Advice, Changes

Lessons I didn’t know I needed

I guess you could say I’m a fully fledged adult now. I have my own insurance, own a home, and last week I used an HSA to pay for glasses. But, just because I’m an adult doesn’t mean I have all the answers (contrary to what teenage me thought). The older I get, the more I find myself realizing there are so many things I don’t know and being an adult actually requires at least a basic understanding of various industries.It’s a near daily occurrence that I call a parent asking for some sort of life lesson. Here are the last few things I’ve had to learn on the road to being an adult:

-How insurance, and co-insurance, work: I always knew the basic premise of insurance; you pay a set amount each month and when you have a procedure or visit the company covers all or part of it. I even knew the economics behind it and what things were likely to be covered versus not covered. What I never realized was that I had no idea how to figure out a deductible, or look up what was covered, or how to use co-insurance. It took an Insurance 101 lesson from the master (my mom) to figure out exactly what I needed to know.
-Investments: Growing up, my family didn’t have a ton of money. We weren’t poor but there certainly wasn’t enough for investments. So, I never had an opportunity to learn. When I started my 401k, I knew it would be invested in some way but there were so many words I didn’t know! Vanguard, BlackRock, IRA; who knows what those mean! Luckily, the auto-investment options are still decent options so I have some time to really dig into investments and learn some new things.
-Buying a car/Titling a car: About a week after starting work, my trusty Malibu died. It was a good car; it got me through college, multiple 4-6 hour trips home, and plenty of travel from Muncie to Dayton. But, it was time for a new one. So, off we went to loan applications and negotiating and eventually signing paperwork. We already have a house but the real estate agent did most of the work on that one. Within the span of 24 hours we got a lesson on when to cut your losses, negotiation, and eventual purchase. Of course, when you buy a car, you also have to title and register it. So that’s a whole other animal to tackle when we get paperwork in a week or so.

Teenage me thought that I would never need to rely on my parents once I went to college. I’d have money, I’m smart, I could figure it out. But, yet another life lesson learned, parents know all (or at least know how to find it all). So I’m curious, what life lessons did you struggle with?


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