Being an adult is so hard. You have to make all of your own decisions and take official charge of your life. It can be so hard to let go of your support system and fly on your own. Trust me, I know. Hello everyone. My name is Tavinia and I was a spoiled brat. From birth until just recently (and I mean literally a year ago), everything had been handed to me. Why jump from the nest when it’s nice and cozy, right? No. You have to break free at some point and become independent. I know it can be scary but you can begin that process too to becoming an independent adult if you just follow these simple steps.
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How to Tell if You are Spoiled
Not sure if you fit the bill of a spoiled brat? Well, I’m defining it as still being coddled by my parents and living a life of dependence even though I am well into the age of capable independence. Still unsure? Answer these few questions. Do your parents pay for a majority/all of your bills? Are you financially dependent on your parents? If a minor unexpected cost popped up, would you need your parents to pay it? If you answered yes to a majority of these, welcome to the spoiled brat club! Don’t worry. You don’t have to stay in this for long. Here are the steps you need to follow to go from spoiled brat to adult.
Take over some bills
When you first graduate, you’re not going to be necessarily rolling in the dough. In fact, you might be rolling in debt but this doesn’t mean you should use this as a crutch to let your parents continue to pay for everything.
Write out a yearly plan. Map out how long it will take you to officially take over all of your bills. Stick by that and sit down with your parents so that they will hold you accountable. This may seem scary and overwhelming at first because you may not have been paying for anything up until this point. But you are going to have to confront the scary things at some point so you might as well start now! Start with something small and work your way up.
Psychology Professor Dr. Jordan B. Peterson talks about becoming financially independent from your parents and “growing as a person to a point where the answers can't be found in your parents’ house” (Youtube).
Working to take over some of your bills and becoming financially independent means you will need to budget. Yeah not such a fun idea but completely necessary. “When first becoming financially independent, it may be necessary to cut back on some of your expenses and strictly adhere to a budget. Determine exactly what you can afford in terms of rent, food, clothing, transportation and entertainment based on your own income, create a budget and stick to it. While you may experience a dip in your standard of living at first, learning how to follow a budget and be self-sufficient will help you stay independent” (Our Everyday Life).
Or maybe downgrade some items to make it affordable. For instance, your cell phone bill. Downgrade the phone if it costs too much. Just keep working at it to eventually take over everything. This may be one of the hardest bits to do but it is a necessary step to go from spoiled brat to adult. Plus, learning now how to build and maintain a budget will help you in the long run with so many other financial endeavors. Such as when you have a family, or put a kid through college, or buy a house. You know, the really big adult things.
Do Your Taxes
Speaking of paying for your own things, it would also be time to do your taxes yourself. I know I know, I am throwing a lot of big things at you but doing your taxes isn’t that bad. There are so many wonderful programs and companies out there that make doing your taxes easy. Dare I say enjoyable? One of my favorites is TurboTax. They make doing your taxes a cake walk. Plus, they work hard to maximize your tax return. Yeah, that is one of the great perks of doing your taxes is that the money that comes back is all for you. I recently wrote an article about doing your taxes for the first time. Go check out “How to File Your Taxes for the First Time” here.
Start a savings fund, and actually add money to it
You should not only start taking over some of your bills but also start saving money. Now, this is not money to be saved for a big shopping spree or a getaway trip. Your savings fund is to provide a cushion for if anything is to go wrong such as new tires, emergency doctor's visit, or whatever you may find yourself facing. Starting a savings fund now also helps you to prepare for the future when it comes time for the bigger purchases such as a house, or a new car.
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It sucks having to put yourself in the mind frame of having a bundle of money that you can’t do anything with but trust me it will be so beneficial when needed. One of my best friends, who is also in her early 20s and is waaaay better at adulting, once said to me she begins to panic when her savings dip below $1000. That was a huge wake-up call for me to start saving money because 1) if someone my age already has more than $1000 in savings, then why can’t I? 2) lol we won’t get close to that amount for a while but should definitely get started.
