What Happens When You Turn 18?

Congratulations! Turning 18 for many is exciting and is the beginning of your adult life and gives you many more opportunities to decide over your life – but what can you do?

What happens when you turn 18?

The day you turn 18, you stand on your own two feet and your choices now have greater consequences. As a start, your parents’ maintenance obligation disappears on the day you turn 18, which means that they have the right to throw you out of the home and you are expected to be able to take care of yourself.


Unless you’re still in high school. Here they have gone in and set a law that means that your parents’ maintenance obligation continues until you turn 21 or have left high school.

The maintenance obligation ends when the child turns eighteen.

If the child goes to school after this time, the parents are liable for maintenance during the time the schooling is in progress, however, until the child reaches the age of twenty-one.

Schooling includes studies in compulsory school or upper secondary school and other comparable basic education.

Responsibility for their own personal finances

The most important thing that happens when you turn 18 is that you are now responsible for your personal finances.

You get access to your bank accounts and now have the opportunity to sign agreements, which means that you can now take out a loan.

It can be both nice but can also lead to consequences if this is abused, so avoid texting loans, it will lead to problems.

It can be a good idea to make your first budget right now to prepare for when you move away from home but also to always know what your money is going to.

In time, you will also pay your first invoice, regardless of whether it is something you bought over the internet or something you ordered by phone, or perhaps the rent for your first apartment.

It can be tricky the first few times as you rarely go through such practical steps in school.

Quite frankly, this means that now that you are 18 years old, you can sign agreements without the parents signing.

This does not only apply to things like loans or purchases over the internet, but it is something that accompanies you throughout your working life.

This is the most important benefit you will receive.

Getting married

You finally have the right to marry, unless your partner is also 18 years of age or older. It is stipulated in the law book.

If you are already thinking of getting married, I recommend reading out what responsibilities come with it.

Do not forget to celebrate your birthday

You can also start drinking alcohol when you are 18 years old and for many it is an opportunity to celebrate and for such an important age it should be a matter of course!

For many, a pub base is mandatory after you have filled up and you also have the right to buy beer at the store.

I don’t know if this is true everywhere but where I live to be able to buy alcohol, you need to be 20 years old so you have to settle for 3.5% in alcohol until further notice from the store.

Smoke and play games

When you turn 18, you also get to decide for yourself about your body when it comes to smoking, for example.

Smoking is an expensive habit and it is good to keep in mind that with 1 package a day, you will get over $2000 in a whole year, which is money you would probably want to do otherwise for.

Like traveling abroad or using to get your first apartment.

Last but not least, you get to start playing games that different companies offer. This can be poker, but you can also buy games like lottery yourself.

Do not forget that many games are meant to make you lose money, so do not burn all the money on it and hope for a big win.


It is exciting to be 18 years old, but it can also be difficult to know what you are allowed to do and not do. I hope this mini-guide will help you on your way out into the adult world.

Feel free to check out the rest of my website which has a lot of useful money & budgeting articles that are good to think about.

To reiderate: The things you can do when you turn 18

When you turn 18, you can:

  • Vote.
  • Be donors of eggs or sperm.
  • Shop online.
  • Obtain a firearms license (exceptions exist).
  • Responsibility for your finances and access to all your accounts.
  • Take out a loan.
  • Enter into agreements.
  • Write on paper yourself, the parent’s signature is no longer needed.
  • Buy lottery tickets and play for money (not casinos).
  • Work 40 hours per week during regular working hours.
  • Sentenced to prison. (Although 15-18-year-olds usually receive care in the social services).
  • You come of age.
  • You can get married.
  • You can vote.
  • You can buy cigarettes and play games.
  • You can buy alcohol at a restaurant and beer at shops.
  • By law, your parents’ maintenance obligation ends when you turn 18 years old. This means that they are no longer obliged to support you. But if you still go to school, your parents’ maintenance obligation continues. In that case, they will support you until you have graduated from high school or turned 21 years old.


This article has been reviewed by our editorial board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policies.

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