First of all, congratulations for finally getting out of your folks house! No more will you hear cliche statements like “if you live under my roof, you live under my rules”!
It’s exciting (and sometimes a little unnerving) to venture out on your own, or with a roommate, or girlfriend/boyfriend. Most everyone does it eventually, whether it be the next step to freedom on your own or a stepping stone from apartment to eventually being a homeowner!
This is a topic that’s new for my blog, but I’m going to gradually expand the categories that I cover over the next 24 months. I’ve got a lot to say to all of the folks who occasionally stop by one of my articles, and for the subscribers who read every post.
Enough of jib-jab, let’s get into the list you’re here to read.
1. Saying “Goodbye” is HARD
Listen, we can tell ourselves 100 times that we’re so ready to be free from the life of “being told what to do”, and we’re ready to eat Cheetos for breakfast, sleep in on the weekends and not be hassled for it.
Once you have the truck packed up, and reality sets in… You’ll know what I mean; until that moment, reading this doesn’t add up.
BUT DON’T CHANGE YOUR MIND ABOUT MOVING!
Yeah, that’s right. It might be rough, and you’ll regret moving away from the protective cover of “mom and/or dad”. But, trust me when I tell you to stick it out for a couple of weeks. If you’re still not feeling good about it, then stick it out for a couple months. It takes time for humans to adjust to change, but we grow when we do what’s difficult.
2. No, Internet is NOT free. Not Even Close.
Things we take for granted, like internet (WiFi) at home… Yeah, that’s going to be an awakening for some. My internet bill is over $90 per month… JUST FOR INTERNET… Right around 50mbps on average, which is pretty good.
I’ve adjusted by not having a regular cable or satellite television service or a landline phone (because I’m in an area where cellphone reception is decent).
Here’s were I add in a bonus:
These will be a lifesaver if you can’t do without television programs!
- Netflix – The obvious choice for just about any age range, from people in their 20s to people in their 50s, Netflix will be a great choice. Coming in under $12 per month, you can binge watch dozens of tv series from Breaking Bad, to Trailer Park Boys, and movies on I Am Legend were recently added to the queue.
- Amazon Prime Video – You’ve already got that Amazon Prime subscription, so take advantage of the free streaming service that’s included. There’s a variety of shows and movies that are free, and some releases that cost a few bucks to rent, or a $5-$25 to buy, depending on the movie and the streaming quality.
- Hulu – This one escaped me for quite a while. For some reason, I thought it wouldn’t be worth the money (around $10 per month for streaming with ads). But, this service is highly underrated. Hulu holds A LOT of television series that are updated with new episodes typically the day after a show airs on regular television. I’m talking about you, Gotham.
- There are a slew of other services as well, and there are a few promising services coming up from companies like Apple and Disney.
- Also, it’s worth mentioning that most of these services allow more than on profile on the same account. So, creating an account with a friend and splitting the bill is not out of the question (I’m pretty sure they even encourage it!)
3. Learn how to use a washer/dryer
This one kind of goes without saying, if you don’t already wash your own clothes, it’s best you get your folks to show you how to operate one.
If you’re lucky like me, you’ll have a washer/dryer setup in your first apartment, somewhere in the common space shared among the tenants.
It’s pretty simple to do, even YouTube could teach anyone who is too embarrassed to admit they don’t know how to do something (which is totally normal).
Detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets are not that cheap if you’re washing for more than one person regularly. Plus, most laundromats will require $1 per wash load, $1 per dryer load; so, be prepared to stop at the bank twice a month for quarters.
4. Practice doing things you don’t want to do.
We all get lazy, we all procrastinate from time to time, and it’s not the end of the world.
But, when we’re on our own (or with a significant other), we have to sometimes do things we don’t want to do. For instance, cleaning, vacuuming, washing dishes, washing clothes, maintaining the property (if you own).
Practicing “adulting” as it’s popularly referred to these days, is very healthy for your life. Mastering the mundane routine is the biggest challenge you’ll face. But, by doing the things that NEED to be done, even if we don’t want to, life goes smoothly.
If my wife or I don’t wash dishes every day, we end up making a sandwich on a paper towel, then walking around with nowhere to set it down.
Or if one of us goes to make dinner, and all of the pans are dirty, we’ve got to stop what we’re doing and take 5 minutes to wash pans and utensils while children cry in the background at how they’ll never get to eat again.
Trust me… Do what you know you should be doing, slack when you can afford to.
5. Enjoy the experience
Life is supposed to be a big experience. Enjoy the hard times, the easy times and everything in between.
At the end of the day, knowing that you’re in control of your own life is the ultimate tool to gain confidence in yourself and being in your own place is just a step in the right direction.
This can be an experience completely by yourself, or with a roommate, or two or three or more (jeez, how many friends do you have?!).
Remember to take baby steps when you’re unsure, but don’t step backward.