1. A tool kit, complete with a screwdriver, hammer, tape measurer, spare lightbulb, and a long-burning candle and matches just in case.
2. A workout routine she can reach for when she needs to blow off steam or give her peace of mind.
3. A budget, a healthy savings account, and a financial plan that involves knowing how to handle all of her bills every month and take care of any emergency things that may come her way.
4. Health insurance. Really. Even if she thinks she’s young and invincible.
5. A sense of style that is unique and doesn’t require spending hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars on things that are trendy or fashionable but she doesn’t even really like deep down.
6. The self-confidence to run to the corner deli in sweats, because A) she values her comfort over what other people think of her appearance and B) who cares if they’re looking anyway?
7. A proper education on sex, regardless of where she stands on sex itself — knowing how her body works is key in taking care of it.
8. Her own Netflix account. Few things are worse than using an ex’s account and having to think about them every time you want to watch a movie.
9. A special pump-up song that always manages to rally her mood whether she’s sad, focusing on something, or just getting dressed for a night out.
10. A healthy relationship with social media that doesn’t involve getting into Twitter fights, posting endless selfies, or stressing over how many likes something got in the past hour.
11. A good relationship with her mother, or with a maternal figure, at least. You might think you need your parents less as you grow up, but really, the relationship just changes, and it helps to have an adult around who has already been. there.
12. A well-tailored professional outfit that she always has clean and on hand because life is full of surprises, and you never know when your dream interview or meeting is just around the corner.
13. A bottle of champagne in the fridge for impromptu celebrations.
14. A bed she can retreat to when she needs it most — think quality sheets, a nice comforter, good pillows, and a mattress that wasn’t purchased used or donated from a friend or family member. Getting a good night’s sleep makes all the difference in the world, so why not invest in it?
15. A good number of meals that she can whip out on her own. Because you can’t live on Seamless for the rest of your life, and there’s a maximum of times you can see the delivery man in one week.
16. A driver’s license — even if she lives in a city with great public transportation — because you never know when you’ll have to step in and take over the wheel. (Bonus points if she has a working knowledge of stick shift, and how to change a tire.)
17. A signature accessory, whether that’s her rings, a lipstick, a nail polish, or a perfume. You don’t want your most marked accessory to be your cell phone.
18. Thank you notes and stamps, and penmanship that doesn’t make her cringe when she sits down to write a note (be it to a prospective employer, someone who gave her a gift or invited her to a party, or simply did something nice for her).
19. When the WiFi, her computer, or her TV blows out on a Thursday night and all she wants to do is get lost in Netflix or her favorite show, she can fix it without smashing the modem and thus restore her night in and her personal mental health.
20. A freak’um dress, a classic LBD, and a dress her grandma will be proud of her for having. Because an independent woman is prepared for any and all dressy occasions.
21. A book in her bag for any time she has to wait for a meeting, appointment, or when she’s traveling.
22. Actual silverware, and not just plastic forks and paper plates. Investing in steak knives might be the advanced course, but baby steps (and maybe a few real wine glasses) count, too.
23. The self-awareness to be grounded in her own beliefs — be they religious, political, or anything in between — but the open-mindedness to respect when other people do not share her views.
24. A knowledge of what she wants from a relationship and not feeling any need to subject herself to tired dating rules — and refusing to settle for anyone or anything less.
25. A favorite drink that she orders without hesitation, whether it’s whiskey on the rocks or the most basic Cosmopolitan ever.
26. The memory of at least one relationship that does not make her cringe in retrospect — or if it does, she also has the knowledge of what went wrong, what she’d change (about herself), and what she can do right next time.
27. If she’s into sports, she has her favorite teams and doesn’t need anyone to explain rules to her.
28. That one friend she shares a special language with, and whom she can text at a moment’s notice for a pep talk, a rant-fest, or anything in between.
29. The knowledge that she looks good, and that she deserves to feel as good as she looks — no external compliments, signs of affection, or cat calls required to think she’s worthy.
30. And the humility to suck up her pride and ask for help when she needs it — be it from a man, another woman, her boss, her parents, whoever. Because you can be an independent woman and still need other people, and let them know how grateful you are to have them in your independent life.