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How millennials can learn to #adult with Amazon Alexa

amazon echo on kitchen counter
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

“Adulting” is a term coined recently by millennials and means doing the things that signify you’re officially a real-world grown up. You know, like those chores that force you to officially recognize that you are, despite your child-like tendencies, an actual adult. Often, the word has a hashtag before it.

For example, doing your taxes is the ultimate form of #adulting, while other minor tasks, such as buying legitimately nutritious food for yourself or remembering to take out the garbage, constitute less-extreme but still prominent forms of #adulting.

Used in a sentence: “I really want to lay in bed and watch Netflix all day, but I have to #adult.”

Fortunately, adulting can be easier with Amazon Alexa, which makes learning how to do grown-up stuff pretty straightforward. No more dying an entire load of white laundry pink or shrinking all of your shirts two sizes — you can simply ask Alexa how to properly clean your clothes.

Here are some other ways millennials are using Alexa to #adult more easily.

1. Eating healthier meals

Life is stressful, and when it’s time to make dinner, ordering food delivery or stopping at a fast-food restaurant probably sounds more appealing after a busy day than making a nutritious meal. But, if you truly want to adult, you can get Alexa’s help actually preparing a meal instead.

alexa amazon echo
Image used with permission by copyright holder

There are several cooking skills you can enable to make cooking easier. For example, the KptnCook Recipes skill lets you say, “Alexa, ask KptnCook what I should cook today.” Then, the skill provides a good-for-you recipe and even sends the shopping list of ingredients to your Alexa app.

No more microwaving a can of green beans and calling it health food. KptnCook can send you a healthy recipe and grocery list so you can grab the ingredients you need before you even get home from work.

2. Getting tips on grown-up topics, like car insurance

Insurance and finances are two things that you probably never thought about even once as a kid. But, like it or not, they’re something you must deal with as an adult. The appropriately named Adulting Guide skill for Alexa features periodically updated content about six content categories that are important for living the #adulting life.

alexa amazon echo header
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

They range from information about your home to your car, as well as topics like insurance and finances. Just say “Alexa, ask Adulting Guide for advice.”

Sure, you could do it the old-fashioned way and ask your parents for advice… but no one really likes admitting to mom and dad they don’t know how insurance works, do they?

3. Handling transportation before a night out

Alexa’s list of capabilities grows continuously and spans from purely fun options, like hearing Alexa tell a joke, to those that are more serious, such as setting a timer, ensuring you don’t wait too long to take prescribed medication.

So, it should come as no surprise that it’s possible to book rides through Lyft and Uber while using Alexa. Yep, now you don’t even have to pick up your phone. Although we’re not sure if that’s the definition of adulting or not.

Amazon Echo 2017 review touch
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Having the option of booking your taxi through Alexa before you leave for a night of fun means it’s easy to conveniently take care of transportation and remove the responsibility of having to drive while preventing you from getting behind the wheel if you’re a bit tipsy.

Simply utter “Alexa, ask Uber to request a ride” or, “Alexa, ask Lyft for a ride,” depending on your desired service.

4. Getting information about taxes

It’s difficult to find anyone who says they enjoy doing their taxes, so if the mere thought of that task makes you grumble, you’re not alone. The tax deadline has passed, but now is the perfect time to start learning about things for your 2018 return.

Amazon Echo Dot
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Investopedia Tax Helper skill lets you say something such as, “Alexa, ask Tax Helper about adjusted gross income,” and instantly get a response. It could save you time and energy you might ordinarily spend searching various websites to get the necessary answers.

If you’re thinking about self-prepared taxes and think you’d rather try and file independently instead of hiring an accountant, don’t get too deep into things without enabling this skill first.

5. Dealing with home repairs

Home appliances and other conveniences are fantastic when they work correctly, but things like a broken dishwasher or clogged toilet can quickly make you feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do — especially if you don’t live in an apartment where the landlord or property manager takes the lead on repairs.

The Talk Local Alexa skill gives service estimates from local providers, usually within a few minutes. Get started by saying something like, “Alexa, ask Talk Local to repair my toilet that won’t flush.”

Amazon Echo Dot Image used with permission by copyright holder

The skill only connects users to plumbers for now. However, there are plans to add other kinds of service professionals soon. It compares factors such as reviews and job preferences, then prompts up to three professionals to respond to your query.

While Gen X and Baby Boomers might take the time to call around to different plumbers and request quotes, millennials don’t want to make multiple phone calls to get the solution they need. Actually, most millennials don’t like talking on the phone in general.

This Alexa skill solves both of those issues at once. #Adulting at its finest.

6. Comparison shopping like a boss

Statistics from a 2017 report published by Salesforce found 40 percent of millennials use voice-activated assistants — like Alexa — to learn about things before purchasing them. As an adult making your way in the world, it’s often necessary to be mindful of your budget and not buy stuff before confirming you’re getting the best deal.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Alexa helps you #adult by giving you help in buying things at the lowest prices. After enabling the Comparison Guru skill, you can say something like “Alexa, ask Comparison Guru the price of a Keurig coffee maker,” and get results in seconds.

Alexa also gives you the top 10 places that sell the item you want, starting with the cheapest. You’ll hear the price and the name of the store. After each entry in the top-10 list, Alexa asks if you want to listen to the next option, too. Who needs to go online anymore when Alexa is helping you #adult.

7. Locating lost smartphones

Back in the day, it was pretty difficult to lose your phone. After all, it was usually bolted to the wall.

Amazon Echo Spot Review
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

However, these days it’s pretty easy for people — especially millennials — to lose their phones. Misplacing your phone at home is almost as frustrating as when you’re out and about because you know it’s there, somewhere. With the help of the Find My Phone skill, you can avoid that situation.

This skill rings a phone you’ve lost, allowing you to hear it in the house (assuming the volume is on, of  course). Crisis averted. The skill also supports adding new numbers to your phone or calling existing contacts.

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Kayla Matthews
Kayla Matthews has written about smart homes and technology for Houzz, Dwell, Curbed and Inman. She is a senior writer for…
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