14 things every grown person should know how to do

Adulthood is about being mature and responsible. It doesn’t mean all the fun has to end, but we’re certainly expected to “do better” than our teenage and 20-something counterparts. 

Yet, there are plenty of adults out there who still lack some basic skills. 

Now, I’m not saying that grown-ups need to know it all – that’s impossible. But we should be striving towards maturity and responsibility. 

So if there are things on this list that you can’t do yet, don’t feel bad. Instead, see it as a reminder to keep continuously learning. Hitting 30, 40, or 50 isn’t an excuse to become complacent. 

Here are 14 things every grown person should know how to do:

1) Cook 

Before you panic, you don’t need to be the next runner-up on Master Chef but basic cooking skills are a must. 

No more relying on Mom…And no, ordering takeout and reheating it doesn’t count either!

As an adult, you should be able to fix yourself healthy meals. And with the millions of easy-to-make recipes online, “not being creative in the kitchen” isn’t an excuse. 

2) Clean 

After knowing how to cook, keeping your home clean is next on things every grown person should know how to do.

I’m always flabbergasted when I walk into the home of an adult only to find it a mess. The fridge is caked with old food, the bathroom littered with hairs. 

I get it – some of us are cleaner than others. And even I have been known to let laundry pile up occasionally. 

But basic hygiene is essential. Not to mention, a clean space can reduce stress levels

So, if you don’t know how to remove dodgy stains from your bed sheets or how to degrease the oven, it’s simple – Google it. 

3) Communicate healthily

Past the age of 20, every adult should know that ALL relationships rely on communication

That means it’s time to say goodbye to temper tantrums, the cold shoulder, and being passive-aggressive. 

Instead, skills like active listening, speaking assertively and clearly, and solving conflict calmly are needed to maintain relationships, both personal and professional. 

But I get it, no one really teaches us this stuff. Most of us aren’t modeled healthy forms of communication growing up, either. 

That’s why it’s every adult’s responsibility to research and learn how to do this themselves – there are plenty of resources out there, like this guide, for example. 

4) Taxes and bills 

As the saying goes, “Nothing is certain except death and taxes.”

While it might not be the most glamorous or interesting topic, learning how taxes work and how to pay your bills on time WILL save you a ton of headaches later down the line.

But this is just another thing we aren’t taught in school…I wonder why? 

Perhaps there’s a benefit from most people being pretty clueless about this stuff…all the more reason to get clued up! 

5) Budget and save

things in life you shouldnt waste any more time worrying about 14 things every grown person should know how to do

Hand in hand with paying your taxes and bills comes learning how to budget and save. 

You can get away with spending your entire paycheck when you get your first job at 16. 

But as an adult, you need to be on top of how much is needed to cover your monthly costs, as well as saving for the future. 

Because I hate to break it to you, but life is pretty expensive.

It only takes one accident to be out of work, or your washing machine and fridge to die simultaneously before you’re suddenly living in your overdraft or calling up mom. 

Don’t be that person. 

Budgeting and saving is the difference between living paycheck to paycheck or being able to work your way towards traveling or buying a home, and actually building a life

6) Drive a vehicle  

Inner city folk – don’t roll your eyes at me for this one. Learning how to drive is essential. 

Because even if you don’t currently need a car, you never know when your situation might change and you’ll need to jump behind the wheel of a vehicle. 

Ultimately, this comes down to freedom. 

Public transport is great, and I thoroughly encourage those who can access it to use it (the planet will thank you for it) but knowing how to drive can be a great benefit in some situations. 

7) Compare insurance deals 

Whether it’s for your car, health, or home, insurance is an inescapable part of adult life. 

But as I mentioned earlier – life is expensive, and so is insurance. 

That’s why by the time you hit your 20s and above, you should know how to shop around. Use comparison sites to find the best insurance deals. 

Haggle on the phone (trust me, this works). Most companies will offer you a better deal if you tell them you’re taking your money elsewhere.  

