we panic and call a repairman. Now imagine a world where instead of panicking, you cooly got out your tools, or popped the hood of your car, and got to fixing things all on your own. How badass would that be? Totally badass. And, it would save a ton of money, as well as time — who hasn't spent an entire day waiting for a repairman to show up? All it takes is a little practice, and not being afraid of doing things for yourself.

2. One Go-To Impressive Recipe

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When I say "impressive," I just mean something that isn't microwaveable. My impressive recipe is roasted Brussels sprouts, which are hardly difficult to make, but still so incredibly delicious. People go nuts every time I make them for a potluck, or a holiday meal, and it makes me feel like quite the accomplished chef. It's good to have something delicious in your repertoire for such occasions. But it's also nice to know how to make a few things for yourself — especially without referencing a cookbook. Use your 20s as a time to play around in the kitchen, and mess with ingredients, and by 30 you'll be cooking like the grown up you are.

3. How To Budget And Save Money

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Your 20s are the time to learn about budgets, and saving money, and however the heck credit scores work. If you start learning all of this stuff while you're young, you're going to have a much easier life (and one that isn't controlled by money, yay!). I recommend getting a credit card and using it properly, saving a portion of every paycheck, and being strict with yourself when it comes to a budget (aka, don't just buy whatever you want whenever you want it.) If you can start off a brand new decade with good finances, you'll be able to do all the things your 30s can entail — like buying a house, raising a family, or doing some traveling.

4. How To Say No

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I've noticed a theme in my life, and it's that I have a hard time saying "no" to people. I want to make everyone happy, and go to all the events, and do everything at work. I'm getting better at it, but it's certainly an exhausting way to be. And I'm definitely not alone. When you're young, it's very common to bend over backwards for pretty much everyone but yourself. But by the time you turn 30, you should be able to say the word "no," if only for the sake of your sanity. As you get older, it becomes easier to respect yourself, and your time. Plus, people never get as mad as you think they will. Almost everyone respects a firm, assertive "no," and if they don't, then you don't want them to be a part of your life anyway.

5. How To Maintain Relationships

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People in their 20s are often experiencing several tumultuous relationships at once. Your relationship with your parents changes as you turn into an adult; your friendships change as everyone graduates college and moves away; and your romantic relationships change as you date and find someone you want to spend your life with. It can be difficult at first to let go of the idea that you're going to keep all of your friends forever, because that's simply just not the case. You'll be able to find your select few People come, people go, and people change (a lot), so you'll start to recognize who is worth keeping in touch with. Once you find these special few, be sure to keep in touch, listen to them, and be there for them as much as you can.

6. How To Spend Time Alone

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When you approach 30, you look back on your early 20s as one long, rampant case of FOMO. You realize it's not an absolute tragedy if you don't go out on a Friday night, and the world isn't going to end if you miss happy hour. In fact, you start to recognize the pure bliss and beauty of staying home. What once was a pathetic social failure is now something you look forward to, and you realize all the benefits of spending time alone. Plus, spending time by yourself allows you to figure out what you want out of life, and allows you to reset for the week. It's an important skill to have, and it's definitely not pathetic.

Turning 30 is a huge milestone, and it doesn't have to be scary. In fact, it's a new beginning for the rest of your adult life, so go into your new decade knowing a thing or two about being a grown up.

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