Deciding to live alone for the first time can be life-changing. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans living alone has increased by over 27% since 2007, and this trend is only expected to continue in the years to come. Living alone has many benefits, such as more privacy, more control over your environment, and more time for self-care and relaxation.
Living alone can also be a great way to focus on your own needs and goals without worrying about others. This can be especially beneficial for young adults just starting on their own. By taking the time to figure out what makes you happy and what you want from life, you can set yourself up for professional and personal success.
So if you’re thinking about making the jump to living alone, go for it! You won’t regret it. However, it will be essential to prepare for it, starting with these steps.
Finding the Long-Term Home
When you’re looking for a place to live alone, you must find somewhere you can see yourself staying for the long haul. This shelter may be a one-bedroom apartment in your favorite city or a small house in the suburbs. There are many factors to consider when choosing your living situation, such as location, cost of living, and amenities.
For the location, everything needs to be within reach for your convenience. Your workplace, grocery store, and other places you frequent should be nearby. You also want to make sure you feel safe in your neighborhood. If you have children, you’ll also need to find a school district you’re comfortable with for your future kids. There are plenty of factors to consider for your home’s location, making it necessary to research.
Consider the cost of living in your potential area. Can you afford the rent or mortgage payments? What other bills will you need to pay, such as utilities, internet, and television? Make sure you create a budget before making any decisions.
Finally, think about what amenities are important to you. Do you need to be close to public transportation? Would you like a gym in your building? Is having a dishwasher or washer and dryer worth paying extra?
Picking out the Right Place
Once you’ve found a few places that meet your needs, it’s time to start looking for affordable houses for sale that you can call home. Begin by searching online listings in your area of interest. Once you’ve found a few potential places, schedule tours to see the units in person.
While touring the units, pay close attention to your gut feeling. Do you feel comfortable there? Would you be able to see yourself living there long-term? Also, take note of the unit’s layout and condition. Is it well-lit and spacious? Is it clean and in good repair?
You might require professional help when it comes to making a decision. An experienced real estate agent can help you find the perfect place and negotiate the best price.
Being Financially Disciplined
Now that you’ve found the perfect place to live, it’s time to start thinking about your finances. When living alone, you’ll be solely responsible for covering your expenses, so it’s essential to be financially disciplined.
Start by creating a budget that includes all of your income and expenses. Make sure to account for your fixed costs, such as rent and utilities, and your variable costs, such as food and entertainment. Once you understand your spending habits well, you can work on ways to cut back where necessary.
It’s also a good idea to start building up an emergency fund. This will give you peace of mind knowing that you have money aside for unexpected expenses. Try to save up to six months’ worth of general expenses if you lose your job or face another financial emergency.
Last but not least, make sure you have the right insurance coverage. This safety net includes health, auto, and renter’s or homeowner’s insurance. Having insurance will help protect you financially if something goes wrong.
Be Flexible and Organized
In addition to being financially disciplined, you’ll need to be flexible and organized when living alone. This step means being able to take care of yourself and your home without relying on anyone else.
One way to be more self-sufficient is by learning how to cook simple meals. You don’t need to be a gourmet chef, but it’s helpful to know how to make more than just ramen noodles! It’s also a good idea to stock up on non-perishable food items so that you always have something to eat if you can’t make it to the store.
Another way to be more flexible is by knowing how to do basic repairs around your home. For example, you should know how to change a lightbulb, fix a clogged drain, and unclog a toilet. It’s also helpful to have a toolkit on hand for minor repairs.
Lastly, being organized will help you keep your home in order. This step includes everything from doing your laundry to cleaning your bathroom. A regular cleaning routine will help you remain ahead and avoid letting the mess get out of control.
Living alone can be a great experience if you stay prepared for it. By following the tips in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to leading a happy and independent life.