A great way to save money easily is to constantly ask yourself, “do I need this?” If you don’t, put the money that you would have spent on the item into your savings account. It’s a slow but sure way to build up your nest egg.
Do you get a direct deposit when getting paid? You could set it up to where the money will be automatically taken out and placed into your savings account. That really helped me in the beginning. Now I am able to take over and honestly transfer money into my savings account.
Book your own appointments
Why does this matter?
Well, this one may sound silly in comparison to the others but you have no idea how many times I had (have) called my mom not feeling well. I ask her to call the doctor and make an appointment for me. Pathetic, I know but it’s so hard to go from having someone take care of you when you're low to having to take care of yourself at all times. I mean first of all, I never signed up for this adult life. But now you mean to tell me that I have to take care of myself even when I am at my lowest. Aside from the financial parts, this may be one of hardest. Going from spoiled brat to adult comes with some small tasks that are not too fun. But remember that it is like a puzzle and this is just one unfortunate piece that is necessary to create the whole adult.
So, for now, I make my own appointments buttttt still call my mom and only call when she tells me to. Still bad but as I said, I have relapses. Taking control of little things like this takes you closer and closer from spoiled brat to adult.
Always ask “Will this land me back in my parents’ house?’
So taking the steps from spoiled brat to adult is more than just becoming financially independent, it’s also about making smart decisions. Before doing anything, I always ask myself, “will this land me back in my parents’ house?” I kid you not, this question has become my life mantra.
Having gone from an independent life in college and coming and going whenever I want, it absolutely terrifies me to think that I could end back up in my parents’ house. It’s like my own little version of the TV show Scared Straight. The thought that doing something incredibly dumb could land me back in their house keeps me walking the straight and narrow.
Here's the deal.
You want to go on that crazed adventure with your friends that could land you in jail? “Will this land me back in my parents’ house?” Thinking about investing all my money in frozen waffles? “Will this land me back in my parent’s house?” I can barely afford myself but I love kids so much so maybe I should adopt one now at 25. “Will this land me back in my parent’s house?”
So see, I am not in jail, don’t have a large share in waffle stocks, and haven’t adopted a kid. It really works so you should give it a try. It can save you from making dumb life-changing decisions.
Now I’m not saying to not live your life to the fullest. We’re in our 20s and this is the opportune time to make crazy decisions and follow spontaneous ideas. All I am saying is to weigh those ideas against all the potential consequences that would come with it. If it still seems to be the right move then go for it!
Make your parents the last resort
Realizing that when they leave me in my first apartment, I have to start adulting
This has been my biggest and hardest one to overcome. Every time something goes wrong or if I don’t know what decision to make, I immediately pick up the phone and call my parents. I have stopped a mechanic mid-sentence and hit them with a “hold on, I need to call my dad” and/or “here, my dad wants to talk to you.”
That's not all…
I once had a professional ask me how old I was when I was handing him the phone with my parents on the other line. That was my wake-up call that I need to get my shit in order. It was way past time to stop calling my parents for every little thing. Now don’t get me wrong, you should call them for some things because they would know better than you but they should be the last resort.
Same goes for money. Even though I am telling you that you need to become financially independent, there will be hard times that you need help. Make sure that your parents are the last resort. Try to figure it out yourself, do some research, and if you still can’t figure it out then call your parents.
That’s one of the great things about Miss Millennia Magazine. We are a source of information on almost all of life’s situations. We want to help you take those steps towards becoming an independent adult and no longer needing to rely on your parents.
The journey from spoiled brat to adult can be very difficult. There is so much that has to change. If anything, I have found it to be like a 12-step process. You will go through denial, anger, and then many steps later, acceptance. And there will often be a few relapses. However, as long as you find the courage and strength to quickly climb right back up on that horse to adulthood, you are on the right path. So follow these steps help you to become independent and say no to the spoiled brat life. It will be hard, but in the end, it is completely worth it?
Were you/are you still a spoiled brat? Are there other things that helped you to become an independent adult? Share them below in the comments section!