We probably never thought about this when we were younger, but being an adult can get really expensive. Apart from the bills, which are impossible to avoid some purchases that we might have made aren’t really necessary (i.e. Those 400$ designer shoes or that 30$ lipstick). I will say, however, that some of those adult purchases really do help give you the best possible chance at leading a successful, healthy, and happy life. The important thing is distinguishing between the things you want and the things you need.
Here are some of those essential items for all twenty-somethings:
- A Quality Formal Outfit
Be it a pantsuit, a nice dress or a pencil skirt and a blazer, a Formal Outfit is a must for most young women. The brand of the clothing isn’t important, as long as it is of good quality. I would stay away from fast-fashion ones as they often do show that are made of poor quality materials, not to mention the harm that they cause to the environment and people that work for them.
I am lucky to live in Italy and we have a lot of small boutiques that have medium prices and the garments are made by local artisans. If this is not possible where you live, thrift shopping is also a good option.
Your Formal Outfit is something that you’ll have to spend a little bit more money on to guarantee a crisp, quality fit (and make sure your investment lasts you for years and years). You will thank yourself when you will have it on hand right before an interview or important meeting.
- A Good Computer
Since in most workplaces is now a must for employees to be more and more available outside of the office, it’s important to have a quality computer you can rely on. Spending a bit more than you did on your college computer for one that has sufficient storage, and runs much more smoothly is worth it. The last thing you want is a computer that crashes when you’re working on an important project. Some companies might provide you with a laptop to work from home, so make sure to ask for it before purchasing one.
- A Quality Bag
Be it a purse, briefcase, or backpack: a well-made, high quality bag that fits your needs is a must-have for any professional twenty-something. You could buy cheaper satchels more frequently, but they won’t last as long and you’ll end up spending more money in the long run. It’s best to spend more up-front on a bag that will last you for several years. A quality bag will make you look put-together and competent to interviewers, employers, co-workers, and potential clients.
I have bought one from a local shop, one and a half years ago and it still looks brand new, despite using it everyday.
- A Nice Pair Of Work Shoes
There’s a difference between shoes you wear when you go out with your friends on a Saturday night and shoes you wear to work or an important meeting. Polished, closed-toe heels or flats need to be a priority in your wardrobe investment pieces. It’s best to make an investment here, too, so the shoes are more comfortable, supportive for your feet, and will last you for several years. Opt for black or nude as those colors go with everything. Geox is an Italian brand that makes some great quality ones and the price is in the medium range.
- Healthy Food
The college times of instant noodles (even if you are an underpaid intern like myself) are over. I would say that in every stage of life one should take care of ones health. Make a list of the food you need and stick to it every week (Whole grain pasta, brown rice, legumes fruits and beans should be your staples). I will add my 25euro weekly grocery list in a future blog post.
- Skin-care products
Whether you think it is still early to worry about fine lines, I would still recommend taking care of your skin as soon as possible. Using natural products to cleanse and moisturize you face daily is very important. Don’t forget about sunscreen and to also moisturize your body, as well.