How To

8 Books for When You’re Learning How to Adult

Neymat Raboobee

Staff Writer

When she's not writing, Neymat Raboobee is a copy editor. Her special skills include running in the opposite direction of deadlines and cooing over cats like she's paid to do it. Neymat was born and raised in Durban, South Africa and her dream is to one day move to a place where winter occurs for more than three (3) business days a year. To yell over cats with Neymat, email

The Twentysomething Handbook by Nora Bradbury-Haehl

Let’s face it: adulting isn’t easy. That’s why Nora Bradbury-Haehl created this essential guide to help you avoid the mistakes, missteps, and financial failures that took others years to learn. The Twentysomething Handbook is an approachable, easy-to-digest resource, that offers guidance for the practical aspects of life—work, food, money, a roof overhead—while at the same time addressing the hunger for meaning, connection, and purpose. Each chapter includes practical, actionable advice that addresses the full range of life’s challenges. Every twentysomething should read this book. Learn more today at

If I had to pick the thing I’ve had the most trouble with in the past couple years, it would be learning how to adult. Let’s face it, there are dozens of things about being an adult that school doesn’t teach you, from how to manage money properly to why it’s vital that you buy a plunger the moment you move out of your parents’ house. Now, in this day and age, you can watch a YouTube video or read a WikiHow article. But…there are some skills that you don’t even know you don’t know. And that’s where books like these come in.

Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown

This book was all the rage for a few years after it came out – and for good reason, it’s a really great resource! But, I’ve noticed that as time goes by, it gets recommended less, and that’s a shame because a lot of the advice still holds up really well. It’s organized really nicely into sections which, I think, makes the advice a little more accessible and makes it a more practical tool that you can pull out and consult as needed.

Moment Maker by Carlos Whittaker

This is not so much a straightforward how-to guide as a series of anecdotes and advice that the author’s gathered through his personal experiences, but it is still a pretty useful read about how to make the best of every day. This is the kind of thing to read if you want advice about how to change your perspective or shake things up, and you’ll probably enjoy it if you like a balance of advice and entertainment.

You’re Not Listening by Kate Murphy

I bet you think you’re a good listener. Most of us do. We’ve all been doing it for the majority of our lives: listening in class, listening to friends, listening to media, and listening to lectures (fun). But when we dig a little deeper, it starts to become clear that you can be listening every single day but not truly hear what the other person is trying to say. When you’re trying to have a conversation, are you listening to understand or listening to be able to make a good response? Or, are you just waiting to have your own chance to speak? Listening is a difficult skill, especially when you feel like the people you’re speaking to aren’t hearing you. But it is a truly valuable skill, and think book unpacks why.

Am I Overthinking This? by Michelle Rial

If you’re the type of person to consider things from every single possible angle — and a few less-than-possible ones, just for good measure — then this book might be good for you. There’s nothing wrong with being thorough and taking the time to ensure that you’re happy with the decisions that you’re making. But when that turns into feeling paralyzed by all the options available, or devoting an unreasonable amount of time to a decision that has very little impact on your life, it’s time to start looking at the way you think. Of course, it’s always tricky to gauge whether a decision truly is small – and this book tries to help with that, through art, humor, and questions and answers.

My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag…and Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha by Jolie Kerr

It seems like cleaning shouldn’t be difficult, right? Soap, scrub, done. But not all stains are equal, nor should they be treated that way. What will make your sheets fresh may end up ruining your underwear, and then there are those strange smells that come from the drain and fridge somewhere that make you tear your hair out trying to commit an exorcism — because you’ve cleaned everything, you swear you have! This book will tell you how to clean (almost) everything in a fun, easy way.

The Working Class Foodies Cookbook by Rebecca Lando

You’ll probably have absorbed at least one or two things about cooking from parents, friends, or that one weird YouTube rabbit hole you jumped down last year – and that’s all great. But not all recipes have been created equal, and when you’re starting out, you probably don’t have the biggest budget. This book will teach you how to cook meals that taste great, will keep you healthy, and won’t devastate your bank account.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

Let’s face it, just working a normal full-time job probably isn’t going to make you rich any time soon. So many people are struggling to make ends meet and living paycheck to paycheck – and the information on how to make more money without destroying your mental and physical health isn’t easily accessible. This book provides some decent advice on how to make your money work for you.

The Financial Diet by Chelsea Fagan

This is a book for anyone who feels like they don’t have a handle on their finances. It’s pitched at absolute beginners and is written in a way that addresses the complex emotions attached to money – the anxiety, avoidance, and confusion that comes with not understanding how to make your finances work effectively that can cause things to get worse, and the guilt that you can end up feeling because of it all.

We know, adulting is hard. Here are even more books to help you along the way.