17 Essential Skills You Need To Survive Adulthood

There's no instruction manual on navigating adulthood, yet you are responsible for so many different things as an adult. So, what skills do you need to not only survive but thrive as an adult? Here are the top seventeen skills that are absolute must-haves during adulthood. 

1. Being Able to Say No

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No is a complete sentence; if you want to thrive as an adult, you need to learn that. There'll be many situations where you need to stand your ground, from declining a night out with friends to refusing an impossible workload. Also, saying no is for more than just your benefit. It's a respectful way to decline something you have no interest in; anything else would be wasting other people's time.

2. Money Management

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Poor money management can really set you back financially. Every adult should have a basic understanding of how to manage their money. This includes saving, investing, paying bills on time, and making your money work for you.  

3. Self-regulation 

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Impulsive emotional reactions are excused as children, but once you're an adult, you should know how to control your emotions and behavior. Self-regulation is the ability to take a pause between your feelings and your reaction. Without self-regulation, managing relationships will grow more and more difficult.

4. Cooking 

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While it might not seem like a big deal, feeding yourself without ordering through Uber Eats or going out to restaurants is a necessary skill. Knowing how to cook makes you self-sufficient and ensures you know exactly what ingredients go into your meals. 

5. Making Sacrifices

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Life has many ups and downs. As an adult, knowing how to make sacrifices is a necessary skill to acquire. For instance, learning to downgrade and live below your means will set you up for success if you lose a job. Making sacrifices could also mean staying home rather than going out or saving for a house instead of buying an expensive vehicle. 

6. Discipline

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Discipline is essential for adults since there is so much to consider. Healthcare, financial management, household maintenance, vehicle payments, and taxes are some of the concerns adults typically face. If you don't have the discipline to keep your life on track, you'll have many problems.

7. Time Management

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Time is your most valuable resource as an adult. Effective time management doesn't come naturally to many people, but it's a skill that can be strengthened and used to your advantage. Learning to prioritize tasks, set a schedule, and get things done on time is necessary. 

8. Critical Thinking

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Critical thinking is essential for navigating life's numerous ups and downs. As an adult, you must be able to analyze facts before making a judgment. It enables you to think for yourself, solve problems, and make intelligent decisions. Critical thinking also allows you to understand yourself, your motivations, and your goals a lot better.

9. Having a Thick Skin

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You'll meet many different people throughout adulthood, and many won't be kind or considerate. A thick skin will help you react to criticism and outright rudeness without losing your cool. Every adult should be able to listen, think, respond, and react appropriately. 

10. Resilience 

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Many challenges will be thrown your way throughout your life, and you have to be able to bounce back. Coping with setbacks and struggles is an integral part of adulthood. You must manage setbacks with grace and push forward, no matter how difficult things get. 

11. Communication 

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The ability to communicate clearly with family, friends, coworkers, strangers, and when addressing crowds will ensure success in life. It helps resolve conflicts, build relationships, and express one's needs without misunderstanding.

12. Impulse Control

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Impulse purchases, late-night fast food runs, and binge-watching an entire series instead of getting enough rest are common impulses that many struggle with. As an adult, controlling your impulses is crucial for maintaining relationships, professionalism, a healthy lifestyle, and financial stability. 

13. Introspection

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Reflecting on your actions and decisions will help you better understand yourself. It's easy to blame others for the mistakes and problems you may face, but recognizing where you went wrong can help you in the future. Introspection allows you to learn from your mistakes and ensures personal growth. 

14. Budgeting 

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Budgeting is an essential skill to nurture during adulthood. It involves planning where every dollar of your income goes, from savings to rent and even the occasional treat. Efficiently budgeting your finances allows you to avoid any financial stress.

15. Social Skills 

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Navigating social situations is a crucial aspect of adulthood. Social skills go beyond making friends or networking with colleagues. It requires you to understand social cues and respond to them appropriately. 

16. Emotional Intelligence 

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Emotional intelligence is being aware of your emotions and those of others. It helps with managing personal and professional relationships. Through emotional intelligence, you understand that not every situation requires a response, making you a more supportive friend and a cooperative colleague. 

17. Persistence 

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Life is filled with disappointments and setbacks, but having a gritty, never-give-up attitude will see you through failures and lead you to success. Persistence is the skill that keeps you going when things get tough. 


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She started her blog, The Money Dreamer, when she realized the 9-5 job was not the lifestyle she wanted anymore. After designing for a while, she wanted a more meaningful life, which was freedom, so she decided to venture out. She took action so that she can live her dream life and decided to help people to live theirs by helping them how to save, budget, and invest.

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