After speaking with my cable provider about how my bill had increased this month, they notified me that the original promotion I chose expired after one year. It didn’t dawn on me until later that I have been living on my own for one year now! I had dreamed about living on my own during college, but it took me a couple of years after I graduated for that dream to come true. However, living on my own has not been as glamorous and easy as I had imagined. So in honor of my one year anniversary, I decided to give you 8 things I wish I knew before moving out on my own.
1. Whatever amount you think you need to move out, take that and then double it.
Moving out costs consists of more than just first and last month’s rent. You also have to factor in renting any vehicles to move your furniture (buying basic furniture if you don’t have any), and buying basic kitchen appliances (and food). Also, if you plan on keeping an animal with you, you have to think about the initial pet deposit and monthly pet fee.
2. You’ll have to make small sacrifices to afford rent and pay bills.
Unless you make lots of money or split your expenses, you will not be able to maintain a highly social lifestyle. If you’re not yet willing to stop buying coffee each morning or hanging out at Buffalo Wild Wings on Fridays, then you can try and earn a passive income. Here are some ideas from The Penny Hoarder.
3. Your bills may be more than you estimate, especially if you are a new customer (i.e. power/electric).
I got hit with a big whammy from my power company. Apparently, for first-time customers, you are charged extra to establish your account. I expected to pay less than $50 each month, but I was charged over $100 for the first couple of months.
4. Be cautious on how many days each month you decide to wash your hair, wash clothes, and use the dishwasher on the same day.
All that water drives your water bill up. Try washing clothes every other week or when you have a large enough load. Or wash the dishes by hand to eliminate using any unnecessary amounts of water.
5. Saving money can seem difficult at times, but it is possible.
Ways I have been able to save money: buying food on sale and/or buying local, buying in bulk, buying my own cable modem/router, and eating more food that I have prepared over eating out.
6. Adulting is hard and you can’t (expect yourself to) do it on your own.
The main reason I wanted to move out is that I wanted to see if I could survive on my own. I appreciated everything my parents had done for me growing up, but I needed to spread my wings. I thought I could take this step on my own, but I have learned that I cannot. And it’s not because I’m not mature enough, but because I have experienced things I had not planned for. And this is true in life, we need each other to survive.
7. Unless you share your apartment, you will get lonely.
Moving out on your own seems great until it’s the third Friday night you’ve stayed at home watching Netflix. There are many ways to get out and meet new people. My friend participates in adult intramural leagues, and I have been going to a couple of Meetups; whatever floats your boat, just do it. While this is a great time to meet new people, it is also a great time for self-discovery. What do you want to do in life? How will you make your mark? What are some of your hobbies/passions?
8. Living on your own will not be easy, but it will definitely be worth it!
The great philosopher Missy Elliott once asked, “is it worth it? let me work it.” And I agree with her, we have to work it and live our best lives. We have to run with the rolls and punches of adulting. Doing something for the first time doesn’t come naturally easy to everyone, it’s a learning process. Take the lessons you have learned and apply it to benefit your future.
I want to hear from you! What are some lessons that you learned when you moved out on your own?
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