Turning 18 Checklist: 25 Things You Need to Consider When Your Child Becomes an Adult

If your child is turning 18, it not only marks a significant milestone in their life, but in yours as well. This transition into adulthood also brings a great mix of excitement and responsibility, not only for them and for you as their parent. Our handy Turning 18 Checklist provides a concise list of things you need to consider as they move into this very important stage of life.

So, what can you do at 18?

While turning 18 means they’ll gain new freedoms (most notably drinking and buying alcohol) together with voting and legal rights (and its consequences), it’s important to guide them in navigating these changes effectively. Helping them prepare for this new chapter will ensure they step into adulthood with confidence and readiness.

Sometimes, especially when they no longer count as your dependent in the eyes of the law or the Government, it feels a bit like pushing them out of the nest and expecting them to fly without a net. It might feel like you’re abandoning them to a system that isn’t always fair.

Turning 18 Checklist: 25 Things You Need to Consider

Legal and Admin

  1. Register to Vote: Enrol to vote with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).
  2. Update ID: Get a new 18+ card or update existing identification documents.
  3. Tax File Number (TFN): Apply for a Tax File Number from the ATO if they don’t already have one. These are crucial for employment.
  4. Superannuation: Ensure superannuation details are up to date and consider consolidating accounts.
  5. Bank Account: Open or update a bank account to one suitable for adults.


  1. Medicare Card: Apply for their own Medicare card if they’re still on a family card.
  2. Health Care Card: If signing up for Youth Allowance they’ll get a Healthcare card.
  3. Health Insurance: Consider their own health insurance policy if no longer covered under a family plan.
Source: Adobe Stock


  1. Credit Report: Show them how to check their credit report to start building a good credit history.
  2. Budgeting and Saving: Teach them to start budgeting and consider setting up a savings plan or investment account.
  3. Emergency Savings Fund: Encourage an emergency savings fund to cover unexpected expenses, aiming for at least three to six months’ worth of living costs.
  4. Youth Allowance: If your child hasn’t found work yet, they might apply for Youth Allowance through Service NSW to give them some income, and assistance in finding work now they’re turning 18. Job Services Providers can often help with courses, training, and licences. Your income will be used to assess their eligibility until they turn 22.


  1. Emergency Contacts: Update emergency contacts and ensure family or friends know how to get in contact in case of emergencies.
  2. Insurance: Look into various insurance policies, such as car, renters, life, income, or travel insurance.
  3. Living Arrangements: Consider living arrangements, whether they will be staying at home, moving out for school, or applying for rental properties. Go through tenant rights and responsibilities with them so you both know what to look for.
  4. Will and Testament: Though it might seem early, consider showing them how to write a will. It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
  5. Passport: If they plan to travel, ensure they have a valid passport.

Education and Career

  1. Career Planning: Consider career counselling, internships, or job search if they’re entering the workforce.
  2. Gap Year: Consider giving them the leeway to take a gap year to explore the world around them, take a breather after the stress of HSC exams, and maybe, find their passion.
  3. Higher Education: If planning to pursue higher education, they’ve completed necessary applications for universities, TAFE, or other institutions.
  4. HECS-HELP: Learn about the HECS-HELP loan system if they’re going to university.


  1. Join the Australian Organ Donor Register: Consider encouraging them to register as an organ donor. They can opt-in when applying for an 18+ card or driver’s licence.
  2. Clubs and Societies: Join clubs, societies, or community groups to expand their social circle and interests.

Digital Life

  1. Secure Their Online Presence: Show them how to review and secure their social media and online accounts. Consider two-factor verification on accounts.
  2. Digital Records: Ensure all important digital records are stored securely and backed up.

Watching your child become an adult is a proud and emotional moment. Your continued support and guidance will be invaluable as they embark on this journey. Encourage them to embrace their new responsibilities and opportunities while reminding them of the importance of planning and making informed decisions.

Congratulations on raising a young adult ready to take on the world, and here’s to a future filled with growth, success, and happiness for both of you.

What to read next 

Avatar of Tina Evans

Tina Evans is a complete introvert, an avid reader of romance novels, horror novels and psychological thrillers. She’s a writer, movie viewer, and manager of the house menagerie: three kelpies, one cat, a fish, and a snake. She loves baking and cooking and using her kids as guinea pigs. She was a teenage parent and has learned a lot in twenty-three years of parenting. Tina loves Christmas and would love to experience a white Christmas once in her life. Aside from writing romance novels, she is passionate about feminism, equality, sci-fi, action movies and doing her part to help the planet.

Write A Comment