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Things you should have by age 30

26 February 2016, 15:00 Susan Erasmus

By the time you turn 30, you have to make peace with the fact that your childhood is completely over. You are now responsible for yourself, like it or not.

But for some people, the biggest problem of adolescence is to get it over with before they turn 30. There are certain things (and this is by no means a definitive list) you should have under the belt by now.

If none of these things are on your list, it might be time to do a serious bit of growing up. Missing one or two? We’re all human.

A tax number.  That means either a regular job, or enough freelance work that you need to file a tax return. If at the age of 30 you are still being supported by other people (parents, student grants) it’s time to get real.

Your own fixed address. You don’t have to own the place – renting is fine. In fact, for many people, that is the only option. But it must be your place, not in your parents’ house, or in student digs. Not the kind of place you stay in for three months and then move on again. That’s what you do when you are 20, not 30.

A decent mattress. You spend a third of your life in bed. It’s fine to sleep in camping mattresses and friends’ couches when you are still a kid. Not anymore.

A driver’s licence. Not everyone has the money for a car, but you need to be able to drive. It’s often required for jobs as well. Get a scooter if a car is out of your range. They don’t cost much second hand. It’s nice not to have to ask others for lifts at this age.

Your own GP. It’s tough to discuss adult problems with the GP who diagnosed you with measles when you were five. And who is also your parents’ GP. Get your own. It’s time.

A credit record. A good clean one, that is. You don’t want your bond or car finance application turned down, because you defaulted on your clothing account last year. It happens. If you are in arrears on debt payments, be an adult and sort it out, or make some arrangement with the people you owe money to.

An emergency fund. It doesn’t have to be huge – saving can be difficult. But living on the edge from pay cheque to pay cheque is something you do when you are 22. By the time you turn 30, you should have enough stashed away that if you have to fly suddenly to PE or Durban because your mom is ill, you should not have to borrow the cash, as your credit card is maxed out again.

Curtains. They don’t have to be custom-made (read expensive) – you can find perfectly good ready-made curtains from Ackermans or Woolworths or Mr Price Home Store. Light colours go with everything, and if they’re the same colour as your duvet set, any place your move into looks good instantly. No more hand-me-downs that are 40 years old. It is just depressing.

A planned social life. Students wait and see what the weekend brings. By the time you are 30, it’s a good idea to plan and initiate some social events in advance. Spur-of-the-moment stuff is OK now and then, but relying on that could mean lots of TV time on your own.

One decent interview outfit. Classic, understated and professional - that’s the air you should go for. If you were called for a job interview tomorrow, you need to have something to wear.

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- Woman24


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