Twenty One and Living Alone!

Year One.

I first moved out when I was 18 years old but that was definitely the easiest of times. I had moved to a university on the outskirts of London and I was living on campus. It was all inclusive so I had all my meals cooked for me – it might sound great but the food was crap and a part from a microwave, there wasn’t any cooking appliances, so for an entire year I was subjected to very bland food and questionable meat. My student loan covered my rent, there was no worry of bills, all my very crappy meals were made for me and I lived roughly an hour and a half away from home so I could travel back easily when I needed to.

Year two.

After my first year of university, I moved into a studio flat which was the hardest time. I fell in love with the apartment and the area and although the rent was ridiculously high, I was set on living there. However, I still don’t consider it really moving out as it was classed as student accommodation. My bills were included in the rent which I paid quarterly – the same time I would get my student loan. As I mentioned, the rent was ridiculously high for student accommodation and although the building and the apartments were nice, looking back I really don’t think it was value for the money. I struggled so much financially that year, my student loan barely covered a fraction of the rent and although I had a lot of help to pay it, it just wasn’t easy. I was working a job that I hated at the time and paid poorly, so I left and was in that horrible period of leaving one job and moving into another. It was hard but proud to say I worked through it all!

Year three.

As if the past year alone hadn’t been enough of a learning curve, this year was really about to open my eyes. I’d had enough of moving from home to home each year and having absolutely loved my area, I decided my next home would be my home for the next few years. Me, my best friend and our two friends decided we would all get a house together and planned on living there for the next few years – things changed!

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This is my beautiful little room in our house that causes oh so much stress. This has been the year where I officially feel like a responsible adult in this world, there’s no going back now! I learnt so many things that they just don’t teach you in school so from my experience, here’s my top tips if you’re feeling like your ready to move out:

  • Make sure you are financially ready to take on this responsibility! You need to consider the deposit, your rent pcm, bills and any other bills or direct debits you have. For example, if you earn £1,500 a month and you find a place with £950 rent and an £1,800 deposit. How feasible is it for you to afford your new home and keep up with the bills, as well as anything else you pay for and potentially put money away each month for savings?
  • Bills!! Nobody teaches you about bills, average costs, seasonal changes or when you can expect to receive them. Before my new found independence, I thought bills came every month when in fact, most of my bills are quarterly.
  • Are you living alone? Or with others? Living alone obviously means you are solely responsible for your home and there is nobody to split costs with. If you’re considering living with others I would recommend strongly thinking about this. For some people it works, for others not so much. You have to think about their habits and whether you can handle that in a more intense environment. I learnt that you don’t really know someone until you live with them!
  • Talk to your parents or anyone you can trust who has a good experience with moving out and managing a home on their own. At first, I was calling my mum constantly (as I always do) with a million questions.
  • Not everything is what it seems! At viewings, ask a million questions no matter how silly they may seem. Houses looking great from the outside until you move in and everything starts falling a part.
  • Consider all your options! Never settle for less than what you want but more importantly, don’t put yourself in a position where it’s easy for you to end up drowning. Think ahead!

elisekirsten xo.

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