It was very exciting when I made the decision to move out and get a place of my own. The thought of living alone was both thrilling and nerve wracking. on one hand I would be able to do what I wanted when I wanted. But on the other hand I would have to take the next step as an adult and start paying bills. Though I’ve only been living on my own for 6 months. I have learned a bit on how to take care of myself
1. Do your research (for apartment hunting)
This Is something I wish I would have done more of before moving. Before moving out of my parents house, I did check out a few apartments before moving into the one I live in now. But looking back at the process I wish I would have taken more time to do my research instead of rushing to move into the first apartment I find. I like the place I live now, But if I waited longer I probably would have found a place in the location that I wanted and in a better price range for me and my budget.
2. Decorating on a dime
This is the most exciting part about living in your own place, you can decorate it however you please. But decorating can get kind of expensive. I watched my spending by first creating a budget for myself. I waited about a month before making any decorating purchases or decisions. I used that time to save money, and figure out how I wanted to decorate by creating a mood board on my Pinterest with ideas and DIY’s. Then I went to both Target and Ikea where I found some cute stuff to decorate for a good price.
The 50/20/30 rule. This is something that I am still working on, but the idea of the 50/20/30 rule is using 50% of your take home pay for fixed expenses such as bills, rent, etc. 20% of your take home pay goes into your savings, and 30% of your take home pay goes towards your flexible funds, some spending cash for shopping or hanging out with friends. The link below goes into more detail about the 50/20/30 rule, feel free to check it out!
4. Create a schedule or planner for bills
This one took me a little while to learn. But it really helps to write down when your bills are due each month so that you can keep track of what you owe and when. That way you can make your payments on time each month, without any surprises.
5. File important paper work
Keeping paperwork like bills, paychecks, social security number, or anything with useful information is important to have filed away so that you can quickly refer to it if you need to. Also writing down usernames and passwords and keeping them in a secure location has helped me out a lot since, I am one to always forget a password. And if you can, putting that important paperwork in a locked file box would also be best.
6. Make the most of money saving offers
One thing I’ve learned and am still working on is using coupons. There are a lot of apps out there that can get you coupons to some of your favorite stores. For example the Cartwheel app, Ibotta, and RetailMeNot. You can also look online for tips on how to save a bunch of money by using coupons.
7. Staying in
Looking back at my bank statements each month, when I was living with my parents I went out with my friends a lot, and majority of the time we went to restaurants to hangout, which meant that a lot of my money was being spent on food and hanging out with friends. A great way to save money would be inviting friends over and all chipping in for a pizza and hanging out.
8. Learn how to cook
If you don’t know how to cook, then learning how would be a good thing to do. And you don’t have to be the next Master Chef or anything, just as long as you know a few basic skills. Also finding a good cookbook or easy recipes online is a great way to learn and you’ll save money by making dinner every night instead of buying out.
9. Cleaning a little everyday, goes a long way
You know what’s worse than doing chores? Having to spend a whole day doing chores. I’ve learned and started to discipline myself to just doing a little bit of cleaning everyday. And then leave one day of the week to deep clean the bathroom and vacuum my place.
10. Budget before you move, and after
A month before moving into my apartment, I made a pact with myself to only spend money when I absolutely needed to. Mostly to pay for gas and groceries. And I continued that pact after I moved into my apartment as well. By doing that I saved myself a lot of money and learned to spend wisely and control my impulsive buys.
11. Borrow what you can/ hand me downs
I saved a lot of money on furniture for my apartment by accepting hand me downs from my parents and friends. So if you can always accept hand me downs! Even if its not something you really like, you can use it until you save up the money to buy the furniture piece you really want.
Yes, it’s only been six months. But in those short six months I’ve learned some pretty important things. Who knows what else I can learn in the next six months ;).