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, living with roommates, or your significant other. 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.
Unsure if this is the right step for you yet? Head on over to my post on 10 signs it might be time to move out of your parents’ house.
8 Lessons You Learn When You Move Out On Your Own
If you think you’re ready to start this new chapter of independence, read on to find out about the 8 important life lessons you’ll 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, or save up to pay for a postgraduate degree or designation, I had to learn how to budget my finances smartly.
You do not want to have money issues hanging over your head on top of every day stresses so it’s important to keep track of where your money is going. Making sure you’re diligent with your spending by budgeting and saving money wherever you can.
Personally, I love shopping, going out to dinner 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.
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 is to check out recipes on Pinterest.
If you’re looking for a great source for recipes that are neatly laid out for you, I recommend checking out Eat At Home Meal Plans if you’re looking to create cheap but healthy meals.
This meal plan membership includes access to ALL 4 of the following separate meal plans. The great part is you can mix and match depending on your needs and tastes.
1. Traditional – This plan is family-friendly and includes a variety of meats and veggies, and the occasional meatless meal.
2. Whole Food Plant Based – This plan places more emphasis on natural foods including vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. No meats, cheese, milk, fish, or eggs!
3. Slow Cooker/Instant Pot – This plan provides recipes that you can cook in your slow cooker and includes many Instant Pot recipes as well. (Bonus: It includes 1 week of Slow Cooker Freezer meals that are ready to eat in an hour!)
4. No Flour, No Sugar – This plan includes easy-to-prepare meals made from veggies and protein from whole foods with no flour or artificial sugars added.
Other great advantages of the Eat At Home Meal Plans include:
- Meal plans provided at the beginning of the month so you’ll have time to plan and minimize shopping trips
- 15-minute meals for super busy nights
- Color-coded lists so you can swap out ingredients or whole meals when needed
- Printable recipes for easy cooking
- Printable menus which are perfect to hang on your fridge or near your calendar for easy viewing
These will help you save time so you don’t have to think long and hard on what to make at home and it’ll keep you focused on staying healthy while saving you money!
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 handyman if something breaks down in your house, you’re the one who is in control.
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’m the one that will 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 heading 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. 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.
7. 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 really unhealthy if you isolate yourself for too long.
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!).
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!
Don’t forget to check out the rest of my posts on how to adult:
- A Beginner’s Guide: How To Move Out For The First Time On Your Own
- 10 Signs It’s Time To Move Out Of Your Parents’ House
- The Ultimate Guide: First Apartment Essentials
- Moving 101: The Essential Guide To A Successful Move
- How To Find The Perfect Roommate & Tips On How To Avoid Conflict
- Should I Move In With My Boyfriend? 8 Questions You Need To Ask Yourself
- 6 Lessons You Learn When You Move In With Your Boyfriend
If you moved out recently, what did you learn from your experiences? Feel free to share and let me know below.