Below is a list of life skills that most young adults will need to know regularly or at least once in the years soon after leaving home. We tried to link to blogs or instructions of websites that are not trying to hard sell a product, but where this is not the case, THSC is not endorsing the company who happens to be giving some particular life skill advice or instruction.
Undoubtedly one of the greatest life skills is the ability to research and find answers to your questions. So our number one life skill is: How to use Google search. You can get by with putting some keywords into the search bar, but to really hone in on your desired results, learn a few search hacks.
For other life skills, particularly ones that are best demonstrated, use the internet’s second largest search engine: YouTube.com. There’s a lot of content on YouTube that you don’t want to stumble upon, so #2 life skill is how to set filters on YouTube and on YouTube for use with an iPad.
With those two basic skills under your belt, let’s explore life skills in the areas of personal health and well-being, home management, financial and legal management and much more!
Grooming, Health and Personal Safety
- How to maintain good hygiene
- How to prevent contracting a sexually transmitted disease. Abstinence, of course!
- How to iron clothes without an iron, because who irons anymore?
- How to get stains out of clothes. The ultimate stain preventions: an apron while cooking and a napkin while eating.
- How to safely use your smartphone
- How to tie a tie. Girls, you may need this too for some uninitiated male friend.
- How to shoot a gun. This is best taught hands-on, but this will get you started.
- Staying current on vaccinations. If you’re not opposed to vaccinations, adults get them too! Check out the Centers for Disease Control self-assessment to see which the CDC recommends for your circumstances. Before you get them, know the risks.
Home and Automobile Management
- How to clean house, including deep cleaning
- How to change the vacuum cleaner bag or empty the canister. This will depend on the model of vacuum. See owner’s manual.
- How and when to change the filter on the air conditioner
- For coffee drinkers: How and when to clean the coffee maker
- How to keep your computer in good working condition (including making regular back-ups if you’re not on the Cloud, setting your machine to regularly defragment and clean temporary files and more that can slow performance).
- Beyond the above, here’s how to prevent your computer from messing up.
- How to keep your phone in the same great shape as your computer: iPhone and Android
- How to change the battery on a smoke detector and test it. 9-volt batteries not included.
- How to basically maintain your car. Oil changes, tire pressure and more.
- Which noises signal your car needs immediate attention
- How to jumpstart a car. Could be your car, or you could be the Good Samaritan for someone else.
- How to get stains out of mattress, carpet, cutting board and 16 more things.
- How to unclog a toilet. This one you need to know at all times, or always take your smartphone with you to the toilet when not at home.
Finance and Legal Management
- How to open a bank or savings account
- How to invest money in a CD or brokerage account. Hint: You don’t need to hire a financial adviser.
- How and when to file taxes. “The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.” — Mark Twain
- How to file your taxes for free. Do not pay for tax prep if you’re filing a 1040EZ.
- How to keep financial records organized and how long to keep them. From the time you file your first tax return, this is important.
- How to register a new car or renew your car’s registration
- Which taxes you are responsible for in your state (Texas). Thankfully, Texans are responsible for fewer kinds of taxes than most Americans.
- How to get a certified copy of your birth certificate for after you lose the one Mom told you not to lose.
- How to get a replacement Social Security Card
- How to get a passport. Hopefully you’ll need this skill!
- How to keep yourself safe online
- How to prevent identity theft. It happens to 7 percent of U.S. adults!
- How to shop around for car insurance. Prices vary widely. It pays to compare.
- How to handle a speeding ticket. Hint: Do not throw it in the back floorboard and forget about it.
- What to do if you’re in an accident
- Which insurances you need and which insurances you don’t need
- How to keep your credit score high
- How to budget and stay out of debt
- How to use credit wisely. Hint: Don’t keep a credit card in your wallet. Lock the card down in a fireproof safe so you have to go through multiple steps to get it out and use it. Make it a practice to try to talk yourself out of using it as you’re unlocking the safe.
- How to set goals. What’s your five-year plan?
- How to save money on groceries
- How to save money on other purchases by using Craigslist, Facebook groups, LetGo, local thrift stores and more.
Good Manners and other Miscellaneous Life Skills
- When to write a good old fashion thank-you note and how to write one
- How to set a table
- How to prepare for a job interview and nail it
- How to plan and book a trip, including tips on making airline reservations, booking hotels and more.
- Good etiquette for dining out, including what foods you can eat with your fingers
Bonus: 50 good manners and etiquette that make the world a better place