The Confused Millennial’s 31 Day Adulting Challenge

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So a lot of you know took time off the blog, and work in general, last month. It was a much needed change of pace which allowed me to reconnect with myself, my creativity, and also get my adulting on. Seriously, I let so much fall to the way side which threw me out of alignment! Taking care of all the #adulting responsibilities I’d been putting off felt SO good that I knew I needed to share it with you guys!

Before we jump into my 31 day adulting challenge, I want to stress that you can do this in ANY order! I wrote it out where you’re tackling the harder stuff first – but if you want to stop from the bottom and do it in reverse order, go for it! We’re covering some BIG areas that I know, if you’re like me, you’ve been procrastinating so take it at whatever pace you prefer! If you get stuck on any of them, don’t worry, you can always come back to it next month! Plussss… I have some posts in the works to take you through the exact steps for tackling some of the tougher ones on the list, so make sure you keep checking back each week!


The Confused Millennial’s 31 Day Adulting Challenge:

P.S. Share on social media using #31dayofadulting & tag me!

Day 1: Usernames and passwords.

Anyone reset their passwords and have fifteen million emails that they spend 30 minutes of their week trying to guess the super secret combo only to have to reset the username AND password because you just can’t figure it out?!? Nope, I’m the only one?! Well, take the time to put your username and passwords somewhere safe, secure, and organized to save yourself a headache and time down the road! 

Day 2: Locate and securely store your social security card, birth certificate, and passport.

Thanks for keeping these safe mom and dad, but it’s time I take over! Make sure you have these in your possession, somewhere secure, and get that passport up to date! You never know when you’ll need it! If you already have these in your possession, great! Kick it up a notch by getting with your significant other or parents and making sure you know how to access their stuff in case of an emergency (think bank accounts, wills, etc.)

Day 3: Create a savings plan or debt repayment plan.

Is this the year your finally going to pay off that big credit card? Or better yet, start saving for that home? Take the time today to create a game plan for one of your financial goals. Look at how much money you need to reach your goal, then figure out when you’d like to reach that goal. Figure out how many months that’ll give you, then divide the total funds needed to reach your goal by the number of months until your goal date. Viola! You now have a plan and a fixed number to put into your budget!

Day 4: Automate some savings.

At work: Get with your employer and ask if you can divert a portion of your paycheck into savings. Some allow you to do this by a fixed dollar amount, others a percentage, either way, out of sight, out of mind = winning!

Apps: There are many savings apps out there today. Acorns automatically invests your spare change. Digit, now charges $2,99 per month, crawls your accounts and basically analyzes your spending habits to find money to move to savings for you & pays you a little in interest, truly the lazy mans saving option. 

Speaking of interest… if you’re not super lazy, and can look at your account and move some money to savings on your own every month (or divert a portion of your paycheck to savings every month) consider opening with Ally (it’s the bank I’ve used for years!). By making the switch from big brick and mortar banks into a high yield savings account with digital banks like Ally, I’ve been able to earn hundreds of dollars! Seriously, I went from earning .01% interest on my savings accounts to 1.25%! Can I get rich off of that? No… but it sure is nice to have a few extra hundred dollars every year just for keeping my savings somewhere that thinks about me a little bit more!

[RELATED READING] 10 Money Saving Apps

Day 5: Set up deposits to a retirement plan.

Seriously, it only takes $50 or $100 to open an IRA, so use some of that holiday money to get started! Then, even if it’s your only contributing $5 per month to get started!  Check with your employer and see if you can divert a fixed dollar amount or percentage of your paycheck into a separate account from your checking. That way the funds automatically get set aside from the previous step! Out of sight out of mind!

Day 6: Create a budget.

