Living on your own isn't as bad as you think. Yes, you will have to cook your own food, wash your own laundry and make your own bed. That's not even the hard part. Personally, I don't understand people who are 20-24 and their mom still does their laundry. I'm not judging because I don't know their circumstance, but I am old enough to do my own laundry and cook my own meals. The hard part about being on your own is paying bills and rent. I am grateful that my granddad pays my rent, but I do not plan to eat from the silver spoon forever. I give my granddad money every month as a thank you for his kind gesture. I pay for my own groceries, phone bill, and any other essentials.
Here is my advice for handling being out on your own:
1. Know your budget and stick to it.
This means knowing exactly how much money you have in your bank account. Know your monthly take-home income, your current monthly expenses (ex. rent, food, entertainment, transportation, etc), and how much you save up monthly. I recommend creating a budget sheet for all your expenses and tracking where your money goes. You can put it in an Excel sheet or use apps like Fudget or GoodBudget Budget Planner.
2. Do your research.
This means looking at housing within your price range. A scenic view is nice and all, but it won't be much to enjoy if you're sleeping on an air mattress and eating Ramen every night. Research places that are near your school or job and don't be afraid to sacrifice the unimportant things. You may want a large room with a big closet, but considering getting a small room and changing the clothes in your closet for each season.
The second part of doing research is on the landlord and other tenants. Try to find them on social media and scope out any red flags. Don't get locked into a lease and then be blindsided!
3. Time your move carefully
It’s very important to time when you move out. There are certain times of the year when there will be fewer choices of places to rent such as when students go back to school and need housing. Be proactive and keep a look out of places available at least three months in advance so you can choose a place that you like and not have to make it a last minute decision.
4. Remember that saving is a priority
No one wants to live paycheck to paycheck. We've been told at a young age that saving is important. Especially in this economy and the way the country is going under the current President, saving should be apart of your financial planning. Try saving 10-20% of your income each paycheck and don't touch it unless it's an ABSOLUTE emergency.
Being on your own doesn't have to be hard, you just have to be patient and persistent. Living on your own comes with new responsibilities, experiences and a sense of freedom, fulfillment and independence. If you plan and prepare yourself ahead of time as well as budget your money properly, you’ll be ready to take on any challenges that come your way.
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