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Joys and Responsibilities of an Adult

You’re finally legal… what you need to know

When we were kids we used to look at all our older family members and really wish we were adults, we couldn’t wait to grow up. If you ask most adults now, they will tell you now that they are actually grown up, they wish they could live the uncomplicated life of a child again. Between paying all the bills myself and taking full responsibility for not only yourself but maybe also family, ‘adulting’ can be overwhelming at times, there are however some perks of the adult life though.

Responsibilities of a legal adult

The responsibilities that come with as part of the adulthood package, can be a lot less exciting than you imagined. Whether you are going to be working or studying, if you are living away from your family home for the first time, there are now few mundane things you took for granted which you are now going to have to take care of. Basic survival means making your own meals, and putting your best self out there depends on you doing your own laundry. And we hate to break it to you, but the kitchen won’t magically clean itself – those dishes will sit there until you do them. Don’t forget you’re the one buying the cleaning chemicals too now. It’s exciting and daunting all at once. On the upside you can have your own apartment and drive yourself wherever you need to go. The joys of having your own space and car lead to the next point.

Taking out your first loan

This is a big one and a very significant one which you will be very proud of. More important than qualifying for and actually getting a loan is how you pay back that loan – it will either set you up for success or make your financial journey very difficult. Your credit score will determine how much financial assistance you will get from the bank. Whether your loan is for a car, house or studies, the better your credit score, the better your chances is of getting bigger loan offers from the bank in the future. Having a credit card works pretty much the same, you constantly have to make payments on time on the card to stay in good standing with the bank.

What documentation do you need

For all of the above milestones to take place, you will need a few important documents. The first one you should already have, is your ID (you will need this to write your Matric exams). Once you start working, your next important documents are SARS registration and your bank details – you will not be able to get a loan without this information. If you wish to travel then you’ll need a passport, this allows you move across borders and explore the world.

What’s the deal with employment

The face of employment is changing, staff are working from home and many of us want to travel the world and work from our laptop. Having some form of employment, will be your number one priority when you spread your wings into adulthood. If you are taking the traditional employment route there’s things like salary deductions of the UIF, provident fund and the tax you have to pay which you need to consider when working out what your take home pay will be. Some employment opportunities may also have the benefit of a life insurance and medical aid. Different companies offer different types of employment, seasonal employment, part time, fixed contract and permanent contract. It is very important to discuss money with an employer and get clarity on exactly what you can expect in your bank account at the end of every month so that you can budget accordingly. Speaking of budgeting – always make allowance for some sort of savings every month… but we can discuss that in more detail another time.

Parting shot

Being an adult can be hard; but when you approach it sensibly and are not afraid to ask for help or advice from someone you trust, you can live a beautiful life. Where ever you find yourself, count your blessings and know you‘re doing a great job!

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