Are you a member of the adulting elite?

Usually, when we talk about adulting, it’s because a) we don’t want to do it, b) we’re actively avoiding it or c) we’ve had quite enough of it for today, thank you very much. Being a so-called “adult” has its benefits, but dealing with the responsibilities entailed therein, well, even the most adulty of adults will tell you that it kinda sucks here and there.

Still, you gotta admit there’s something sweet about checking an adulting box off your list. All of a sudden, you can hear yourself telling your friends things like “you really need to diversify” or “sure an HSA might seem confusing at first, but you can actually save a ton of money and realize some tax benefits, too!”

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Take renters insurance, for example. It’s super easy to get (on average, it costs less than a buck a day), and it covers your grown-up self and your grown-up stuff in ways most people can’t believe. Yet only about 37% of renters have it.

If you’re among that 37% (or even if you’re thinking about it), congratulations! You’ve officially leveled up in the adulting game. So we thought we’d gather up something of an adulting coach “field guide” for this uncharted territory you’re about to venture into.

Here, you’ll find all sorts of advice about everything from adult relationships to side hustling to saving money and more. The idea is to supercharge your adulting A-game and protect you from any surprises or ambushes down the line.

We’ve divided our Guide to Advance Adulting into the following eight categories:

  1. Things every pet parent should think about.
  2. The art of dealing with life stress.
  3. A-game relationship advice.
  4. Getting your side hustle on to score extra money.
  5. How to become amazing at saving money.
  6. Does renters insurance have any benefits?
  7. How much does renters insurance cost?
  8. How much renters insurance do I really need?

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Things every pet parent should think about.
Advanced-stage adulting involves finding meaning outside yourself, and when you adopt a pet, that’s a great place to start. If you’re considering a pet, but you’re still on the fence, please allow us to talk you into hitting that animal shelter this weekend.

Pets provide structure and purpose. Dogs, in particular, drag our butts out of bed in the morning for food and exercise, and they expect us home at a decent hour in the evening. It’s what they need in a loving home, and it’s good for us, too. Wins all around.

Pets are also a great social lubricant and a whole lot healthier than beer. Pet owners love other pet owners, and they’re usually good people. So you get a pet community as a bonus.

Pets keep you present. They don’t care what happened yesterday, and they don’t worry about tomorrow. Spending time just watching your dog or cat exist is like meditation, and it’ll send your anxieties to another zip code.

Of course, from time to time, pet parenthood can cause small headaches. When it does, Pet Parent℠ Coverage from Toggle® can help clean up the mess. Our coverage includes up to $100,000 for injury caused by your pets to another person, and a lot more pet pain relief.

So yes, get a pet. And get Pet Parent coverage from Toggle. You’ll be glad you did both.

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Burnout-busting strategies for managing stress of the adulting nature.
We touched on coping with stress a little while talking about pets, but there’s so much more to cover. Adulting comes with more responsibility, and responsibility goes hand in hand with anxiety.

To help manage that anxiety, first remember to keep it in perspective. Every single source of trouble or worry in life seems a lot tinier in the rearview mirror. Keep that in mind, and you’ll be way ahead of the anxiety management game. Of course, if keeping stress in perspective were that easy, people wouldn’t write blog posts about it.

Ever tried belly breathing? Belly breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing, lowers your heart rate and your blood pressure, and it’s one of the easiest relaxation techniques you can use. Here’s how you do it:

  • Lie on your back.
  • Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly.
  • Inhale slowly and take deep breaths through your nose, filling your belly. The hand on your chest should remain still, while your belly hand rises.
  • Contract your abdomen and force the air out gently through your mouth. Your belly hand should fall back to where it was, and your stress level should follow.

Journaling is another great practice for dealing with stress. It’s all about keeping your mind uncluttered. As your responsibilities get more complex, keeping them organized in your brain leaves you feeling stressed. A journal is just a way to get your cranial house in order, so you can focus on what matters most. Gratitude journaling, in particular, can help keep you more present, centered and positive.

