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50 Things Every 18-Year-Old Should Know

Written By : John Hawkins
April 6, 2009

1) “If you are buying something that you will use often and for a long time, never go cheap. You’ll end up replacing it sooner or paying more in maintenance costs than if you had spent more on good quality in the beginning. Plus, you’ll enjoy the nicer product throughout its lifetime, rather than cringing every time you use something that is falling apart.” — bretts

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2) Don’t spend money on a credit card that you can’t afford to pay back. The interest and late payments can put you in a hole that can take you years to pay back.

3) Compound interest is your friend. Saving even a relatively small percentage of your income each year, starting at 18, can leave you in much better shape by the time you’re ready to retire.

4) If you’re working with someone who can be bargained down on a price, it seldom hurts to try. The exceptions may be someone of exceptional talent, someone you’re going to have to work with on a regular basis, or someone whose help you’re going to need in a timely manner.

5) Try to keep enough cash to pay your bills for at least six months in reserve. It will make your life immeasurably easier if your car breaks down, you have a surprise medical expense, or you get an opportunity to get a fantastic bargain.

6) Dogs are fantastic animals. They deserve to be called man’s best friend. But, if you are under the impression that you just need to buy a collar and a bag of dry dog food every month and you’re set, you’re in for a rude awakening. Dogs tend to be much more expensive and time consuming than you’d think.

7) “Don’t have any children or get married until you can support and love yourself first.” — D-Vega

8) “Don’t trade your vehicle in on a new one just a couple of years after buying it. Pay it off and ride it until (the wheels fall off), all while putting that car payment in the bank.” — The_Muck_Man

9) College is a lot more work than high school and your job will be a lot more work than college was.

10) Start looking for a new job BEFORE you quit your old job.

11) Don’t take any job that only pays commission unless you’re either an expert salesman or ready to spend months working without pay to gain the skills you need to become an expert salesman.

12) Ideally, you should choose something you love to do so much that you’d do it for free and find a way to make it into a career.

13) When asking for a salary, always have a figure you want in mind — and then ask for significantly more than that number. That way, you may get more than what you want and even if you don’t, you have a better chance of getting the amount you had in mind than if you had blurted it out right off the bat.

14) There’s no shame in taking any honest job.

15) Getting fired or laid off isn’t the end of the world. To the contrary, a lot of people, myself included, have moved on to bigger and better things after being laid off or fired.

16) If you’re not happy with the job market, the government, or the schools in your area, remember that you can always move to another city or another state. Lots of Americans do just that every year.

17) “I wish that I had known to check the oil in my vehicles and to have changed it regularly. It would have saved a lot of money that I spent on repairs — directly due to my lack of changing the oil per the mechanic.” — Ann H.

18) Lefty loosey, righty tighty. Turn it to the left to loosen it and to the right to tighten it.

19) Don’t ever open a hot radiator cap or you can get seriously burned.

20) Here are 3 keys to keeping a reasonably clean house: don’t leave any dishes in the sink overnight; every time you have a full load of clothes, wash ‘em, and take out the trash every time the can is full. You do those things, wipe up your messes, and vacuum when the floor gets filthy, and you’ll keep things reasonably neat.

21) If you use a computer even semi-regularly, it’s worth your time to take a typing class.

22) It’s not enough to buy a gun and stick it in a drawer like a lucky talisman. You need to learn to use the gun.

23) When you move, sell, throw away, and give away as much as possible or you’ll just end up moving boxes from one closet, where they have been sitting for five years, to another closet, where they’ll be sitting for the next five years.

24) Don’t ever loan your friends money if you want to keep them as friends. After all, if they were good with money and were likely to pay you back in a timely manner, they probably wouldn’t need the loan in the first place. If they really need the money, you want to help them, and you can afford it — just give it to them.

25) Women should never allow a boyfriend to take naked pictures. If it’s on film, you shouldn’t be surprised if it goes public in one form or fashion after a break-up.

26) When men have a problem and they tell you about it, they want to know how to fix it. When women have a problem and they tell you about it, they just want you to listen.

27) If you ever get arrested, don’t say anything until you talk to a lawyer.

28) If you don’t know the agenda of the people you’re getting your news from, then you don’t have the information you need to know if what they’re telling you is true.

29) Government is a necessary evil. It’s best to keep its tentacles out of your life and out of our society as much as possible.

30) “When you’re 18, you worry about what everybody is thinking of you; when you’re 40, you don’t give a darn what anybody thinks of you; when you’re 60, you realize nobody’s been thinking about you at all.” — Daniel Amen

31) Trust your instincts. They’re usually right.

32) If you think a doctor’s wrong, don’t hesitate to ask for a second opinion. Your health is vitally important and doctors make mistakes just as often as anyone else.

33) Don’t ever say anything that may offend someone who is going to be serving you food. You never know what they may stick in it when you’re not looking.

34) If you get into a business deal with someone who goes to unusual lengths to convince you of how honest or Christian they are, watch your wallet and make sure you have an iron clad contract. They “doth protest too much.”

35) “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn

36) If you want to do something exceptional, don’t expect anyone to believe you can do it until you’ve done it. Unless you’re already perceived as exceptional, most people won’t believe in you. That’s doubly true for the people who know you best and have therefore seen you at your most mediocre, like your parents, family, and friends.

37) If you don’t feel like you’re being treated fairly by a company, don’t hesitate to ask for a manager. Oftentimes, a manager has gotten to where he is in a company because he is good at pleasing customers like you in the first place.

38) “You are not invulnerable and you are not going to live forever. You can (make) mistakes at 18 that you will have to live with for the rest of your life.” — Don_cos

39) Nobody owes you a living.

40) You are not a victim.

41) If you just assume that every conspiracy theory is wrong without even examining it, you will be right 99.99% of the time.

42) “It’s likely that whatever challenges you have faced in your life currently could have been avoided but some better decisions upstream.” — Tony Robbins

43) At a minimum, keep a basic “to do” list, a schedule, and a budget.

44) “Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.” — Pat Riley

45) “If you want your life to have impact, focus it! Stop dabbling. Stop trying to do it all. Do less. Prune away even good activities and do only that which matters most. Never confuse activity with productivity. You can be busy without a purpose, but what’s the point?” — Rick Warren

46) Ironically, successful people tend to fail a lot more than unsuccessful people. They also tend to ask a lot more questions.

47) When you consider Christianity, keep in mind this classic quotation from C.S. Lewis, “If I, being what I am, can consider that I am in some sense a Christian, why should the different vices of those people in the next pew prove that their religion is mere hypocrisy and convention?”

48) You beat 50% of the people by just showing up. You beat another 40% by working hard. The last 10% is a dogfight in the free enterprise system.

49) There are at least six key areas of your life: health, career, romantic, social, money, and religion. If you neglect any one of those areas, it will harm you in the other areas and keep you from being as happy as you can be otherwise.

50) When trying to decide between two closely matched alternatives, always have a bias towards action. In the long run, it’ll lead to your having a lot more experience, great stories, and a richer, fuller life.

Also see,

40 MORE Things Every 18-Year-Old Should Know

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