8 Step Guide to Adulting:
Living on Your Own Edition
By Camille Bacsa
Living alone, or even just away from home with trusted friends or cousins, is a feat because it means you can finally support yourself financially and manage your own living space. It’s version 2.0 of you, who for the longest time have probably grumbled at the mere thought of taking out the trash (come on, admit it). But with great independence comes great responsibility. To take out the toll of stress on you (or at least give you a checklist of what you need to know how to do as you prepare for #adulting), here are 8 of the most important things you gotta do and know before making the big leap:
Read your lease agreement thoroughly
Probably the biggest expense you will encounter once you start living alone is rent. For such a huge expense, it’s only fair that you negotiate well with your landlord and be clear about the terms and conditions – including whether you can paint the walls and make other fancy alterations in your new home, whether the rental rate will increase on a scheduled basis, and what their requirements are so you can get your security deposit back in full once you decide to move out. While it’s tempting to browse over the lease contract and just assume things will be ok, it’s always smartest (and adult-iest) to ask about any doubts, lest you want to risk regret and headaches later.
Compute your expected monthly expenses and adjust accordingly
Forecasting is your friend, and knowing all the things you need and want to spend on is critical for following a budget. It will also help you prioritize your finances against your other very important resource – time. For everything else you can’t afford – hold your breath – you gotta do the labor yourself *drumrolls*. And of course, there are all those usual expenses for nights-out with friends, date nights, travel goals… and the list goes on.
Don’t go running for a maid!
Unlike your life with the parents, no one’s going to pick up after you in your own space. In fact, if your finances run short, you definitely cannot go for the luxuries of a maid, labandera, or even plantsadora. Now’s the time to ask – which chore do you realllyyy hate the most? If it’s laundry, then it’s time to fork over the cash at the nearest laundrymat – however, this means it’s your own hardworking hands that have to scrub the kitchen sink and bathroom floors.
Check out the facilities near you
When the going gets tough, you need to call on your posse of… go-to service stores. Where can you get quality, filling food in the middle of the night? Where will you run when you’re out of toilet paper? Is there a bills payment you can walk to when you forget today is the deadline of your phone bill? On a whole other adult-preparedness level, find out the fastest route to the nearest hospital, and your establishment’s safest emergency exits too – you always gotta be ready for anything.