Moving out of your parents’ home can be very exciting because you gain a new sense of freedom. You can design your space as you see fit and set your own rules. However, it can also feel nerve-wracking as you take on the different responsibilities of independent living, from furnishing your new home to managing your monthly budget. Needless to say, being an adult also comes with significant costs.
If you feel overwhelmed by these responsibilities, don’t fret. There are simple yet effective ways to ease yourself into adulthood and adjust to your new financial obligations. In this article, you’ll find out how to enjoy the benefits of living independently while living within your means. Check out these recommendations for living on a budget.
Furnish Your Home with Secondhand Items
Some rental studios or apartments come with basic furniture while others don’t. If you have to move into the latter kind of rental, you’ll need to furnish your new space yourself. However, doing so can be challenging if you’re on a limited budget, as furniture pieces like bed frames, dining tables and chairs, and sofas can be quite costly.
To furnish your home without breaking the bank, consider buying secondhand furniture instead, as they often go for much lower prices due to the fact that they’re no longer brand new. Some secondhand furniture may even be of better quality when compared to cheap, brand new furniture sold today. Many older pieces are constructed using durable materials such as solid wood, while cheap modern furniture is often made of lower-quality materials like plastic.
Even if you don’t find exactly what you’re looking for or come across a piece that features some minor defects, used furniture can easily be repaired and updated to suit your taste. For example, you may come across a used sofa for sale that has tears and holes in the fabric but comes with a solid frame. If you decide to buy it, you can have it reupholstered to suit your new home’s aesthetics and make it look good as new.
Consider Having a Housemate
Living independently doesn’t always mean you have to live alone. In fact, many people who move out for the first time opt to have a housemate. Such a living arrangement allows you to share certain costs –like rent and utility bills–with another person, which can help cut down your monthly expenses.
When it comes to choosing a housemate, you have several options. Maybe you have a coworker who’s also looking for a living space close to the office. Perhaps you have an adult sibling or a family member who also wants to move out and become more independent. Or maybe you have a close and trusted friend who you wouldn’t mind sharing a home with.
Whoever you decide on inviting into your future home, just try asking them what they think about living together as housemates. You should also discuss whether this will be a long-term or short-term arrangement. If it’s the latter, make sure to clarify if you’ll be eventually going your separate ways once you have enough income to live on your own.
Prepare Meals at Home
Dining out all the time can get expensive very quickly. Fortunately, cooking your own meals at home can help your food budget go a long way.
To start, you can plan your meals–breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks–on a weekly basis. By knowing exactly what you’ll be cooking on specific days, you’ll be less likely to buy any ingredients you don’t need, helping you stick to a strict budget.
It’s also considered best practice to shop for ingredients only once a week, as this can prevent you from overbuying food. Otherwise, excess ingredients are likely to end up forgotten and expired in the back of your fridge. Instead of saving money, you’ll end up having to throw out ingredients that have gone bad, which is a waste of both food and money.
Unplug Your Appliances When You Leave
If you want to keep your electricity bills low, make it a habit to turn off your lights, appliances, and electronics whenever you’re not using them.
Also, don’t forget to unplug all of your electronics whenever you leave your home. This is because some electronic devices and appliances (such as lamps, televisions, and ovens) continue consuming energy even if they’ve been turned off. So, just to be on the safe side, it’s best to keep everything unplugged whenever you’re not at home. Doing so also reduces the risks of electrical fires.
Many people consider moving out of their parents’ house as the first step to adulthood. That said, this stage of life also comes with bigger responsibilities like balancing your finances and living within a budget. Fortunately, following these tips can help you save up and reduce living costs. Always do your best to stay on top of your responsibilities so that you can enjoy the benefits of being an independent adult without any unnecessary stress.