Planning on living on your own for the first time? Make sure you’re prepared for it. Read on for everything you need to know.
Getting your first apartment away from your parents or the comfort of campus life can be a difficult transition.
You no longer have anyone checking in on you regularly. No one is there to make sure you get up and go in the morning or that you do the dishes.
All the chores are on your shoulders now, and it’s your responsibility to keep your solo apartment running.
Living alone can be scary, but it’s also very liberating. You can finally dance like no one is watching.
This article will teach you five tips for living on your own for the first time.
- Both a Borrower and a Lender Be
Start telling your friends and family that you’ve found a new apartment.
Hint around that you don’t have any furniture or decorations yet. You’d be surprised how many of your family members with established homes have extra furniture you can use.
Ask for what you need and soon your living will be filled with a couch, coffee table and old tv for zero dollars.
The more items you can get for free, the less money you have to spend on moving.
Check your college’s Facebook pages for things other students may be selling for free. Oftentimes you can get good deals on furniture around the time that college freshmen move out of their dorms. They usually have things they no longer need and can’t take with them.
Along these lines, ask fellow college students to help you move. They more often than note will work for very little, sometimes even pizza.
- Plan a Budget
Now that you live alone, you are solely responsible for bills.
You need to keep a running tab on what expenses you have each month. Set aside money for rent, utilities, car payments, cell phone bills, etc. This is money you have to pay each month no matter what so you need to budget for it.
Next set aside money for groceries and toiletries. Try not to exceed this number each month. You want to consistently be spending the same amount of food and personal items.
Find out how much money you have leftover for “fun” spending and automatically put half of that in the bank. It’s a good idea to start saving while you’re young so you have a fund in case of emergencies.
- Learn to Cook
Speaking of your budget, you’ll have a hard time surviving if you eat out all the time.
Restaurant dining will quickly drain your wallet before you even finish your to-go box.
Now that you’re living off campus and have your own kitchen, there’s no excuse for not firing up that stove.
Teach yourself the basics of cooking. If you’re not a self-learner, take a cooking class. It will worth it when you start seeing how much money you can save.
You don’t have to become a master chef, but you should be able to feed yourself three meals a day.
Breakfast can be eggs and fruit, lunch can be a sandwich, and dinner can be chicken breast and veggies. Simple, healthy foods are easy to prepare.
You’ll also notice that eating out less will help you lose weight as you are the only controlling what ingredients go in your body.
- Decorate How You Want
Now that you’re living alone you can finally decorate your apartment how you want.
Be sure to customize your space so that it feels like home. Your new apartment should reflect your personality.
You can support local art by heading to art shows and galleries in your town.
Thrift stores also have unique, inexpensive decor that you can fill your apartment with.
Pictures of your loved ones will help you feel more comfortable in your apartment. Try framing them or stringing them up on the wall.
Find ways to make a small space look bigger. Remember that white tends to open up a room while black makes it seem smaller. Hanging mirrors on the wall will reflect light and make a room seem more expansive.
Use hidden storage containers to store things under your bed or in cabinets.
- Throw a House Warming Party
One of the best parts about living alone for the first time is being able to invite people over whenever you want. You no longer have to clear your guests with your parents or your roommate.
This is your space to invite whoever you want to visit. Hopefully, your guests will bring you a housewarming gift so you will have even more things to fill your apartment with.
Your apartment will feel more like home once you have some guests over.
Put your new cooking skills to good use and make appetizers for everyone. Crack open a couple of bottles of wine and encourage people to bring their favorite food and drink.
Play board games or a heated game of charades.
Once you realize that you can have people over, you won’t feel so alone. You’ll start to appreciate the alone time you do have because you know there is always an opportunity to socialize at work or school.
Now You Know a Few Secrets to Living On Your Own
You will remember your first solo apartment for the rest of your life.
It will carry you through part of your twenties. You will remember its scrappiness and the memories you made in it fondly.
You may only get a short window of living on your own before transitioning to family life, so enjoy it.
It might feel scary to be on your own at first, but you’ll likely grow to love it. Your apartment will be your sanctuary away from the world.