This Is Your Adulthood Starter Kit

No one ever tells you how hard it is to be an adult, until it's too late — that "too late" period is called your 20s. Suddenly, life is no longer just about school and parties and dreaming about your future. You have to take actual steps to achieve those dreams. Plus, there's the constant barrage of newly required grown-up duties, like paying taxes, managing your 401(k), and finding doctors who take your health insurance — all on your own, without help from your mom (most of the time).
Sometimes, it's hard to feel like a "real" adult, because objects that mark adulthood are expensive and therefore out of reach for many twentysomethings who are paying off student loans or just starting out in their careers. It can also be tough to figure out what, exactly, to spend your money on. How can you be sure something is worth shelling out your hard-earned cash for (hello, Beats headphones that you can’t fit in your purse)? It’s okay. You’re new to this whole “adulting” thing.
Don't fret: We've come up with 15 different (material and otherwise) investments you should consider making in your 20s — things like gym memberships, wall art, and even friendships that not only add value to your life, but are absolute essentials for growing up. Now, all you have to do to get your new life started is click through.

More from Work & Money

R29 Original Series