Many people remember the first time they lived alone as one of the best experiences of their lives. They may have worried about their security, how to pay bills and even how to plan for meals at times. Yet the freedom, independence and lessons they got from living alone were worth it.
Lots of problems people face when they first live alone can be avoided with better planning. Keep reading for nine great tips on living alone for the first time so that you can fully enjoy the experience.
1. Form A Support System
When you live alone you have to build a support system to ensure that all your needs are taken care of. Have a contact list of service providers you can trust such as a handyman, mechanic, doctor, etc. These should be people that are firmly in your corner and ready to advise you or help you during emergencies. Also, have the local police and emergency services on speed dial.
Keep a physical list of all these phone numbers as well as your immediate family members in case you lose your phone and you need to reach them. You should also have a system for your loved ones or a trusted neighbor to regularly check up on you. This way if they don’t hear from you in two days or so, they can come to check up on you.
2. Secure Your Living Conditions
Safety is a major concern for people that want to live alone. To combat your fears, try to incorporate as many security systems and checks into your new place as possible. For example, consider getting a home that is in a secure neighborhood such as a gated community with robust security systems and access control procedures.
Ensure that you can safely get to your house at any time of day or night. Change your locks before you move in so that you can be sure that no strangers have access to your home.
3. Create Your Preferred Lifestyle
One of the benefits of living alone for the first time is being able to decorate your home how you prefer and spending your time at home the way you want to. Take this opportunity to live the life you want.
If you like pink walls or you enjoy having a glass of wine in a warm bath after work, go ahead and do so. Watch the TV shows you love without anyone nagging you to change the channel. Use the freedom you have to live your preferred life.
4. Set a Budget and Stick to It
When living alone for the first time you quickly learn that you are solely responsible for paying all your bills. So you need to plan your finances to cover all your expenses without you ending up hungry with all your utilities turned off.
To live within your means you should list all your expenses for the month such as electricity and other utilities, food, transport, entertainment, savings etc. Make sure that your income is adequate to cover all your expenses. If your income comes up short then you should cut off some expenses to make ends meet.
For example, you could live in a cheaper accommodation such as 1 bedroom apartments. You could also buy cheaper food, use your car less often or try to use less water and energy to cut down on your spending.
Set up an emergency fund that covers at least 3 months of living expenses. This helps if you lose your source of income you’ll still be able to cover your expenses as you look for a new job.
5. Learn Self-Reliance
You may be used to relying on other people to cook your meals, do your laundry or even keep you company. When you start living alone you will no longer have people to do these things for you.
Try as much as possible to learn basic life skills before you start living alone for the first time. These skills include knowing how to cook, clean, do laundry, drive, budget and basic maintenance like unblocking a sink. You should also learn how to entertain and soothe yourself so that you aren’t constantly seeking the company of others.
6. Maintain A Social Calendar
Human beings are social creatures. You should try to have a social engagement at least once a week to prevent loneliness or depression. Having a social circle that loves and cares about you will be necessary to help you get through tough times like illnesses or financial tragedy.
7. Be Compassionate To Yourself
While living alone you will make a lot of human mistakes like paying a bill late or damaging expensive furniture. Learn not to beat yourself up over minuscule errors. These are natural occurrences for any human to get it wrong sometimes.
Being hard on yourself for mistakes will only make you more anxious and nervous leading to more mistakes.
8. Make Friends With Your Neighbors
Neighbors contribute greatly to whether you have a good or bad experience at your new home. Be kind and friendly to everyone when you move in and try to get to know who your neighbors are. Be active in neighborhood events so that you become a familiar face.
Your neighbors might be the ones that come to your rescue when you get a maintenance or medical emergency. It is also easier to ask your neighbor to stop an annoying habit such as playing loud music if you are on good terms.
9. Create A Pleasant Living Environment
While one of the benefits of living alone is the freedom to be a total slob if you wish, try to clean up and tidy your home regularly. A dirty and disorganized home could lead to you getting sick, anxious or depressed.
You’ll also be embarrassed to invite visitors to a dirty home which could lead to you unnecessarily isolating yourself. Plan to clean your home at least once a week. Put away your belongings as you go so that your home is always generally tidy and a pleasant place to be.
Living Alone For The First Time Can Be An Awesome Experience
Living alone for the first time can be a very enjoyable experience if approached with the right attitude. Be sure to live within your means while you bask in your freedom and privacy. Keep in mind to make time for social events and people that you care about.
Having a balanced lifestyle while living alone will help you thrive. For more tips, check out our blog section.