5 Very Adult Life Things That Your ‘Rents Will No Longer Sort Out For You In Your 20s

Adult life
Contributor: Tayla Gentle

The thing that surprised me most about turning 30 was not the newly-sprouted grey hair or the incredible pressure placed upon women to spawn kiddos – no, it was the alarmingly easy and surprisingly quick transition I made from your-average-twentysomething to certified sage counsel.

Holy moly, was it smooth. One day I was googling how to boil an egg and the next I was holding a therapy session with a bunch of 22-year-olds in the girls’ bathroom of my local pub. And you know what? I’m into it. Come, young padawans, tell me your qualms and I’ll offer you counsel. 

It’s important, after all, that we pass on this knowledge, share our life experiences and listen to our elders. Because, goodness gracious, do we leave the safety of our mother’s bosom ill-prepared for what life is like as an adult. If you’re a fledgling grown-up, here are a few things to prepare for: 

Organising your health insurance

Insurance. It’s a thing. You might need it for your car, for when you travel and – perhaps most importantly – you might need it for your health. Why? Well, even though you might be young and healthy now, it still has its advantages. Private health insurance gives you the option between public and private hospital stay, you can avoid the public hospital waiting list where you could potentially wait months for surgery and you can work some extras in there, like physio and dental cover (keeping you on top of those other adulting things, like regular dental checks).

You’ll also want to make sure you organise your health cover (specifically, hospital insurance) before you turn 31, otherwise, you can face extra charges if you choose to get hospital cover later in life. They call it Lifetime Health Cover Loading, look it up.

There’s a heap of funds to choose from, but places like HBF Health Insurance have got your back, will talk to you like a human and will help you find an option that works within your budget.  

Navigating the murky waters of a break-up

It’s highly likely that at some point in your 20s, a good looking person will catch your eye and then you’ll catch feelings. And not to be bitter, but this love will probably end. Because – I’m sorry – not all love lasts. Especially when you’re young and fun and dating around.

ANYWAY, just prepare yourself for having to navigate the complexities of other people’s feelings and baggage and childhood trauma. I highly recommend finding a therapist that you like, you know, in advance. Nothing like being prepared. (FYI, health insurance can hook you up with some $$ back on those psych sessions too.)

Putting tax and/or super aside

This is especially important for those of you who might run your own business or freelance on the side. Not all of us have nine-to-five jobs with a steady income and a financial team taking out the essentials for you. Invest in a solid tax accountant and set up your banking so that you’re paying it as you go. There’s no way around tax, we’ve all got to pay it. And we’re all going to retire one day, so it would be nice to do so with a cushy amount of superannuation $$$ in the savings account. 

Finding your own GP and getting regular check-ups

You can’t keep seeing your childhood practitioner forever. I mean, you can, but it’s kinda weird. I didn’t see a doctor for ages, because I was a healthy youth, but then I got glandular fever and it was all downhill from there. Nowadays I love going to see my doc, his name is Ed. I once went on a date and Ed was also at the same restaurant on a date and honestly, it was the highlight of my week. Anywho, find a GP – like Ed – and go get regular check-ups. Even if it’s just for sexual health reasons. 

Asking for a pay rise

Did someone say A-W-K-W-A-R-D? Why is asking for money so awkward? Everything about it is awkward. It makes my whole body awkward just thinking about it. But, alas, it’s a reality. And the quicker you get cool with it, the happier your bank account will be. I once got a job promotion, but they didn’t bump my salary.

I wasn’t going to say anything until a male colleague was like, “Nah that’s bollocks” and made me knock on my boss’ door to clarify the salary. Turns out it was a balls-up by the finance department, and I walked out with another $10k to my name. The lesson here? ALWAYS ASK.

If you’re reading this thinking – my word, I need to make some adult changes to my life. I highly recommend starting with HBF and getting your health insurance sorted.