It may take time out of your busy day, but it could save you hundreds every year. 

8) Create engaging job applications 

Jobs aren’t usually for life anymore. That’s why, as a grown person, you should know how to create engaging and interesting job applications. 

A lot of this comes down to knowing your audience; if you’re applying for a job in a very traditional company, know how to showcase your skills in a way that’ll appeal to them.

On the other hand, if you’re applying at a young, hip, start-up company, you may need to get creative and think outside the box to get noticed. 

9) Solve problems on their own 

Every adult should know how to handle and solve basic problems without calling up mom or dad…

It’s called critical thinking. 

When your car starts flashing scary lights at you, you could call for help…or you could do a little research, check out the manual book, and see if it’s something that could be fixed without the help of a mechanic. 

Because news flash – things break down. Often at the worst times. If you run to a professional every time something goes wrong, you’ll quickly find yourself broke. 

10) Look after themselves and others

signs youre more influential than you think 1 14 things every grown person should know how to do

A major part of being a grown person is knowing how to look after yourself – you get enough sleep, eat well, and keep yourself hydrated. 

When you’re sick, you know to take a break, choose the right meds or herbal remedies, and nurse yourself back to health. 

But it doesn’t end there…

As adults, we have to be ready to look after others, too. From partners and kids to aging elderly parents. 

Now, I would direct you to a resource for this, but most of it is actually common sense. And if you;re ever in doubt about how to help someone who is ill, the best thing to do is call your doctor. 

11) Say “no” 

I’d love to say that with age comes confidence, but it’s not that easy. 

People who aren’t secure within themselves are likely to say “yes” to things they don’t really want to do…no matter their age.

But in theory, as a grown person, you should be aware of what your boundaries are. And you shouldn’t have a problem setting them.

If you do, this might be a wake-up call to reflect on yourself: Are you lacking in confidence? Do you need to work on boundary setting? Do you have people-pleasing tendencies? 

Remember, confidence is something you can build on, one step at a time. 

12) Basic home repairs 

As well as solving problems, every grown person should know how to do basic home repairs…

I’m talking chipped wall paint…a leaky tap….a clogged garbage dispenser…the everyday things that can wrong in a home. 

And hey, don’t feel too bad if you’re not a pro at fixing things. I recently tried to fix a cupboard door and it took me three attempts to get it right. 

So on that note, use the internet to help you. Luckily, there are so many tutorials now that you shouldn’t have any problem fixing basic things around the house. 

Now, whether you have the right tools for the job is another question!

13) Spot a scam 

If you’re reading this article, you’ve got access to the internet. And if you have access to the internet, you’re very susceptible to scams. 

And boy are the scammers out there in full force. Email scams, text messages, creepy guys commenting on your Facebook posts. 

Those are just the ones we know about. 

So, it makes sense that every adult should be aware of what scams may look like, and how to protect themselves against them. 

14) Control your alcohol intake 

And finally, growing up *should* mean you have a better handle on your alcohol intake…

Although that may depend on where you’re from. I’m from the UK and it’s pretty hard to say that adults grow out of the binge drinking phase.

That being said, as we get older, our bodies don’t bounce back as quickly from booze-filled evenings. Hangovers last longer and hit stronger. 

So most adults do learn to limit their intake, drink alcohol with food, and ensure they stay hydrated (to avoid a nasty headache in the morning).  

As I mentioned at the start…It’s impossible to know how to do everything. But these things above are pretty basic and if you’re unsure of how to do some of them, the answer is simple…

Learn! Your life will get much easier as a result. 

Picture of Kiran Athar

Kiran Athar

Kiran is a freelance writer with a degree in multimedia journalism. She enjoys exploring spirituality, psychology, and love in her writing. As she continues blazing ahead on her journey of self-discovery, she hopes to help her readers do the same. She thrives on building a sense of community and bridging the gaps between people. You can reach out to Kiran on Twitter: @KiranAthar1

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