On that “new year, new me” high? Great! So now is the time to check your bank accounts and actually create a budget! You probably should’ve seen that coming from the last too, eh? I started with the previous two because paying yourself FIRST should be priority #1 before you start dishing out your hard earned cashed to big box retailers and your landlord. So now that you have those numbers fixed, let’s look at your overall financial picture. A great rule of thumb is the 50/20/30 guideline. Basically 50% of your income goes towards necessities (rent, insurance, utilities, etc.) 20% goes towards financial goals (debt repayment, saving, etc.) and 30% goes towards your lifestyle (clothes, gym, subscriptions like Netflix or Hulu). Again, it’s just a general rule of thumb to get you started so feel free to flex it to your unique situation!

Day 7: Receipt organization system.

The best way to know where TF your money is going is to track it! Download an app like Receipt Hog or Waveapps to start saving your receipts. I promise it’ll help you refine your budget!

…alright, that’s if you’ve made it through week one, congrats! I promise, it gets easier from here, I figure, let’s start with the hard stuff and then the rest will feel like a breeze!

Day 8: Set appointments for health.

Make those annual physical exams, two dental cleaning, and gynecologist appoints if you don’t already have them scheduled! Seriously, just schedule them, even if you need to reschedule, at least you’ll have it on your calendar to deal with at a later date.

[RELATED READING] Millennials, This Is What You Need To Know About Healthcare

Day 9: Set up an auto back up for your computer.

LBH, our lives are digital now, so back that ish up! There are auto-backer uppers like backblaze or icloud. But keep in mind that a back up is just that, a back up! If you delete something off your computer, an auto back up will delete it *usually* within 30 days too. Or you can use an external hard drive to back your stuff up, but again it’s JUST a back up, not storage, so when your hard drive runs out of room, it’ll start erasing your oldest stuff!

Day 10: Digital clutter dump/storage.

Okay, so I probably freaked you out about your digital back ups, so what’s a girl to do with her digital life? STORE IT! YUP! I spent the last monthly moving EVERYTHING off my computer to cloud storage (thanks google drive!) so if I delete it off my computer, it’s always with me in the cloud! No need to worry about back ups erasing it either!

Day 11: Filing system.

You know all those pesky letters you get in the mail? Like W2s, W9s, bank statements and the like? Well it’s time to take them off your kitchen counter (why does stuff ALWAYS pile up there?!) and file it away! I personally use this filing cabinet and I either file (longer term docs I might need like W2s, W9s, healthcare statements, retirement account statements etc.) or shred (monthly bank statements, unnecessary healthcare docs, etc.)

[RELATED READING] How To Organize Your Office In 5 Easy Steps

Day 12: Organize digital / planner.

Now that everything is cleaned out, let’s make sure we create a schedule to keep it that way! Organize your digital life using a calendar or trello and set due dates to make sure you’re on top of keeping things clean clear and on schedule. For example, one the 7th of every month, you’ll do a digital dump again and on the 11th of every month you’ll shred all those pesky mail docs. You just went through the steps, so you know how good it feels to have thing clean and organized! Don’t let it all pile up again!

[RELATED READING] How To Make The Perfect Planner For You

Day 13: Clean your inbox.

Inbox zero exists. I know because I’ve been there. Everything gets deleted, archived, or boomeranged. It’s blissful.

Day 14: Credit check.

Yeah, it’s time to check those credit scores! Visit this site to check your credit reports. from the bureaus directly! Remember, your credit is weighted on most recent activity and tons of other factors that you can read about here.

[RELATED READING] How To Start Repairing Your Credit

Day 15: Cook a meal.

Leave the take out menus in the drawer tonight and flex your cooking muscles! It might not feel like it now, but it actually boosts creativity, self esteem, and is a great mindfulness practice! Not a cook? No problem! Start easy with something simple like steamed broccoli, pasta, and a chicken breast!

Day 16: Dump expired stuff.

While you were in the kitchen the other day you may have noticed some things growing mold in the back of your fridge… okay just me again? *drops head in shame* Anyway, spend tonight wiping down everything in your fridge, and dumping anything that’s expired in there or in your cabinets! – Legit just found two loaves of bread in a cabinet from the hurricane we had 4 months agooops!

Day 17: Clean your sheets.

