Living alone for the first time can be exhilarating. You can come and go as you please, watch a marathon of your favorite reality series, or host an impromptu potluck — all without anyone else’s approval.
If you’re ready to live on your own, use these tips to make the transition as easy as it is empowering:
1. Save money.
Prepare financially to make moving out on your own more enjoyable. As far in advance as possible, start saving money to help cover the costs associated with your move. You’ll also want to put aside funds to pay for your first month’s rent and for items such as cleaning supplies, linens, small appliances, and cookware.
2. Create a budget.
Living on your own often means managing your money and paying bills for the first time. Creating a budget with a tool like Mint can help you be successful. Mint is free app that pulls information from your bank accounts, credit cards, and investments into one place so you can track your spending and create a realistic budget. Mint also alerts you when you’re about to exceed your budget, gives you the convenience of paying your bills online, and offers customized money-saving tips.
Extra reading: Finance 101: Building a Budgeting
3. Make a plan and pack smartly.
Streamline your move and minimize stress by following a well-thought-out plan. To help ensure nothing slips through the cracks, use a moving timeline to create a calendar that identifies tasks to complete each week leading up to your move.
Then, download the app Sortly to compile a visual inventory to help organize your things. As you pack, place Sortly QR labels on moving boxes so you can easily identify what items are inside.
Here’s more: 10 Tips to Make Moving Easy
4. Surround yourself with familiar things.
One of the benefits of settling into a new place solo is that you can decorate it as you please. To help create a homey, warm feeling, include a few familiar things that bring back good memories, like pictures of friends and family or a handmade quilt. Cooking or baking a favorite family recipe is another way to give your home a relaxed, comfortable vibe.
Live comfortably: Beautify Your Space on a Budget
5. Learn how to take care of your home.
Knowing how to perform basic home maintenance and repairs can help you feel more confident. In some cases, it may also help you avoid the expense of hiring a professional repair person. Learn how to complete simple home-improvement tasks such as changing your home’s air filter, unclogging a drain, painting a room, and mowing the lawn.
You’ll also want to understand how to safely turn off your home’s main power at the electrical panel and how to close the main water valve leading to your home. To help you accomplish these tasks, put together a basic took kit and add to it over time.
6. Keep safety in mind.
You’ll want to take a few extra precautions when it comes to living alone safely. For starters, make sure the locks on your home or apartment were changed after the last person moved out. When you go out by yourself, use a personal safety app like bSafe. This app can alert friends or family to your GPS location, notify them when you’ve reached your destination, and even fake a phone call to get you out of an uncomfortable situation.
In addition to these safety and security measures, consider installing a monitored wireless home security system, which can help make your home up to three times less likely to be burglarized.
7. Start meeting people.
Living on your own offers peace and quiet, but after a while you might start feeling lonely — especially if you’re in a new city. Once you’re settled in to your new place, start meeting people. Consider getting together with like-minded people through a Meetup or taking a class and pursuing a new hobby. Even spending time at the local coffee shop or bookstore can help you start feeling comfortable in your new locale.
Let’s be friends: Making New Friends After College
Like any major life change, living on your own takes a bit of getting used to, but it also offers you an amazing opportunity to grow. So what are you waiting for? Use these tips and embark on your life’s next adventure.