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Nowadays, more and more young people choose to live with their parents for longer, granted they agree to support them. Still, they eventually move out by the time they’re 23 to 25 at most, which reveals entirely different possibilities and options for them. But it’s also a difficult transition to make.
What You Need to Know
Being independent for the first time is an exciting prospect, but it also comes with a lot of new responsibilities. Here are the five most important skills you should master before moving out of your parents’ house.
1. Basic Home Repairs
The first thing you need to make a note of before going off to live on your own is that home maintenance is a tough job. You will need to learn a few basic repairs, but fortunately, there are plenty of tutorials available online nowadays.
You can learn a lot of useful plumbing or electrical tricks on the Internet, including how to fix faulty wiring, unclog drains or even figure out a trap seal depth. Calling in an expert for assistance is necessary sometimes, but if you can avoid it by taking care of the problem yourself, you will also save some money in the process.
2. Effective Meal Planning
First and foremost, you need to know how to plan a healthy diet and do adequate grocery shopping for it. Understanding nutrition labels is essential for this, as is always choosing the thriftiest alternative.
Next, you will need to know how to prepare a few of your favorite meals. Lucky for you, this isn’t hard to learn. In fact, basic cooking skills can be mastered from an early age. You can either ask your parents for a few recipes or look them up yourself and put them into action. Depending on your current abilities, it might take a while, but you will eventually manage.
Using basic kitchen tools such as a can opener, knives or a mixer is also important, as is cleaning after yourself. This includes the stove, the oven, and the microwave if you own one. In addition to this, you will also need to wash the dishes by yourself. By doing this after every meal, your kitchen will always be clean and organized.
3. Coming Up with a Budget
Creating your very own monthly household budget is an effective method to control expenses and block out any unnecessary spending. To do this, allot fixed sums for each task that needs to be performed, such as grocery shopping and other necessities. You don’t always have to follow it religiously, but having it on hand is a good way to curve your impulses.
4. Saving Money on Bills
Living on your own isn’t exactly forgiving on your paycheck, especially when you’re young and money most likely isn’t that great yet. This is why you need to do your best to save up on water, gas, and electricity bills. Unplug any appliances you aren’t using before leaving the house, and never leave the heat or A/C blasting on max while you’re at work.
Another commonsensical way to reduce costs is by never keeping the light on for unnecessary amounts of time. Thus, make sure to switch it off every time you leave the room. A frugal lifestyle might not be what your parents accustomed you to, but it’s what you need to do if you want to afford to live on your own.
5. Décor and Furnishing for Less
It’s only normal to want to decorate your house after your own tastes once you move out. However, furniture and home décor can get rather expensive, which is why you need to learn how to do it for less. Always shops during sales and discount periods, as you may want to consider going the secondhand route.
If you choose the latter, remember to only buy plastic or wooden items. These are easier to clean and less likely to be infested by pests. Avoid getting too many things at once. Not only will it be expensive, but it will also clutter your living space. When trying to make the most out of what you’ve got, minimalism or DIY is the best approach.
Moving out of your parents’ house is undoubtedly scary at first, but it’s something everyone has to do at some point. If you were lucky enough to have supportive parents that kept you going all the way through college, after you get a job it’s time to allow them to breathe a sigh of relief for the first time in years.
Nevertheless, you need to be prepared for the big change that lies ahead. The essential thing here is being responsible with your money, and this can be done in many ways. Through careful and effective meal planning, as well as devising your own budget and learning to save money on bills, repairs and other necessities, you will successfully live on your own soon enough.
With an educational background in Engineering Design, Vincent West works as a designer and technical blogger covering from time to time practical household advice.