Nobody likes bed bugs or a nasty gal *or maybe we do? I can’t keep up with is nasty girl a good thing or bad thing these days?* Anyway, just clean your sheets. Especially if you’ve been breaking out on your face, it’s probably a sign your pillow case needs to be washed!

[RELATED READING] 5 Cleaning Hacks For Confused Millennials Using Bleach

Day 18: Empty your bags and pockets.

You never know what you’ll find! Like that time I accidentally found $200 in my pockets… oops! Or this pretty seashell! Take some time to dump out all of your bags (purses, gym bags, back pack, etc.) and pockets!

Day 19: Purge closet.

While you were going through your pockets, you may have noticed some questionable fashion choices in the back which you haven’t worn in a year… Yeah, let’s get all of those out of there! Create four piles: keep, dry clean, toss, and donate.

Day 20: Donate.

Yeah, today’s the day to actually take all those donation bags to Goodwill. Seriously, get them out of your house and car!

Day 21: Clean out social media.

I know people love the social media detox – but i think that’s kind of unrealistic. For many of us, our lives (and livelihoods) are on social media so we can’t avoid it but we can clean it out! Unfollow people who just don’t jive with you anymore. Seriously, Andrea from Hustle & Hearts just unfollowed everyone on Instagram and is slowing following people back in an effort to focus more on building deeper relationships, and honestly, has me thinking about doing the same! Worried that if you unfollow you’ll hurt someones feeling? The mute them so they don’t show up in your feed! It’s SO nice when you don’t have to see that stuff!

Day 22: Express gratitude.

Today’s attitude is gratitude and it feels oh so good. Send someone a thank you note. Pause to compliment or express gratitude to someone who has helped your recently – especially if it’s out of the blue or face to face!

Day 23: Pay it forward.

Giving back and doing a selfless act is one of the most adult things many of us can do in this “me me me” society many of us find ourelves in. Make sure to pay your good fortune forward. Buy the guy in line a coffee, clean up a bags worth of garbage from the beach, use Amazon Prime to deliver some necessities to someone in need like this guy did:

Day 24: Network with one new person.

Whoever said no new friends had it all wrong. Life is about exploring, innovating, and growing and what better way to do that than networking?! Whether it’s professional or personal networking, focus on making a new connection today. — And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, start here! Seriously, if you been reading the blog but never left a comment, this is your chance! Say “hi!” introduce yourself! 

[RELATED READING] 7 Ways To Network Like A Boss

Day 25: Revisit an old relationship friend, mentor etc.

🎶 Make new friends but keep the olddd one is silver , the other is gold” …remember that little ditty from elementary school? Yeah let’s make sure we are practicing it! Focus on strengthening those older relationships in your life. Maybe it’s a personal connection like your college roommate you lost touch with or maybe it’s an old boss or mentor. Send them a quick text, or better yet, a phone call!

Day 26: Practice mindfulness.

Whether that’s spending five minutes today meditating, taking a mindful walk around the block, or even just enjoying an orange slice in the present moment. Notice how it feels to be in the moment, and remember you can do it whenever you’d like!

[RELATED READING] How To Manifest Anything You Desire In Life

Day 27: Dance.

Adulting shouldn’t be all paying the bills and chores, it should also be dancing like no one is watching. Bringing out our inner child to keep up our optimism joy, and wonder for the world. Put a power song on and just DANCE today. Don’t worry about how silly you look. Seriously if you need courage watch this ridiculousness:

 

Day 28: BE BOLD.

Part of adulting is finding your voice! Stand up for yourself today. We all have that running tape, that voice inside, that’s talking to us all day. You know the one who says you shouldn’t have said that or done that or you should have said or done things differently. Well today is the day to be bold. To speak out loud. To advocate for yourself. Whether it’s with that inner voice and telling it to pipe down, or standing up for yourself at work or in another relationship. Looking for some ideas? How about dropping one of these harmful communication tactics.

Day 29: Try a new wellness trend.

