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When you were growing up, your biggest worries regarding expenses may have been making sure you had enough money to buy some ice cream, a new toy, or maybe some school supplies. However, now that you’re an adult, your financial picture has become far more complex. If you are getting ready to make your way out into the world and are wondering what to expect in terms of expenses, here are some typical expenses that will become part of your monthly budget.

Mortgage or Rent Payment

Naturally, you’re going to need a place to call home when you’re an adult. Unfortunately, this doesn’t come cheap in today’s world. Thus, you should plan on having either a monthly mortgage or rent payment, depending on whether you buy a home or decide to rent an apartment or other property. In addition to monthly payments, you will also need a downpayment as well as funds for any utility expenses such as sewage and electricity. Since this will likely be your biggest expense, plan accordingly. One thing that you may not have considered is how much money you need to be approved to lease or buy a home. It is likely that you will have to prove your income and get a credit check. If you are a student, however, you may be able to live in student housing where such requirements are minimal if there are any requirements at all. With that in mind, consider checking your credit now and take steps to improve it, if needed. 

Insurance Premiums

When you become an adult, insurance premiums are expenses that quickly become part of your monthly budget. There are many types of insurance that you’ll need to pay for. Health insurance, for example, should be accounted for. Depending on your employer, you may have the option of getting discounted insurance that is auto-taken from your paycheck. You’ll also likely be required to have renters insurance or mortgage insurance, depending on your housing situation. There is insurance available for just about anything so things like insurance on your phone or other expensive products may be necessary.

Car Payments

Along with the insurance you’ll have on your vehicle, expect to be making a monthly payment on the vehicle itself. As car prices have risen dramatically over the past decade or so, don’t be surprised if your car payment rivals your rent or mortgage payment, especially if you buy a brand-new vehicle from a dealership. One way to save money is by paying for the car in cash so you don’t have to deal with interest rates. However, this is not common considering the cost of cars. Before choosing a new, used, or very used car, consider the hidden costs such as maintenance. Car insurance is something that you should budget for if you have a car. Since this is required by most if not all states in the U.S., not having car insurance usually means you can’t drive anywhere. Since you will have many options for automobile insurance, shop around to find the best deal.


When you were growing up, your parents were the ones who bought the groceries and kept you feeling full all the time. As an adult, you now get the pleasure of shopping for and buying the groceries yourself. When you get your shopping cart and begin going up and down the aisles, don’t be surprised to experience a bit of sticker shock. Like most other things, grocery prices have also risen, so don’t be surprised to find $100 won’t go very far in regards to buying groceries. Many people who are new to buying groceries often end up buying cheap frozen meals instead of more nutritious options. Before making the same choice, consider what type of food will provide you with energy and satisfaction. You may find that you are paying a little bit more for fresh food, but it can keep you full longer and help you feel better than other options.

Student Loans

It is very common for adults to deal with student loans. Once you graduate or drop out of college, you have to start paying back your student loans. Loan payments vary greatly based on how much your loans are for and the interest rates. Most people spend a couple of hundred dollars per month paying back student loans. These loans can require payment for five to ten years, depending on the loan term.

Entertainment and Fun

Most of the items on this list are a necessity that needs to be budgeted as an adult, but fun and entertainment is also incredibly important. Things that rejuvenate you or make you feel good like eating out with friends, going to the movies, or a date night out are important parts of staying healthy. If you like traveling, you may want to budget for weekend trips or quarterly vacations. In addition to budgeting for the travel and accommodations, you’ll also need to consider how much you need to save to go without pay if you don’t have paid time off. 

Though you will have these and other expenses as an adult, this doesn’t mean they will bust your budget month after month. By doing some careful planning, putting aside as much money as possible, and being prepared for unexpected expenses now and then, your financial future can stay bright.


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