If you’re about to move out on your own for the first time, it can be a very exciting time in your life.
When I finally took the plunge to move out on my own for the first time in my early 20’s, I was beyond excited but also very nervous at the same time. I had previous experiences living with roommates (during my 4 years of university) but never did I ever have my own place.
There were so many questions on my mind… Did I have enough money to pay for a place by myself? Would I feel lonely? Was I responsible enough?
Luckily, I’ve had a great experience living on my own for a few years so far but it wasn’t without learning a few important lessons along the way, which is what I wanted to focus on in this post today.
There will always be perks to staying at home or living with roommates. But when you move out on your own, it will help you mature and grow as a person as you learn to be completely self-sufficient and independent.
If you think you’re ready to start this new chapter of independence, read on to find out about the 8 important lessons you’ll probably learn real fast when you move out on your own.
1. Manage Your Finances Carefully
Two important things that I was quickly forced to learn when I moved out was learning how to prioritize my money and recognizing my future goals.
If I wanted to eventually save enough for a down payment on a house, build up a retirement fund for when I wanted to retire or save up to pay for a post graduate degree or designation, I had to learn how to budget my finances smartly.
If you’re living alone, you’re probably paying for all of your living expenses yourself like rent, utilities, food, etc and all of that adds up real quick. You do not want to have money issues hanging over your head once you move out on your own so it’s important to keep track of where your money is going and making sure you’re diligent with your spending.
As a girl, I love shopping, going out to brunch with friends, and traveling to new and exciting places. But once I moved out, I had to really watch my spending on all 3 of those luxuries in comparison to when I was living at home because they didn’t align with my financial goals.
Did I have days where I was tempted to buy myself an expensive pair of boots that I really wanted when I already had dozens of pairs?
Yes, of course!
But did I really need them and did they align with my goals and priorities? No.
You’re going to have to be ready to make small important decisions like that every day that will affect your future and it’s really going to test your self-discipline and willpower.
2. Learn How To Cook
Learning how to cook is absolutely essential once you move out on your own.
Unless you hire yourself a cook or spend a ton of money eating out every day (which isn’t great for your wallet or your health), you’re going to have to take care of your own nutritional needs if you want to stay healthy. If you’re lazy and decide to only eat fast food for dinner every day, no one is going stop you. But you’ll probably start feeling like crap and it’ll just make you feel even more unmotivated to cook.
Luckily when I moved out, I already had a few years of experience cooking for myself when I lived with roommates so the transition wasn’t too bad.
But if you don’t really have much prior cooking experience or you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, it’s okay! A few great ways to find inspiration and guidance on delicious, healthy recipes are to either buy a few recipe books, search the web, or check out recipes on Pinterest (I highly recommend this option!).
3. Be Responsible For Yourself
Once you move out on your own, you’re going to need both the motivation and willpower to initiate and do things yourself. This means being a responsible adult and looking after yourself on a daily basis, whether it be health-wise, regulating your general living habits, or calling a handy man if something breaks down in your house.
When I used to live at home, my mom always used to nag me about certain things like helping out with the chores around the house or reminding me to book my dentist appointments every 9 months.
Nowadays, I’m the one who is responsible for myself in every aspect of my life. If I miss an appointment, don’t take care of my health, stay awake until 6 am, or leave a week’s worth of dishes in the sink, I’ll be the one to reap the consequences.
Ultimately, it’ll be up to you to be responsible for your own actions, take initiative, and not be lazy.
4. Keep Up With Your Cleanliness
We all feel lazy sometimes and that’s okay, but it’s not great to make it a habit.
A lot of times when I’d come home from work, I’d feel lazy and would skip the chores I knew I couldn’t put off like vacuuming, washing the dishes, or laundry. Eventually, it all piled up. The more it piled up, the lazier and more unmotivated I became. It got to the point where seeing all the clutter would make me feel extremely anxious and uncomfortable.
Nowadays, I’m much better at tidying up and making sure my apartment doesn’t get out of hand. I’m much more focused when I need to be and I also feel more comfortable and less anxious when I see a clean and tidy place.
If you’re having trouble keeping your place tidy and clean, try following a weekly cleaning schedule because that really helps me to get things done. As time goes on, it’ll also start to become more and more of a habit and you’ll have less to clean if you always keep on top of it.
5. It’s Okay To Be Lonely
As the title states, sometimes it’s okay to feel lonely.
I always either lived with roommates during university or with my parents after graduating so moving out on my own was definitely a new experience for me. At the beginning, I always felt a sense of emptiness when I’d come home from work to a vacant place and I wasn’t sure how to deal with it at first.
But as time went by and I got used to being alone, I soon found that being alone with my own thoughts was actually really serene and peaceful. I went from feeling lonely to feeling happy to come home every night to a place where I could just focus on myself and have quality me time.
If you feel lonely, it’s absolutely normal to experience these feelings. If after you’ve tried to ride it out but you still feel that way, try getting a pet if you have enough time to take care of it and like animals. They’re great companions!
6. Build A Great Support Group
If you’re going to move out on your own, having a supportive group of friends and family members in your life is also going to be important.
It’s easy to get into the habit of being antisocial when you can easily choose to stay in by yourself but this can be unhealthy. Make sure you make time for your friends and keep in contact with your loved ones so that when times are difficult, you have people to lean on (and vice versa when they’re in need!).
7. Keep Busy
If you still feel like something is missing when you move out on your own, combat the feeling by keeping yourself busy.
Start a DIY project, get a second job, try a class that interests you, or take on a new hobby that you’ve always wanted to get into. You’ll work on yourself by gaining new skills while at the same time meeting new and interesting people who will enrich your life.
8. Embrace Your Independence
Your 20’s is one of the best times to explore, experiment, and embrace your independence if you don’t have a family or children to take care of, so live it up! You can choose to travel and explore the world, eat whatever you want, and spend as much time or as little time by yourself as you please.
If you’re a creative and visual person, take advantage of your personal space by expressing your individuality and decorating it with wall art, furniture, and decor. You can spruce it up just the way you like without anyone else telling you otherwise! To get home decor and room inspiration, I recommend checking out Pinterest.
One of the best life decisions you may make in your 20’s is to move out on your own. It certainly made me learn a few lessons and those experiences I went through really helped me become the independent and self-sufficient person I am today. I hope that some of these things I talked about today are helpful to anyone who is about to start their own journey to independence!
If you moved out recently, what did you learn from your experiences? Feel free to share and let me know below.