Things like exercise and volunteering reduce stress in very real physical and psychological ways. If you want to find out more about stress-relief tactics, we've got plenty more for you here.

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Photo by Slim Emcee on Unsplash

A-game relationship advice.
Adulting also means taking a more adult attitude when it comes to relationships. When you’re younger, nobody tells you love is hard relationship work. And while cohabitation sounds easy, it takes its own kind of work, too. In short, love is difficult, but like all difficult things, it’s 100% worth it.

Why would we care about lending relationship advice? Hypothetical situation: Let’s say you and your significant other are having an argument. This distracts you from noticing that your kitchen has caught on fire. Gah!

You escape safely, but now, as your insurance company, we have to pay for the damage. So you can see how, as an insurance company, it’s in our best interest to make sure you’re in a happy relationship. Truth is, we really want to see you kids make it.

With that, we asked sexual health and relationship expert Martha Kempner for her take, and she had scads of amazing things to say.

From simple things like the importance of date nights, surprises and unconditional support to the positive biofeedback of eye-gazing—to the power of personal authenticity to the proper rules of navigating conflict with good communication—Ms. Kempner knows what she’s talking about when she’s talking about love advice. And we’ve captured the best of it here.

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Photo by Chris Hardy on Unsplash

Getting your side hustle on to score extra money.
Adulting didn’t always entail a side job, but for better or worse, it’s definitely a thing now. Side jobs can help tackle student loans, and they’re a great way to sock away extra cash in your spare time. And to employers, your side gig says you take a proactive role in life, even outside regular business hours.

If you’ve got a little side gig going, or if you plan on starting, here comes our insurance sales pitch: Toggle can cover the tools of your side trade. Cameras, turntables, computers, landscaping gear, even personal injury and lost wages.

Okay, enough about insurance, back to the point: The sharing economy had made downtime earning as easy as an app download. Uber, Lyft and Postmates delivery – all great ways to squeeze the most out of spare time when you’re feeling like it. Got a spare room? Airbnb’s a great way to convert unoccupied space into extra cash. Sell other services on Fiverr or 99designs – basically, if you’ve got a potentially marketable skill, there’s very likely a sharing app for that. Just do a quick search and get to side working.

Of course, not all side-hustle ideas need a tech component. Think like a little kid trying to earn money for a video game. Walking dogs, for example, is still a great way to get you fresh air, exercise and some extra cheese. Tutoring! Spending one-on-one time helping someone else better understand subject matter you’re familiar with is a satisfying way to pad your pockets.

House sitting – get paid just for living in a place. Pet sitting – get paid to pretend their pet is your pet. Babysitting – okay, this sitting’s more serious. But if 12-year-old you could do it, adult you can, too.

All those jobs that used to fill your piggy bank can be some of the best side hustles now.

Looking for more side-hustle helpful hints? We’ve got plenty where that came from, right here.

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Photo by fran hogan on Unsplash

How to become amazing at saving money.
Adulting also means it’s time to stop disposing of all that disposable income and start saving. Experts recommend saving 20% of your income, but in reality, only 16% of Americans are saving more than 15% of their income. And 1 in 5 save nothing at all.

In short, saving money is not easy. So, where do you start? Well, If you have a 401(k), use it! If your company matches your 401(k), max it out! If you don’t, you’re literally leaving free money on the table!

You could also learn to cook. Eating dinner at home can save you an estimated average of $16 per meal. Cook just one meal at home PER WEEK rather than eating at a restaurant, you’ll bank more than $800 extra bucks per year. That’s some tasty math and frugal living, right there.

Ever heard of the “Latté Factor”? It’s all about how eliminating small daily purchases can add up in huge ways. Let’s say your coffee-shop latté costs $5 a day (coincidentally, that’s about the same as a Toggle renters insurance policy). Invest that much every day for a return of just 6%, and in 30 years, that’s over $100K you’ve saved! Just by skipping a coffee!

Those are just the savings basics, but from how to do a budget to taking advantage of unused timeshares for travel.

