You live and you learn

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Happy Tuesday!

Since moving states, getting married, and adopting a puppy, I've learned A LOT of lessons, some more difficult than others. Some of these lessons, I really wish I would have learned in college, when it was easier to make a come back from your mistakes, because seriously - I haven't used Weightlifting 101 yet in my career...

1. How to balance a check book 
[to keep track of just how much you're really spending]
Five dollars on a Starbucks drink here, $25 on a shirt there - it doesn't seem like a lot at the time, but after several expenditures like that, the numbers begin to add up quickly! If you're not good at keeping up with debit card transactions, consider taking out cash each week (or biweekly, whenever really!) and using that instead. It's a lot harder to hand over a crisp bill than it is to just swipe your card.
money, coins, finance
2. How to file taxes
[or at least prepare the information for someone else to do them]
There's a lot of information that you need to have handy when it comes time to take care of your taxes. You'll need all your personal information as well your spouse and children. You need information regarding education payments (student loans), your W-2 forms (for employment information), mileage log if you use your car for business purposes, information regarding retirement contributions, health insurance information, deduction and credit information, and the list goes on! I did some research and H&R Block seems to have a pretty good checklist here

3. How to write a resume and cover letter
[one that will actually impress potential employers]
Your resume is so critical when it comes to applying for jobs. Tailor your resume and cover letter to for the job you're applying for. Take a look at the job description and accentuate how your qualifications meet those desired requirements. Be sure to market yourself - you do want the job, right?!

4. Basic cooking skills
[and how to use a fire extinguisher in case of emergencies]
I worked in a restaurant for 6.5 years, but that doesn't mean I know anything about cooking! I can't tell you how many recipes I've tried and failed at! It'd be super helpful to know things like what temperature to set the oven to in order to cook certain meats, and how to properly cook rice (because mine always looks more like mashed potatoes).

food, pot, chef
5. How to sew
[so you can make clothing repairs without having to pay someone else]
A few weeks ago I paid $12 to get the corner of a pocket sewn back down on my herringbone vest. $12 for just a few inches of string and ten minutes of time is absurd. I could have bought half a mani with that money! For real though, how nice would it have been to be able to fix the tiny tear myself without ever having to leave my living room.

6. Basic car maintenance
[like changing your windshield wiper blades]
Raise your hand if you've ever looked like an idiot in the parking lot of an auto shop  not knowing what you're doing or how to even ask for what you need. Just me? Okay, then. Thankfully, I have a sweet husband that is more than willing to take care of all things related to my car, but what if I was by myself? I have AAA, but I'm pretty sure they don't want you to call them if you need your new windshield wiper blades put on...

7. How Presidential elections work
[what's an electoral vote anyway?]
I took Government/Economics as a senior in high school...when I wasn't even old enough to vote yet. Seriously, what sense does that make? It'd be helpful to know what's going on every time my husband watches Fox News.

8. How to change your name when you get married
[you seriously have to change EVERYTHING]
Social security card, license, bank accounts, bills, tax information for your employer, the list goes on and on. It's such a process to get everything changed after marriage, and let's be honest, do you even know where to go or what documents you need in order to make the name change happen? I didn't either. But, The Knot does have some pretty good information here to get you started!

9. The ins-and-outs of insurance
[health, car, home, etc.]
Insurance sucks - point blank. It's always a hassle, it's never fun, it's just a necessary evil. So what's the best way to approach the whole insurance situation? Do you take advantage of it when offered by your employer or do you look at other options? What are the most affordable options with the best coverage? There are so many questions!!

10. How to make a budget (and stick to it) as your priorities in life shift
[suddenly that fancy dress isn't such a necessity when your cable bill is due...]
If you don't already know this about me, I like to shop. A lot. Like, sometimes it's a problem. But since getting married and living on our own, Rhett and I have had to learn budgeting skills. Now, thankfully, we've never been in financial trouble, but a lot of young couples are. You just don't realize that you can't buy everything you WANT while still paying for the things you NEED. 

Do you wish you would have learned any of these lessons earlier as well? What else do you wish you knew sooner in life?

*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. 


  1. I wish I had learned more about retirement saving. I feel like it is never really addressed and then you're thrown into the working world and have to figure it out yourself.

  2. I got pretty lucky, my mom taught us about money and balancing checkbooks early in life lol my grandmother was also a seamstress. They both made sure we knew how to cook I started doing my taxes on turbo tax when I was 16 lol On the upside of life's negative experience I had some really crappy cars in college and low income so I did manage to pick up some things. I also got my insurance license senior year of college lol I'm feeling pretty accomplished right now. I do think this is a great list, I've used this stuff a lot more than most of the things I learned in college. You would think resume writing would be required for seniors lol

  3. I honestly don't know why #1-3, 7 (moreso), 9 & 10 are not taught in depth during high school!