17 Life Skills You Should Know How to Do by 30
From how to snake a drain to how to change a tire, and even how to eat alone, every woman should master these life skills before the big 3-0.
Who doesn't enjoy watching a man's muscles flex while he helps us unscrew that stubborn jar lid or grab that just-out-of-reach item we've been straining to get-men are quite handy to have around. (Oh, and P.S., do you know What His Hands Say About His Package?) But there's something sweetly satisfying about opening that jar of almond butter on our own, or knowing exactly what to do when the toilet won't stop running. From household fix-its to simple life skills (you know, like walking into a party alone), this is life advice every woman could use. Master these 17 things by age 30 and you'll never need anyone's help again. (But hey, go ahead and ask if you really want-sometimes a guy likes to feel needed.)
How to Change a Tire
The wait for AAA can take a lot longer than simply breaking out the jack and swapping in the spare! While this task sounds intimidating, after practicing it a couple times in your driveway (check out this YouTube video for a step-by-step demo), you'll have it down pat when it really matters. (On the road a lot? Reclaim your commute with Yoga Tips for the Car.)
How to Stitch a Hem
Few things are more frustrating than pulling on your clothes five minutes before leaving the house and hearing that telltale riiip. Why let a fallen hem ruin your day (or your clothes!)? Add some basic stitches to your repertoire and get mending! (Sometimes a garment is ripped beyond salvation. Got some shopping to do? Check out our 2014 Gift Guide for inspiration.)
How to Defend Yourself
Taking a course in self-defense and learning how to protect yourself from sexual assault (and other forms of violence) will boost your confidence and maybe even earn you some extra muscle tone in the process (we like these 4 Fighting Moves from Keri Russell's Trainer).
How to Change Your Own Oil
Honestly, changing your own oil is nearly as simple as adding liquid soap to the bathroom dispenser. And by taking the time to learn how to do this on your own, you'll be able to save both time (aka: no killing time in a waiting room) and money (plus, you'll have some pretty marvelous bragging rights!). Here's an easy-to-follow guide to get you started!
How to Snake a Drain
Clumps of hair, chunks of congealed food, soap, and grease build-up-all are potential culprits when it comes to a clogged drain. Full disclosure: This is a grimy, messy job. But doing it yourself is cheaper than hiring a plumber and causes less grief than having a man in your life do it, all the while muttering "I don't know why you can't just grab your hair out of the drain after you shower...." Get started by heading to the local big-box home store and talking to a salesperson.
How to Take Your Own Advice
It's so easy to dish out advice, but learning to take your own is another story! It takes practice, patience, and perseverance. Listen to your head and your heart, and then stick to what you decide is best for you. (As long as you're listening to good advice, read this: 28 Powerful Women Share Their Best Advice.)
How to Whip Up a Gourmet Meal
We know, you're busy. But between spin class, work, and friends and family, if you make time to experiment with recipes, you'll soon have an arsenal of go-to gourmet meals you can easily whip up to impress anyone! Start with some of our recipe makeovers for a delicious, healthy meal.
How to Forgive and Let Go
Fact: People will let you down. They'll break your heart. They'll leave you. We can't control what others do to us, but it's our choice to hold on or let go of the hurt. As difficult as it can be to kick old heartaches to the curb, letting go is far more freeing and gratifying!
How to Use A Power Drill (Injury-Free)
Using this screwdriver on steroids can make quick work of hanging even the heaviest picture frames and shelves, with minimal damage to your walls. Key words for this life skill include "bit" (that's the piece that actually drills into the wall) and "torque setting" (that's the power level). Here's a nice overview on learning the anatomy of your drill. (Did we say anatomy? That's got us thinking about What Really Happens When You Orgasm.)
How to Accept Your Flaws
You may not love your nose or those lines around your eyes are starting to extend further than you like, but those are things that make you beautiful-you know what they say, every laugh line is a story and every unique feature is a family heirloom. And if you're having trouble digging yourself, here are 5 Reasons to Pamper Yourself!
How to Drive a Manual Transmission
Guys always tend to be impressed when a woman pull up in a stick shift, and the great part is that even the most uncoordinated person can learn how to drive a manual-and once you get the flow of switching pedals and switching gears! Here's a tip: Practice in an empty parking lot with someone you don't need to impress. (Mom, Dad, or a sibling would be great for this one.)
How to Pump Your Own Gas
If you're from a state where this is the norm, this is a bit basic. But for those with the luxury of a gas station attendant at every pump (we're looking at you, New Jerseyans and Oregonians), this is a skill you should tackle! It's a perfect excuse for a road trip: Travel to an area where they offer self-service and then pop the gas cap! (Psst: You don't have to skip a workout just because you're traveling. Try our Road Trip Workout.)
How to Find a Stud in the Wall
Here are a few tricks to finding the stud (the wooden beam behind the wall, and the best, most secure place to drive a nail into). Employ the "knock" technique (where you rap your knuckles along the wall, listening for a change in sound); can check the baseboard to see where it was nailed into the wall (they normally get caulked and covered, but you may be able to see it, which will indicate the location of the stud); or hit the hardware store and invest in a stud finder! Whichever tactic you choose, you'll feel fantastic knowing you can hang your own wall decor and mirrors!
How to Budget, Plan for Retirement, and Learn the Stock Market
Living in the moment is an important aspect of life, except when it comes to your financial future! Setting aside money now is key to never going broke when you get older. In fact, according to bankrate.com, if you start setting aside $2,000 a year at age 25, by the time you're 65, you'll have over a half a million set aside for retirement! Blew past 25 without investing a penny? Not a problem, just start right now! We've outlined the 16 Money Rules Every Woman Should Know by Age 30 to get you started.
How to Small Talk
Few people are naturals at chatting up strangers and acquaintances. But it's a skill that will help you make friends, win over family members, and even get ahead at work. Start by mastering these 7 Small-Talk Tips for Holiday Parties.
How to Enjoy Dining Out Alone
Why? Because sometimes you just want to go out for Thai, even when nobody else wants to join you. If you aren't used to dining alone, it can feel a bit awkward, but it's a perfect chance to spend some quiet time alone and practice mindful eating without distraction (it's an excellent weight-loss tool). Need a little entertainment while you dine? Get engrossed in the company of one of these 10 Books to Read!
How to Enjoy the Little Things
Stop and smell the roses-like, really smell them. As time flies by and life gets busier, it's important to take the time to stop and enjoy how blue the sky looks, a stranger's compliment, that sinfully delicious truffle. Live in the moment and embrace the positive feelings you get from the smallest things. These 20 Ways to Get Happy (Almost) Instantly are a great place to start.