Interested in reiki? Kundalini yoga got you curious? Or maybe you just want to try those collagen eye masks that everyone has been talking about? Pick a wellness trend to try and actually try it! Need some inspo? Check out the wellness trends I’m all about in 2018 here.

Day 30: Write a reflective letter to yourself – either past or present.

Ahhh part of adulting is gaining self awareness from all the experiences we’ve had so far. Take some time to write a reflective letter either to your former self or your future self. Focus on things you’ve learned and how you’ve grown. If you need some inspo, you can check out the advice I’d give to my 18 year old self here.

Day 31: Set your intentions for next month!

Holy moly! The month FLEW by! Can you believe it? Now is the time to set your intentions for the new month! Write it all out! Maybe you didn’t do something on this list? No worries! Shoot to get it done next month! This was meant to dabble in a few areas, but maybe while going through hit you felt like you needed more energy or focus around finances, or self care, or the home, or relationships, maybe set that as a sole intention for the new month!


RELATED READS:

Advice To My 18 Year Old Self

The Confused Millennial’s Wellness Trends To Try In 2018

3 Harmful Communication Tactics To Drop Today

How To Organize Your Office In 5 Easy Steps

How To Make The Perfect Planner For You

How To Start Repairing Your Credit

7 Ways To Network Like A Boss


Looking to reach more of your goals? Grab TCM’s Goal Setting Guide!


Saving for Later!

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And don’t forget to share on social using #31daysofadulting and tag me! Look at Hugs and Lattes already jumping on it LESS than 24 hours since it went live!! Keep sharing with me you guys!

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  • These are all so important! I think our next big adulting challenge is to try to get taxes done by early Feb–taxes are even more work when you live overseas and have to file in two countries. Working on getting retirement stuff sorted out and heading in the right direction is on my to-do list, too! Along with getting a will–not sure there’s many activities that qualify as “adulting” more than that one!

    • ahh i can totally imagine how tough taxes are then!! and I totally agree about the will! Lol we were just talking about making one last month actually! — for retirement stuff, I just moved all my stuff to wealthfront and am loving it! I had an ira with a broker, then one with vanguard and then a 401k with my former company, so i rolled the 401k and vanguard one to wealthfront and they are just great!

  • Your blog is the BEST!!!!! Ugh I seriously need to do everything on this list, esp. the ones that have to do with finance. I need to start a retirement, automate some of my savings, and get better at paying off my debt. Ugh, adulting is so rough

    • haha awe you’re so sweet!! I have some posts coming about debt repayment so don’t stress! and the savings one is SO easy to get started with today! I’d recommend opening a savings account with Ally and then asking your employer to divert even just $10 of your paycheck into that until you want to take a more serious look at it! It doesn’t need to be some big chunk you figure out right away, it can be something small and foundational!

  • These are such great ideas, Rachel! Most of these are applicable even into middle age. 😀

  • These tips are on point! Funny story: I “took over” my birth certificate-holding responsibility a few years ago. Now, when I REALLY need it (to change my last name after getting married) I have no idea where it is lol Thanks for reminding me that I should locate that 🙂

  • These tips are amazing! We are going through a huge kitchen remodel, and I was shocked to see the stuff that was expired. I need to keep this so I can start checking things off!!

  • Okay, I am definitely pinning this and saving it for later. I need to do a few of these things for sure!

  • Ugh I am so going to attempt to do this! I like how you started off with something relatively easy like usernames and passwords – I can handle that, right??

  • Ashley Stephenson

    These are all things I need to do! I have been putting a % of each paycheck into savings and that has been great!

  • haha, I really like this idea! I definitely need to get on a lotttt of these and have been meaning to for ages, but just…haven’t gotten around to it yet–thanks for putting it all together!

  • LOVED reading this list! I honestly felt good while reading it as I was mentally crossing off what I have already done and or do regularly. The one thing I want to work on in 2018 is regularly track my spending like my fiancé does. He has a whole spreadsheet that’s so detailed and shows everything! I’m hoping to pick this up in the new year! I also want to try a new wellness trend ☺️

  • Kyla Matton Osborne

    This is a really great list! I know I go too long between clean-ups of my inbox or I forget to write down new passwords and such. This last year, I’ve been trying to be more methodical about all of that so I can stay organized.

