“How to adult” for dummies

Most high schools fail to teach students how to live in the real world, so here are some tips.


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Going to college, for most, means learning to be an adult. It can be hard to balance budgets and build credit, but one can learn.

Shalene White, Staff Writer

It can be scary for a student to transition into college life on or around campus. For some students, this means making their own decisions. There are some skills students need but are never taught in high school.

  • Renting a car

One life skill is almost always elusive is how to rent a car. Many people have never rented a vehicle – it is not just students who have never invoked this privilege. Thrifty Rent-A-Car attempts to make it simple for first time renters.

The website gives tips for a seamless first-time experience. Thrifty Rent-A-Car said the car could be rented over the phone for convenience.

Most rental companies have a minimum age of 25, but a person under that age can still rent. Hertz rental’s minimum age is 20; it will just cost more. The website states that the renter needs a driver’s license – one that has been in good standing for over year – a valid credit card and must pay a “young renter daily fee.”

Edmunds.com goes into more detail with the tips for renting a vehicle. Surf the net for the best price and figure out the best day of the week for the best price. Weekends are generally cheaper than a weekday. However, if you rent it for an entire week, that is where the best fares are found.

Some might lament over not having a credit card, but there is a way around that. According to Nerdwallet.com, “The company will almost definitely put a hold on your card (bank) for a few hundred bucks on top of the rental fee. This is to cover any ancillary fees you might incur. If you don’t have to pay any fees, they will refund the full amount of the deposit when you return the car.”

  • Budgeting

Another skill that slips under the radar is how to budget. A Gallop Poll’s results showed that two-thirds of Americans do not have a budget.

The Southeastern Oklahoma State University Student Health stated, “Budgeting is important for many reasons; the top two being to make sure one does not run out of money before the end of the month, and to eliminate any unnecessary spending.”

A new budgeter might not know where to begin; the SE Student Healthsaid the first step should be to determine the student’s income. The site recommended to, “aim on the low side” being sure not to over budget.

The Student Health website suggests categorizing the cash. It helps to know where the money is going, and what it is being spent on. Cut out any unnecessary spending and set your goals. It is also important for students to save money while budgeting. It may seem impossible, but it can start out small. If money is going into savings, it is a step in the right direction.

  • Bank accounts and Building credit

Another action every adult should do is open a bank account and start building credit. Wells Fargo said the first step is to figure what is needed. Is a checking account or savings account better? A potential customer needs to have a valid identification card, and social security card. Every account has a minimum amount needed to open; it depends on the institution on the exact amount.

When it comes to obtaining a credit card, one must ask themselves a crucial question; are they ready for a credit card? The Balance.com stated, “You need to be responsible enough to charge only what you can afford and to pay your bill every month without being reminded. Getting your first credit card before you’re fully prepared can spell disaster for your credit.”

The website also encourages students to limit spending, only make necessary purchases. Be sure not to go over the individual budget. Making smart purchases and paying on time can help build good credit which comes in handy after graduation.