Adulating 101: Taxes, 401(k)s, and a Bunch of Other Things You Should Know Before 30

The end of 2019 is coming to a close. With that comes the reality of birthdays, ageism and goals underachieved.

We all are on a time clock. Whether its aiming to buy your first home, increasing credit limits or pursing a serious relationship, many of us are experiencing what I like to call the “woes of life” without a proper guide to lead the way.

The first major adult-like situation that I encountered was when I started my first corporate job shortly before graduating from college in 2016. Unfortunately, I had aged-out on my mothers medical plan and quickly had to understand health insurance terminology that I was unfamiliar with. Not only was I uncomfortable with the idea of selecting my own policy, but I quickly realized that there was much more to being “grown” than having a fancy job.

In recent years, I am proud to say that I have successfully chose medical, dental, vision, as well as a life insurance plan that works for my lifestyle. Between that, juggling a blossoming brand and being the best dog-mommy that I can be, it is safe to say that I am crushing this chapter of my life!

If you are wondering how a person is winning in this season (or appears to be winning), now is the time to log off of your social media accounts and get to work.

Dirty thirty is right around the corner, so what are you waiting for?

Taxes, 401(k), and life insurance

When I was in high school, I assumed that only people with large bank accounts were allowed to do their taxes, and obtain insurance policies. Later, I understood the importance of keeping yourself protected, even for a low rate.

The funny thing about money, there’s more than one way to get it. Aside from working a 9-5 and praying to break the chains of generational curses, there’s optimal courses of action you can take to achieve your goals.

First, you want to build up knowledge on the basics.

Ask a trusted source such as a mentor or an established family member. They’ve been exposed to the odds and ends of how to properly file taxes without the use of services like turbo-tax, 401(k) investment percentages and breaking down the details of the benefits to starting a life insurance plan, which will allow you a head start when dealing with finances.

Building and Maintaining a Good Credit Score

Prior to enrolling in college courses and racking up student loan debt I had no knowledge of credit or how a credit score would impact future planning. It wasn’t until I was approved for a secured credit card through Capital One that my eyes were open to new things.

Whether it’s applying for a loan, a mortgage, or even a rental apartment, your credit score is going to be a deciding factor as to what interest rates receive. Now, I know that the majority of people are unaware of how credit scores are calculated, but there are a few things that will definitely negatively impact your credit score or at least lower it slightly that I’ve learned along the way.

  1. 35% of your score is based on your payment history
  2. 30% is based on current debts
  3. 15% is determined by credit history
  4. 10% is allotted to new credit applications
  5. 10% is about types of current credit

Essentially, this means the following actions could lower your credit score:

  • opening a credit card initially (it can boost your score in the long run!)
  • not paying off your bills in full or more than the minimum amount each month
  • accruing more debt than you can pay off with your savings or income
  • increasing your credit utilization (the ratio of your credit card balances to your credit limits)
  • if an inquiry is placed on your credit card application
  • spending a large amount on your card after initially opening it
  • skipping payment altogether

When managing credit, be sure to set aside payments that do not intervene with existing income, be mindful of when you are applying for new lines of credit, and always do the required research needed for the best interest rates with minimum to zero annual fees.

Communicating (professionally, romantically, socially)

With social media, dating apps and casual work settings becoming more prevalent, people often forget how to respect others when communicating. Texting has made relationships difficult to maintain while more collaborative work environments have lowered the walls between hierarchies of employees.

That is why it is important to remember what is appropriate and inappropriate when socializing with your peers, speaking with those superior, and to someone you’re romantically interested in.

For example, when engaging with peers in a laid-back setting, remember to keep the conversation professional in nature. Co-workers do not need to know of alternative activities that you engage in after work hours. When speaking with a significant other during trying times, try to be considerate of their emotions before going full speed ahead.

Lastly, be mindful of the words in which you speak of yourself. When cultivating a loving lifestyle for myself, I am very mindful of how I talk about myself and the words in which I choose. We can all benefit from being kinder not only to ourselves, but others as well.


Learning how to effectively network when pursuing a goal is one of the best ways to win the game of adulthood. For me, I’ve met so many awesome people through social media, attending relational events, and truly being a help towards others. Not only has it help me towards building my blog and gaining new insights, but it has also allowed me to come into my own as a woman.

The key to networking successfully is getting out of your comfort zone. Trying new things not only will put you in a room of unlikely allies, but you’ll begin to make connections outside of your immediate circle of friends and family.

Don’t be afraid to go to networking events or meet friends of friends, as they’re your way in to a larger network. Introduce yourself to those who greater experience than you. As always, give the impression you want them to have. This means looking polished, being professional, and staying true to your beliefs.

Although thirty is closely knocking on the door, there is still time to get your ducks in a row before adding to your career, family structures, and recurring debt. Before you continue scrolling down your timeline, try taking a break and write down three things that you can do to get closer to the life that you want before the year is out.

It’s time to wake up!

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