Sitting down and taking charge of your finances

PART 2 of How To Adult For Beginners: Fit Body, Fit Wallet

Continued from Part 1 here.​​​​

So you read the last post, and now you think you know how to adult.

(Not quite yet, but you're getting there, I promise)

In Part 2, we take a look at how to master 2 more parts of your adult life: fitness and personal finance.


Lesson 4: Fit Body, Fit Mind, Tight Life

Dumbell pushups for the winner in you

If you want to live your life to the fullest, you have to challenge yourself to the fullest. This ranges across all facets of your life from relationships to career, but one area where many people lag is in their fitness.

Exercise builds up and strengthens your mind-body connection. It opens up your veins and lungs, and enhances your mental endurance as well. People worried about how to adult sit in their cubicles or on their couches, and ignore this major point of living a healthy life. A big part of being an adult is realizing that only you can take responsibility for your physical well-being, and actually doing something about it. Not to mention, once you get this area taken care of, you will start seeing other areas of your life improve as well with your newfound confidence and sense of strength.

Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day has a multitude of benefits. It’s energizing, improves sleep, and causes the release of a whole cocktail of some of this author's favorite natural highs, such as serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins.

Compared the the previous how to adult lessons in the previous post, this is probably the most challenging area for people to build momentum towards. Let's face it: going to the gym when you haven't for a year or five sucks, and it hurts a little before you get used to it (then you feel awesome). You also can't see results immediately, and it could take a month or two to see improvements (then you start to look awesome), and sure, it requires time investment. But even so, it’s a no-brainer. There are virtually no real downsides. Other people find you more attractive, your mood improves, and you live longer. Go work out. This is the updated version of one of the first gym books I ever bought, and it teaches you everything you need to know about how your body works, how to use gym equipment, and basically how not to feel like a fool in the gym. If you're at all unsure about how to start, start with this:

Learn from some of the best

As I have progressed on my own fitness journey, I have utilized YouTube a LOT in terms of finding inspiration, advice, and programs to follow. Here are a few of my top choices for people who want to learn how to adult in the gym and start building the foundation for a healthy future:

Jeff Cavaliere (Athlean X) - One of the most dedicated and thorough fitness video makers I know of. The value you can get from following this guy is unbelievable in terms of understanding how your body works and how to use different exercises to improve various lagging areas. He can be a bit intense, but I honestly believe he means to deliver the very best information he can. Check out his site for his fitness program (I almost bought it, but actually ended up just following his Youtube channel long enough that I felt I didn't need the extra support...)

Gabriel Sey - Located in the UK, and one of the brightest, nicest guys I have seen in the online fitness space. Comes across as genuine and friendly, I watch this guy more for motivation (to get huge like him) than for instructional stuff, though he does have some videos on nutrition and exercise. You can throw on his videos while you eat breakfast or fold laundry or something to get some interesting perspective on what life is like when you're fit and huge like a tank.

Buff Dudes - The name makes them sound like an eighties action movie duo, but these guys are legit buff. They are articulate, too, and walk you through various exercises and training routines they use and recommend. I can vouch that I have followed some of their routines and been deadly sore for days after.

These are just a few channels I follow, but check them out and look around the category on Youtube and I'm sure you'll find some great info to get you motivated and get started. Seriously, though, the biggest piece of advice I can give is to just start. Once you make this a habit, it becomes clockwork and you get the benefit of a longer, healthier life, and a better physique.

Lesson 6: Master Your Personal Finance Now

get your money right if you want to learn how to adult

I put together an article last month of 4 Ways To Start Saving Money you should definitely check out first.

When I started writing the last "how to adult" post, I knew a major component was going to be finances. In fact, I have re-written the personal finance section more than a few times in the last couple of weeks, because honestly, it's so core to many peoples' troubles and struggles in becoming an "adult." With that said, I have decided to begin writing a more detailed guide that I will be publishing on Kindle in the future. For the time being, I am going to part with my basic guide to personal finances that anyone can follow. The below requires no special skills, no base amount of capital, and no degree in finance.

  1. Have 2 bank accounts. Set up your paycheck to deposit your fixed expenses and spending money in one account, and the remainder (your savings) into the other. If you cannot configure your paycheck to do this, set up one account to automatically bounce an amount to your other account whenever you get paid. This will prevent you from seeing your "saving" money as potential "spending" money and you will start accumulating a meaningful savings account. My guide for how to figure out your "saving" amount is in Pt. 1 of How To Adult
  2. Your credit card is now your debit card. Your monthly expenses (for rent, electric, groceries, etc.) that you used to pay for with debit, bank wire, or cheque (you still use those??) or whatever is now going to start earning you cashback or rewards through your credit card, and you are going to pay off the balance in full every month. Never carry a balance on your credit card unless you like lighting money on fire, and rack up points or rewards you can use on something nice in the future.
  3. Get out of debt. Those payments you've been making each month on student loans, credit cards, the TV you bought in installment payments (why would you even...) – that's all debt that you are going to kill off ASAP. Every time you don't pay off a balance in full, you are delaying your real adulthood and your potential to retire early. Oh? You like beaches? Yeah, you'll like them more than that 50" TV when you retire early and you're still young enough to enjoy them.
  4. Don't dress to impress. This goes for every purchase you make – if you're buying it because you think it will impress someone else, you're doing it for the wrong reasons. I'm not saying "cheap out and don't buy quality things," but be sure that when you buy something like that, it's an investment and not a toy. Personally, I used to be bad for this, because I like sports cars. Having to sell one for various personal reasons while upside down on the loan taught me that buying above my means was stupid. When you've achieved personal finance mastery and set yourself up for life, you can treat yourself a bit. Don't sacrifice your future for your present.
  5. Figure out your savings goal and stick to it. I like to look at it like this: 
    If i want to retire in 15-20-25 years for example, what will my monthly expenses look like then? Great, multiply that by 12. That's your yearly draw from whatever savings/investments you will have set up. How much more money do you need to hit that goal? Well, that's the (1 to 3) million dollar question. This point in and of itself can be expanded into an entire book (which I will be doing), but for now check out Mr. Money Mustache. His approach, while a little bit on the conservative side for me, is extremely solid. Live below your means, save, invest, live a life full of meaning. Go check it out.
  6. If you want to learn how to accumulate wealth in the future, I highly recommend the following book. I read it years ago, and it has given me the insight to view my money in a very pragmatic way as an adult, and I have begun slowly building my account in the hopes of living a nice life and not working until I'm too old to enjoy the world.

Basically, I think the goal for most people in learning how to adult is to feel comfortable with money at least, and ultimately to become wealthy. I can't possibly give you the key to personal finance success in one blog post, but we will be revisiting this topic many times going forward, so start setting yourself up for success now and take action on the above points.

Comment below if you want to get the conversation started!