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Does renters insurance have any benefits?
Of course, no adulting discussion would be complete without touching on renters insurance coverage (particularly when the adulting conversation is being underwritten by a renters insurance company). So here’s more than you ever wanted to know about something we know too much about.

The benefits of renters insurance are...well, they’re extremely beneficial—in ways most people don’t even realize and at a cost that will seem ridiculously inexpensive no matter who you are.

First of all, renters insurance is property insurance – which can cover your personal belongings in the event of theft. Think of your apartment or rental unit as a box. Renters insurance covers the things in the box – your things. It does not cover the box itself; that’s up to the landlord. So in the event someone takes your things from your box, renters insurance can cover the replacement cost of the things that were taken. And given renters are more likely to be victims of burglary than homeowners, this particular benefit is a big one.

What if you take something that’s in your box, out of your box? That is to say, what if your laptop gets stolen or lost while you’re at the coffee shop or traveling with it? Most people don’t know it, but renters insurance can pay to replace your stuff in those situations, depending on the coverage you purchase.

What if your rental unit catches fire or gets soaked and ruins all your stuff? Renters insurance won’t cover the damage to the physical structure of your place, but once again, it provides personal property coverage against damage.

Not only that, renters insurance can also help with your sudden increase in living expenses, including the cost of your temporary housing if your rental is uninhabitable while repairs are being made.

Let’s say someone comes to visit you. They accidentally slip and fall in your shower and bust their butt in the process. That klutzy visitor can sue you for their medical bills. If they do, renters insurance can handle your liability coverage—legal and medical expenses up to the coverage limit.

Liability covers a lot more, too. And it all extends to others insured on the policy, as well. Learn all the details here.

If this seems like an awful lot of coverage for not an awful lot of money, well then you’re starting to get the idea. And with renters insurance from Toggle, there’s plenty more, and you’re in control of all of it.

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Photo by Hannah Tims on Unsplash

“How much does renters insurance cost?”
Renters insurance starts at just $5/per month. Of course, as any savvy consumer knows, just because it "starts at just…" doesn’t mean it’s the best option for you.

The average cost of renters insurance is $15.50/month – about the same as most subscription entertainment services. There are a number of things to consider that could either raise or lower the cost of renters insurance.

Your coverage amounts are the most obvious factor – the more personal property coverage, the more insurance costs. The size of your deductible makes a difference, too. The higher your deductible, the lower your payment. Still, even given all the variables affecting the cost of renters insurance, it bears repeating that even in its most expensive case, renters insurance is a bargain, and you’ll be glad you invested.

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Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash.

How much renters insurance do I need?”
Deciding how much renters insurance you need depends on several interrelated factors. In short, it’s a tough question to answer. So the first thing we did was build our renters insurance to make it easier.

With Toggle insurance, you can get as much or as little insurance as you need. You can even adjust the amount from month-to-month. Need less insurance? Just Toggle OffSM what you don’t want. Need more? Just Toggle OnSM, and you’re covered again. Sales pitch complete. Back to the point.

The two primary areas of coverage you need to consider are a) personal property and b) personal liability/medical.

Personal property protection protects most things you own in case of theft, damage or loss. Renters insurance covers anywhere from about $1,000 to $250,000 in personal property replacement costs with add-ons for more expensive items up to the coverage limits. Obviously, the more coverage, the higher the premium.

Renters liability insurance will usually cover between $100K and $300K. So once more, how much do you really need?

And once more, we can’t say this enough: No matter how much coverage you choose, renters insurance is extremely cheap. Big differences in coverage equate to relatively small differences in premium. So relax and don’t overthink it.

Even better, visit GetToggle.com and get a renters insurance quote. It only takes a few minutes, and your adulting self will be extremely happy you took the time.

So there you have it, pretty much everything you need to know about advanced adulting in one handy blog post. Nothing to it, right? You should probably bookmark this link for future reference – that’s what an adult would do. Be sure to check out all the included links for more details, and share with your grownupping friends, too. Above all, just remember that despite being told that high school or college would be the best years of your life, these years really will be. That is, of course, until the next phase.

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