There are just somethings that can’t be avoided in life. The old joke goes, “the only things you have to do in life is pay taxes and die”, while it’s funny, it just isn’t true. Being able to keep yourself fed, happy, clean and financially stable are irreplaceable skills that have to be developed. Here is a list of skills that everyone should have.
No matter what you think your life is going to be like, the likely hood of having a live in cook is very slight. It isn’t your partners job to feed you and your mother won’t be making your dinner forever. Learning the basics of cooking is an invaluable skill.
You will likely make a massive mistake with bleach one day that will make you wish you learned how to clean your home safely. It’s always important to remember your high school chemistry classes because mixing cleaning products can not only ruin your counters or sink, but can potentially kill you. Always check labels and don’t mix bleach. Don’t forget knowing how to unplug a toilet! For some tips on how to keep your home clean, click here.
There is a freedom to making your own money and living on your own, but not taking care of your finances can land you in a lifetime of trouble. A good general rule is to put away 10% of your earnings into savings. It can seem impossible to do this, and in a lot of cases for young people it is actually impossible to do this, but it is very important to have a rainy day fund. You never know when your car might break down, you might lose your job or your health could take a decline. Savings funds can be the difference between a bad month and losing your home.
Basic Vehicle Knowledge
If you own a car, you should know how to take care of your car. I’m not saying you should be able to fix everything, but knowing how to check your oil, tire pressure and assorted fluids is important. Knowing how to change a tire (and where your spare is) as well as understanding the symbols on your dash can be the difference between a simple drive to the shop or your car completely breaking down. Also, knowing what to keep in your emergency pack in your vehicle and when to change out supplies is essential.
Basic first aid is a must for everyone. Understanding the signs of a stroke, heart attack and other visible ailments is important but knowing how to disinfect small wounds and identify the difference between a child crying from a bumped leg vs a broken leg is invaluable. I do not advocate that anyone preform medical services without a medical licence, nor do I advocate for the “fix it at home method”, but knowing the basics to keep someone stable until medical help arrives and the basic symptoms of common ailments is important.
You don’t have to be able to sew your own suit together, but you should be able to put a new button on your shirt. Hemming, patching and small repairs will save you a lot of money and your clothes will fit better if you can do simple stitches to bring them together better.
Once again, I don’t expect you to become a Red Seal Electrician, but knowing where your water line shut off valves are, how your fuse box works and how to re-light the pilot in your furnace is important. If a line bursts, a fuse blows or your furnace goes out, you will be very thankful to know how to react and when it’s time to call a professional. Thankfully most taps are easily replaced by homeowners due to their simple design, same goes for toilets. Youtube is your friend and always chose to replace your wax seal with a goosenecked one (removal down the line will be much easier). Knowing when your fire alarm is compromised and if you have a monoxide monitor in your home will also help keep you safe.
Hygiene and Health
While it seems pretty simple to take a shower and brush your teeth, your health goes far beyond this. To reduce festering bacteria in your shoes which can lead to infections in your toes and open sores, wear clean socks and wash the inside of your shoes.
Taking a de-wormer will help protect your digestive system (do check with your doctor before doing so). Personal hygiene products for those sensitive areas are often more harmful than helpful.
Practicing safe sex with condoms will protect you from a lot of unwanted diseases. Seeing your doctor and dentist for check ups gets more and more important as you age. Getting your prostate and testicles checked professionally can not only detect cancer but other illnesses. Having Pap smears done is also a must. All of these things are important for your health and hygiene.
Very importantly, wash your hands often and don’t touch your face is you don’t have to. This practice will help protect you from a lot of nasty illnesses and reduce your likelihood of developing or worsening acne. Another good practice is to flush toilets after you have put down the lid to avoid having urine and fecal matter finding it’s way onto your toothbrush.
If you have advice and skills you want to share, please do in the comments. Though it asks for an email address, it is not require to post a comment, so please don’t hesitate to share your stories and advice.