  • Sara Montague Miller

    So much great advice here! I am on top of most of these but really need to do Day 1 pretty badly!

  • Love this post SO much! Saving it for later to actually start “adulting” better this year. P.S. the video of you all dancing is the cutest thing ever. 🙂

    • haha omg thank you!! we were practicing routines for a dance battle competition we were going to do with a friend and his girlfriend and they always just make me laugh so hard haha

  • Courtney Heathcock

    I LOVED this post! It was nice to know that some of this #adulting stuff I have down! But I still have so much left to do! I am so excited to jumpstart this challenge ASAP!

  • These are all such great things to accomplish!! I’ve done a lot of them… but I’ve also put off ones that involve terms like “high-yield savings” and “retirement.” I definitely need to just get it done!

    Tori

    • Ahh seriously, don’t freak out about the high yield savings! Opening a bank account with Ally is SO easy! And it’s a MUCH better place to have your savings account than one of the bigger store front banks! And from there it’s just a normal savings account 🙂

  • Whew, that is a LOT of adulting! I do some of these already but I definitely could start doing a lot of these too!

  • Love this Rachel!! We just shared it with our community!

  • Miss ALK

    Rachel this is amazing!! What a fantastic resource! A lot of these things I have been putting off doing (*ahem* putting all my passwords somewhere) so I’m totally saving this post as reference for getting into action and actually getting stuff done!

    xoxo A

  • I have mixed feelings right now; I’ve sorted some of the things in this list out (like using a budget or creating a savings account) but there are so many other that I still have to figure it out. Adulting is not fun sometimes.

    I keep my important passwords in an app call One Safe (I think), really saved me a lot of trouble.

  • This is SUCH a great list, Rach! I don’t even want to think about how many times I’ve had to reset my passwords because of all of the different requirements! I feel like I need to print this out as a checklist to make sure I’m staying on top of all of the things!

  • I pinned the list & I’m going to download it to my phone so I can do some of it this weekend! Great post & what I needed. I’m currently into investing so I’m ready to adult even more!

  • I’m in! I love these ideas. I’m going to “adult” this month. 🙂

  • Totally need to do a lot of this, especially clean out my inbox. It’s just out of control.

  • Love this challenge! Some of these will DEFINITELY be 10x harder than others, but I can only imagine how good it will feel to not have a cluttered inbox!

  • Robin @ And Then We Tried

    This is quite the accomplished list! If I could get half of these done in a month I’d be seriously impressed with myself. Great work!

  • Karoline J.

    Wow, I LOVE These! I really need to do this adulting challenge 🙂

  • I absolutely loved reading this! As I am trying to be more organized and get better at adulting, I am so using this. I am so going to write down this list in my bullet journal and, although I will probably take it slower and not do it in 31 days, I am so determined to complete this challenge!

  • OK YES. I have been thinking every single morning that I need to write down all my passwords!! I’m definitely going to do some of these that I haven’t done yet.

  • Ahh I need to do so many of these! Thanks for the great reminder.

  • This is such a great challenge, Rach! You’re going to help so many people get organized. 👏

  • I do most of these things regularly, except dance (I hate dancing hahaha). I have clean up my inboxes on my to do list for this month!

  • Amy

    I love this! This just makes me realize I need to sit down and get my ish together. hahah!

  • Thena Reading-Franssen

    Love this challenge! Am I up for it? I hope so! Great list to start my day!!

  • Such a great idea! I’m going to try all of these – I’m trying to save more and contribute more to my savings each month!

  • This is such a great productive challenge! Over the past year I did a lot of these things (definitely not in a single month) and I feel SO much better because of it. This month I deleted a few social media challenges, since it isn’t part of my livelihood it was a great feeling…there was too much noise and I feel a little less strained/distracted.

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