You’re Finally a Grown Up! Now What?
So you’re in your twenties, congratulations! Life is just about to take flight. Gone are the days when we could dilly-dally through each day as most of us did in our secondary school - it’s time to pull up our socks and buckle up.
Whether it’s having a job that you'll willingly sacrifice sleep for or that you no longer care for toxic people and mindless gossip, these are just surefire signs of maturing. And even though being worried about the future may sound like you haven’t got your life together, it really is a trait that says you’re keeping everything under control.
Here’re 10 signs you’re a 20-something who's totally winning at life in Singapore.
1. You have a bosom buddy who will go through thick and thin with you
She’s the first person you'd call up to celebrate when you get your first pay raise and promotion. If someone crossed your mind as you read the previous sentence, you belong to a select few that’s lucky enough to have found a best friend like that.
Outside of joyous celebrations, she’s also the one who has listened to you rant about work or sob uncontrollably over a breakup. You grow to realise how a small social circle you can completely trust is far better than an onslaught of Whatsapp chat groups with no one you can confide in.
2. Validation on social media doesn’t matter any more
We’ve all been there, fretting about the number of double-taps we received on Instagram. I have personally deleted photos because they weren’t "liked" by enough people in the first 30 minutes. But now that you're in your 20s, you recognise that life isn’t a popularity contest.
Your life starts to revolve around you and not an app, and you come to terms with the fact that no number defines who you are. What’s the point of followers you can’t turn to in times of need?
3. You’ve landed a job you’re willing to slog for
Finding a job isn’t hard. The real challenge is finding one that you won't mind waking up in the morning for. Even in jobs you love, there are moments when everything hits the fan. As long as there's something in your job that keeps you going, that's more than enough.
The road to finding such a job is more a zigzagged lane than a smooth-sailing journey. Reap this prime age to explore your options and figure out what you want. Your journey is just beginning - you haven't failed at life simply because you're stuck at a road block.
Tip: If you’re still in school, apply for different internships during the holidays to have a true taste of what the industry is like. More often than not, theories you learn in school are largely different in practice.
4. You no longer have time for mindless gossip and toxic people
I’ve reached a place in my life where cutting negativity is at the top of my to-do list. Identifying toxic people isn’t a new skill we pick up, but growing the courage to cut them out of your life is.
You’ll find that it’s easy to eliminate those who prefer to spend their time trash-talking. The moment you understand the joy in valuable conversations with worthy friends, you know you’re growing up.
5. You can afford the occasional weekend getaways when you need a break
On uninspiring weeks, doesn’t it sound wonderful to book a ticket to wherever, and travel for the weekend? A sure sign you're owning life like a boss is when you have enough funds to budget a spontaneous trip.
Whether a quick trip to a country in Southeast Asia or glamping Down Under, if you know you have the finances for it, congratulations! You're already in a small percentage of people who's savvy enough with their money to know how to utilise it better. If not, here's a simple budget calculator that anyone can use!
6. You have a game plan for the future
Being a 20-something means you’re off to fend the world with the training wheels off. Everyone looks forward to TGIF, and while it’s great to let your hair down, don't overdo it because such passing pleasures can be expensive.
Take baby steps first: go out twice a week instead of four times a week, or plan to head home earlier to avoid the midnight surcharge. From there, you can "graduate" into looking into getting proper financial advice and planning how to live the luxe life after your run in the corporate world.
If you have limited math capabilities, this retirement calculator will help you make sense of it all. And if you want to accelerate your retire-by-40 goals, make your money grow faster. That doesn't have to be daunting - find out the basics of investment here.
7. You have enough work-life balance to indulge in your hobbies
Source I'll take her hobby anytime.
FYI, sleeping is NOT a hobby. At this age, you’re most likely to be consumed by your career - even meals you once enjoyed become business lunches and dinners. Some of us just want to sleep in on weekends, but for those who still have it in you to pursue a hobby despite all that, you’re a trooper.
It could be finding zen at a pilates class or partaking in adrenaline-pumping sports during the weekends - hobbies help you find a healthy balance in life and remind you that you’re still alive. Spending your 20s in bed is not how life should be.
8. You get to enjoy a full 8 hours of sleep over the weekend
Why choose 2 out of 3 when you could have it all? Source
Between career, social life and sleep, you’ve reached the 20s nirvana when you have to balance it all. It sounds impossible, but all it takes is simple time management and prioritising. When work or school calls for extra hours, you know well enough not to go for that mid-week drink so you can live to see the next morning.
With that said, it’s not every day you can sleep by 10pm, so if that happens at least once a week, you are doing it right.
9. You can afford to make your parents happy in little ways
Your parents have done all they can to raise you and we know just how heavy the costs involved are. Now that you’re all grown up, it’s time for them to take the back seat and for you to return the favour.
Though love isn't a transactional relationship, giving back to those who gave you life can be a beautiful thing. While you can’t chauffeur them around in a Rolls Royce sedan yet, you can still work towards that. Simple meals out on the weekends will mean the world to them.
10. You know exactly what you're looking for in a partner
Finding love might seem easier now with newfangled dating apps like Tinder and Paktor, but human-to-human interaction remains as complex as ever. If you have your life in place, you’ll know the type of person you’re looking for. Is he/she a cats or dogs person, a Doctor Who or Game of Thrones fan?
An awareness of the sort of person you'd like to spend the rest of your life with shows you know who you are as a person, and exhibits a maturity to know what you want out of life.
Your life starts now
Between having the adrenaline of life rushing through your veins and earning your own dollars to enjoy the finer things in life, this bird is all grown up and ready to leave its nest. And no worries if you don’t have all these traits locked down - it’s never too late to start.
One other thing that is never too late to start is retirement planning. More than just saving each month the way our grandparents stored theirs under the mattress, it’s now more important than ever to make smart investment decisions to increase your finances faster.
Other than that, getting acquainted with various policies like the CPF and Medisave is essential in the long run so you know what you’re entitled to.
Don’t know where to start? The Ministry of Communications and Information has got you covered. With a string of useful information on the What’s Your Plan microsite, see why starting to plan retirement early can strengthen your finances as well as enrich your life.
Start planning for your future now!
This post was brought to you by Gov.sg