1. Making the bed for yourself — not your mom.
2. Crawling into a made bed at the end of the day.
3. Eating a bowl of ice cream for dinner because you can.
4. Choosing to make yourself something nutritious for dinner instead of eating a bowl of ice cream because you can do that too.
5. Making — and sticking to! — a budget.
6. Finally making a big purchase you saved and sacrificed for.
7. Being able to cover an unexpected expense because you were responsible and established an emergency fund instead of wasting all of your extra cash on coffee and takeout and shoes.
8. Every new zero you add to your savings account.
9. Being able to give a stranger accurate (!!) directions when they ask.
10. Fixing something in your home without having to call your landlord or a handyman.
11. Realizing you can make an entire meal with ingredients you have at home — no trips to the store required.
12. Mastering a handful of “go-to” meals.
13. That feeling when a dinner guest asks for seconds.
14. Or, better yet, when they ask for the recipe.
15. Actually finishing your leftovers.
16. Keeping your home clean because you like it that way.
17. Also, maybe leaving clothes around because life is short and you don’t want to spend it picking up gym clothes.
18. Either way: Realizing the way your home looks is entirely up to you.
19. Coupons! Promo codes! Discount shopping! Seriously, is there anything more thrilling than a deal?
20. Weekends without any plans.
21. The feeling of relief that comes when someone cancels a plan.
22. Candles! They smell good and prove you’re responsible enough to handle small fires. Win-win.
23. The pride that comes with negotiating a raise at work.
24. Also, the money that comes with negotiating a raise at work. That’s good too.
25. Realizing life is about the little things — like when you dry out a pen before losing it.
26. Going to bed early.
27. Waking up early and getting a bunch of stuff done before you go to work and your day ~officially~ starts.
28. Booking a doctor or dentist appointment as soon as you realize a problem instead of just ignoring it and hoping it goes away.
29. Knowing exactly what other adults are referring to when they talk about their “deductible” or “401(k).”
30. Getting socks as a present and being genuinely psyched about it.
31. Realizing you’re not up to date on what’s cool to Kids These Days.
32. Also realizing that you don’t care what Kids These Days think is cool.
33. Getting asked for advice by younger people…and feeling qualified to give it.
34. Knowing if you want a candy bar you can have a candy bar. Easy as that!
35. Feeling like your childhood dreams are actually within reach.