Moving out of home for the first time is at once frightening and highly exciting. On the one hand you are finally getting all of the freedom to decorate how you want, have guests whenever you want and come in at any time in the morning without worrying about waking up the folks. At the same time though you are losing that security blanket that you’ve probably come to rely on, and you will no longer have bills paid and fridge stocked. Here we will look at some tips and hints that can help you to survive when starting out on your own. It’s not as good as having your parents with you, but it might hopefully help you to avoid some of the pitfalls of first going solo.
Budget: It’s important when you first move in on your own to make sure you have carefully budgeted and know how much money you have spare at the end of each month. Take everything into account starting with the amount you earn each month and then including each out going such as your utility bills, rent, the amount you’ll spend on food, the amount you’ll save for nights out and the amount you’ll allow yourself to spend on yourself each month. This way you will avoid running out of money just before rent.
Save: Include in this budget though some money to put to one side for rainy days when you end up having to spend a bit more than you think, or when something goes wrong with your debit card.
Get an overdraft: If you can get an overdraft facility on your account then do. This is an extra form of insurance on top of saving and means that even when your savings aren’t enough to bail you out you still won’t have to crawl back to your parents for a loan.
Shop around: Shopping around for your electricity suppliers and your phone providers etc is a great way to ensure that you get the best possible deal and if you do this for all your bills it will add up and save you a lot of money in the long run.
Learn to cook: Learning to cook is something you should definitely invest some time into before you move out on your own so that you can feed yourself properly and get your five veg a day. The alternative is to just eat ready meals which really won’t give you all the nutrients you need. Just a few basic meals like bolognaise and pot roast will get you by most nights and you can also use other basic things like roast potatoes or beans on teeth for the days in between.
Freeze lots of food: However freezing some food is an invaluable lesson and this can mean buying a few ready meals, or cooking extra at dinner and freezing the leftovers. This way when you come home tired and can’t be bothered to cook or if you don’t have much time and need to go out, then you can still enjoy eating.
Buy appliances: Things like a dishwasher or a washing machine can save you huge amounts of time and also ensure that your items don’t pile up too much.
Limit your crockery: Having huge piles of crockery is unhygienic and will also make your kitchen look far more untidy. If you have fewer items though then you can’t allow it to build up. Good advice is to have two items of everything such as two plates, two mugs and then you will have enough for when you have a guest but won’t end up with huge piles.
Make spare copies of your key: Making spare copies of your keys is an important way to make sure that you don’t end up getting locked out in the middle of the night. The best way to ensure that you don’t lose all your copies is to give one copy to someone local – such as your parents.
Insure your belongings: Insurance is very important to get when you are starting out as this way you can be sure that your items won’t be damaged in a flood or likewise and you’ll be protected against theft. When you’re young and starting out a blow like this can be enough to be a serious setback.