Whether you are on your own for the first time or 45 still feeling 25, “adulting” is a never-ending process. Adulting encompasses all those tasks that come with being a responsible grown-up, even though you may still feel like a kid at heart. Don’t stress. We’ve laid out five goals anyone can master in the game of adulting and save money as you go. And if you’d rather watch Netflix tonight than learn German? #YouDoYou
1. Adulting Goal #1: Do your own taxes
It’s that time again! If you have a phone and your tax forms, you have everything you need to file your taxes yourself in one sitting. And if you’ve already achieved that goal before, challenge yourself to not wait until the last minute this year. Double adulting points! TurboTax asks you questions about your life to ensure you get the biggest refund you deserve based on your entries: you can even connect live via one-way video to a TurboTax Live CPA or Enrolled Agent to get your tax questions answered. The TurboTax Live CPA or Enrolled Agent can even review, sign, and file your tax return.
2. Adulting Goal #2: Stick to a budget
You already keep track of your calories and daily steps, why not how much you spend? Creating a budget is not as hard as you think: start by tracking your monthly expenses like rent, utilities and car payment. Then, subtract those expenses from your monthly income to determine the discretionary money you have to pay down debt, put in an emergency fund or just live your life! Take a look at your last few months’ spending, and try to identify areas where you can reduce.
3. Adulting Goal #3: Accept you’re not invincible
Health insurance covers essential benefits critical to maintaining your health and protects you from unexpected medical costs. Plus, the Affordable Care Act requires most Americans to maintain health insurance – if not, you could be on the hook for a penalty on your 2018 taxes (the ones you file in 2019). Though Marketplace open enrollment is closed, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period to enroll in a new plan if you experience a life change like getting married, having a baby or changing jobs. And if you weren’t insured in 2018, check out the IRS free online tool to determine if you may qualify for an exemption from the penalty! Under tax reform, after tax year 2018, you will no longer be charged a tax penalty for not having insurance.
4. Adulting Goal #4: Save for retirement
Remember when turning 30 sounded light years in the future? Time moves fast, so the time to start saving for retirement is now. It’s smart to take advantage of an employer-offered 401(k) plan because they often offer percentage match and automatic withdrawal from your paycheck. Or look into opening your own IRA: in fact, you can still reduce your 2018 taxable income (until April 15) by depositing money into your retirement account!
5. Adulting Goal #5: Learn to cook
When steady income meets Instagram FOMO, there’s a constant urge to dine out and go out on the town with your friends, especially when you’re in a new city. Why not bring your friends together at home as you try out some new recipes?
Filing your own taxes is one of the biggest signs that you are mastering adulting. When you go online and file with TurboTax don’t worry about knowing tax laws or forms. TurboTax will ask you simple questions and give you the tax deductions and credits you are eligible for based on your entries. And although you are mastering adulting, if you still have questions, you can connect live via one way video to a TurboTax Live CPA or Enrolled Agent to get your tax questions answered. A TurboTax Live CPA or Enrolled Agent can also review, sign, and file your tax return.