Moving out of your parents’ house to live on your own for the first time can either be the most liberating or terrifying experience of your life. Because we live in a country where most women and men choose to or are expected to live at home until they get married, we tend to be dependent on our parents—or vice versa—well into our 20s and 30s.
But sometimes external factors like career, relocation, or simply the desire to be more independent drive us to finally seek our own physical and personal space. While living on your own has its perks, it also requires a lot more responsibility.
Here are some of the things you’ll realize when you live on your own:
1. You need to learn to budget your finances wisely.
Having the freedom to do whatever you want is exciting, but it’s important to always live within your means. Treat yourself occasionally but don’t go overboard with unnecessary expenses.
Keep track of your monthly expenses so that you have a clearer idea of how much extra money you can afford to spend after settling your basic expenses like rent, groceries, electricity, and water. It’s also wise to set aside money for your savings account before you splurge on other things and extracurricular activities.
2. Sweeping the floor every day is essential.
You’ll be surprised how quickly dust accumulates. Even if you’re not at home 70% of the time, your room or apartment will not stay as neat and tidy as you would want it to be. This is particularly true for cluttered spaces.
Make time for a quick sweep before or after work every day to avoid a dirty home. Here’s a tip: blast your dance playlist while you clean to make it less of a chore and more of a fun workout.
3. It takes a lot of time and dedication to eat healthy—but it’s worth the effort!
After a long and tiring day, the last thing you want to do is more physical work at home. To avoid cooking, you might be tempted to pop in an instant meal in the microwave or order in from a fast food chain.
You don’t want to make a habit out of this. Not only is it unhealthy but can also be very expensive. If you’re pressed for time, dedicate one or two cooking days a week and prepare a big batch of a basic dish that you can mix and match throughout the week. You can also invest in healthy meal plans that are delivered directly to your home or office.
4. Decluttering is therapeutic.
We know how hard it is to let go of sentimental items but if you don’t use it, don’t keep it. According to lifestyle and cleaning guru Marie Kondo, anything you haven’t used in the last six months probably won’t be used at all, so you might as well get rid of it. One of her tricks for decluttering is to lay out all your items in front of you, pick them up one by one, and ask yourself, “Does this bring me joy?” If the answer is yes, set it aside. If no, throw or give it away.
5. You appreciate your alone time more than ever.
Do not confuse being alone with being lonely. Some people are afraid to live on their own because they’re worried about feeling isolated from the world. Having quality alone time can make you a better and more positive person. You develop a deeper appreciation for yourself and discover things you never knew you were capable of.
While it might be tempting to spend your alone time sleeping or watching TV, try other activities like meditation, journal writing, doodling, cooking, or arts and crafts. These are great ways to destress, relax, and clear your mind.
6. You’ll learn to be a stronger and more independent woman.
Living on your own forces you to grow up and be more responsible. You become more aware of things you have taken for granted in the past, like certain comforts and privileges that aren’t as easily accessible when you’re on your own. Knowing that you can make it work despite the challenges is a reward on its own.
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