As I started to approach adulthood, I noticed that the gifts that my parents bought me started to change. They went from clothes and gift cards to much more practical gifts. Which got me thinking, maybe I too should start preparing myself for my upcoming independence.
Here’s some items that I found particularly helpful, including ones that I was glad I didn’t have to spend my meager funds on.
If you weren’t lucky enough to get your own luggage as a child, luggage makes for a great graduation or late teen birthday or graduation gift. Usually a big expense for a young adult but a great gift item! As we head off to college, we don’t want to be the one lugging in our items in a half-torn bag or grandma’s old-fashioned luggage.
Having my own luggage seemed like such a cool luxury to me. I got it in a fashionable style and with all the latest features. I felt so “adult” toting my bags to University and on my first real “parent-free” vacation.
This one may sound ridiculously simply and silly but it’s something that I’ve used throughout University and use to this day as I go to work. What am I talking about? Well, when I was graduating from secondary school my mother sewed together (in purple cloth – my favorite color) a small bag to put a pair of shoes in, with a rope tie at the top to cinch it closed.
The purpose of the bag was to be able to wear my boots on winter days and then transition to my nice shoes once I got to my destination. All in a very fashionable way! Mom was really thinking when she came up with this one! To this day, as I go to court or work (I’m an attorney now), I still bring my shoe bags with me. It’s been a priceless, thoughtful gift.
The Value in Saving
While this isn’t an item per se, it sure has been the gift that keeps giving since my parents instilled the value in saving in me. I no longer fret when my car breaks down (Okay – I do fret a little). I no longer worry when an unexpected expense comes my way. Because I know that I will be able to cover it with my savings.
From my first allowance, my parents shared with me this value. They had me put part of my allowance in the bank and part was a free for all for me! And free for all it was as a young child. Later in life, my spending became a bit more calculated but I always maintained the savings habit that they instilled in me. It doesn’t take a lot; even a dollar here or there can add up over the weeks.
Another good “trick of the trade” with savings is to keep a coin jar. Then, throw all your coins for the day in there. One year, I found I had saved over $300 in it! Not a bad a haul!
What gifts have you received as you approached adulthood that you were grateful for? What helped you transition to adulthood, whether gifts, values, or pieces of advice?