Tips for Living on Your Own for the First Time
Congratulations on taking the plunge and moving out on your own! This is a huge landmark in your life and comes with many new responsibilities. Living independently can be daunting, but it is also an enriching experience. From bedroom essentials you can’t live without to some savvy financial habits, here are our top suggestions for living on your own for the first time.
Invest In Essential Items
Investing in essential items is one of the smartest things you can do when setting up your new home. This means items that are necessary and will make your life more comfortable. For example, a great bed. Investing in a high-quality mattress, pillows and bedding will make all the difference in your comfort and sleep quality. And when you’re shopping for mattresses, do yourself a favor and spend a little extra. Trust us. You will be thankful for better sleep because you’ll need all the energy you can get when adjusting to this new phase in your life!
Set A Budget And Stick To It
Another crucial step in learning to live on your own is setting a budget and sticking to it. This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how quickly expenses can add up. From groceries and utility bills to nights out with friends, it is vital to be mindful of where your money is going. A great way to manage your finances is to use a budgeting app or create a spreadsheet detailing your income and expenses. There are also some time-tested budgeting approaches that you can brush up on to help out. This will not only keep you on track but allow you to keep saving for big purchases. Whether you’re looking at adjustable beds to deal with sleep apnea or a new-to-you car to get to work quicker, being mindful of your spending will help immensely.
There’s an app for just about everything. And when you’re living on your own for the first time, utilizing technology can help make your life a lot easier. From grocery delivery services to streaming apps that offer free trials, take advantage of all the available resources. You’ll find help with budgeting, organization and even mental health. Just remember to use them in moderation, and don’t overspend on monthly subscriptions for things you won’t use often.
Learn How to Cook Simple Meals
A valuable, must-learn skill when living on your own is how to cook simple meals. Eating out all the time is not only expensive, but it is also not very healthy. Likewise, relying on pre-packaged food can get old really fast. Learning to cook basic meals like pasta, stir-fries and sandwiches will save you money. It will also help give you a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, knowing you’re honing skills you’ll use forever. Plus, you’ve got no excuse with so many online recipes and tons of video tutorials a click away.
Create a Cleaning Schedule and Stick to It
Most people don’t enjoy cleaning. There’s no reason to pretend otherwise. However, it needs to be done if you want to live in a comfortable, healthy and presentable home. To stay on top of cleaning is to create a schedule and stick to it. Dedicate certain days of the week to specific tasks, such as doing laundry or vacuuming, and stick to them. Your friends and family will appreciate visiting a clean home, and you’ll feel better knowing everything is in its place. And for the smaller jobs, you can use the five-minute rule. If it takes you less than five minutes to do, just do it!
Establish Rules for Guests and Stick to Them
When you live on your own, you get to make the rules. So if you don’t want your parents dropping by unannounced or your friends crashing on your couch for weeks at a time, now is the time to establish some ground rules. Be firm with yourself and others; don’t be afraid to enforce your rules. It’s your home, after all — you should be able to enjoy it however you see fit.
Find Ways to Have Fun on Your Own
One of the best things about living on your own is that you get to do things entirely on your own terms. So if you want to have a night in with Netflix instead of going out clubbing with your friends, there’s no one stopping you. Don’t be afraid to enjoy your own company — you might be shocked at how much fun you can have by yourself. Just keep in mind the difference between being alone and feeling lonely. Alone means you’re by yourself, while lonely means you feel isolated and disconnected from others. If you start to feel lonely, reach out to friends and family or look for ways to connect with others.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help When You Need It
There will be times when living on your own is tough, and that’s OK! But don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it — whether it’s from a friend, family member or professional services like housekeeping or laundry service. There’s no shame in admitting that you need a little assistance every now and then — we all do.
Moving out on your own is a big step, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying life in your own space. Just remember that it’s OK to ask for help when needed, and don’t be afraid to have fun along the way.