Goodbyes are never easy, just ask my parents. I landed a new job far enough away from home where I either had to battle through a four-hour round trip commute each day or rent an apartment.
I went with the latter of the two. I moved in to my cozy new home about two weeks ago and absolutely love living on my own.
Aside from the obvious perks (blasting music, walking around naked, watching whatever I want on TV, etc.), the little things are most rewarding, like being able to call this place my own.
Hey, even though I’m just renting, it’s a pretty cool feeling to invite friends over to my place.
During these last two weeks, I've probably learned more about myself than I have the past 23 years. It’s also been an eye-opener to the world of this I’m-knee-deep-in-loans-and-now-have-bills-to-pay life.
I’m still adjusting to some of the aspects of my “new” life outside of the comfort of my parents’ home, but I want to share a few things I've learned so far:
1. Budget is your new favorite B word.
Well look at you, ya little grownup! Suddenly, you’re money conscious. All of those things you forgot cost real dollars, like food and Netflix and the bottle of wine Mom always left in the fridge for you, are now coming out of your wallet. Ouch.
Meet your new best friend, Microsoft Excel. You two will spend Sunday afternoons outlining your income, fixed expenses and spending money. As fun as this sounds, it’s probably the safest and smartest way to keep track of where you are financially each month.
2.Your idea of “luxury” will change … drastically.
I treated myself to a matinee movie last week. A MATINEE MOVIE. Guys, that’s like $8. I’m almost embarrassed, but hey, I’m on a budget! I think of it this way: If it’s not a necessity, it’s a luxury.
Although, I beg to differ if you don’t consider a bottle of red a necessity.
3. Your idea of “fun” will also change drastically.
So what if I think eating Oreos with a glass of Pinot and watching reruns of "Modern Family" is the perfect Friday night? Come to one of my Oreo-eating, Pinot-drinking, "Modern Family"-watching ragers and you’ll see what kind of wild party animals exist in this world.
Occasionally, though, I will sacrifice these perfect nights in to head out to a bar or city with friends. Get out once in a while, ya know? You’re still allowed to live.
4. LOL at your food cabinet.
Around $200 later at the grocery store, and my cabinets and fridge look like they’ve been robbed. Like WTH did I even buy? Why are apples so expensive? Peanut butter should be free. Chicken breasts are how much?
Wait, the ShopRite brand ketchup is a dollar cheaper. I’ll get that, instead. Did I bring coupons? Does my PricePlus card get me free food? I JUST WANT TO EAT.
No joke, that one-way conversation happened during my last trip to the supermarket. I’ve realized what foods I absolutely need and want during the week and which items to leave behind.
You’d be surprised that you probably won’t crave certain things when they aren’t conveniently stashed in your cabinet, like Pop-Tarts.
5. Mom and Dad are your biggest supporters.
Speaking of grocery shopping, when your parents offer to get you stuff, accept! Don’t be an idiot. It’s not taking advantage of them because they offered.
They want you to eat, and they may also surprise you with adorable home items like a big poster with pictures of you and them plastered all over it. Hang that thing up in the living room for all guests to see because your parents rock.
They want nothing more than to see you happy, and they’ll do nothing short of helping you in your toughest times.
6. Working suddenly becomes this, like, fun thing. Idk.
If you’re like me, you spend a good chunk of time working during the week. Full-time, part-time, side gigs, whatever it is, a ton of hours are spent earning that pay.
Suddenly, you start to enjoy it. I don’t know if it’s because you know you need the money, or because this newfound freedom gave a new perception to Monday mornings at the office, but you’re every boss’s dream.
7. You are much, MUCH more independent than you thought.
Without a doubt, I’m a Type A person. I like getting things done on my own terms. I’m ridiculously organized, almost to a fault, and consider multitasking a hobby. Since moving out, I’ve only enhanced those qualities. All for the best, of course.
If you aren’t Type A, you’ll quickly adapt. Living on your own is 100 percent about self-motivation.
From finding the place to paying rent to cooking your own meals to watching a movie by yourself, you’ll realize that you are a completely awesome independent woman who is fully capable of handling life on your own.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It