The idea of living alone can seem a little daunting, but if you ever get the chance to experience it then grab it with both hands! It’s the best way to gain independence, learn who you are as a person and get really comfortable with your own company. Being alone really doesn’t have to mean being ‘lonely’, and living by yourself for any length of time teaches you to enjoy your own company. Maybe your relationship has broken down, or perhaps you’re leaving your parents home for the first time and don’t want roommates. You might have decided that you want to invest in property and buy a place to live but don’t have a partner at the moment. Either way, living alone can be a fantastic learning opportunity.
Here are a few things to bear in mind for making it work for you.
Find the right location
First things first, you’ll need to work out what is the right location for you. There will be pros and cons here so it’s something to sit down and have a good think about. Living in a city means you’re close to the action, close to work and have everything on your doorstep if you need it. However, there’s more crime, more pollution and you’re likely to get less square footage for your money. Living a little further out, you may have the benefit of it being quieter with larger properties within your budget, but depending on your lifestyle it might mean traveling to get to work or to hang out with friends. If you have a traditional workplace that you have to go to, then the location of this is likely to influence your choice as no one wants to be spending longer than they need to commuting. If you’re a freelancer, home business owner, full time blogger or remote worker who works from home then you’ll have more freedom. Consider proximity to friends and family, what kinds of driving or transport routes you’d need to regularly use and the general atmosphere of a place. City life isn’t for everyone and neither is country life, maybe you want to find a happy medium in a cute town? Either way, it’s good to know what kind of thing you’re after from the outset as it will make finding an apartment, house or condo for sale much easier.
Work out your finances
Living alone can be tricky financially, you have to cover all rent or mortgage, bills, food and other expenses by yourself. If you’re planning on living alone then before you even begin looking for a place then you need to know what you can comfortably afford. For many of us, this will mean forfeiting the exact type of property or the area that we want. Run some checks to find out how much your bills are likely to be if you’ve never lived alone before, and ensure you have enough left over to live comfortably- you don’t want to be right on the breadline. While living alone is expensive, it’s also a great feeling knowing that you’re paying for everything yourself and not relying on anyone else. You absolutely have to be organized with your money to make this work and be mindful of your spending. Work out where you’ll need to make cutbacks in order to afford the lifestyle you want, and play around with frugality- even if you’re a lover of luxury it never hurts to know how and where to save cash. If you can, always have a savings account with some money as a buffer to fall back onto. At Money & Mimosas, we recommend at least $10,000 in a high-yield savings account. If you come up against any unexpected bills or expenses, you’re able to cover them without any hassle. A smart thing to do before you move out is to spend a few months collecting and buying the items you’ll need. Homewares from appliances to decorative items can be purchased week by week so you have everything when you move in without a massive expense up front. You could even start stockpiling items like dried food goods for your pantry, cleaning products and toiletries. Buy them when they’re on offer and when you move in you have everything you need without having to spend a ton on a massive grocery bill.
Consider your safety
One of the biggest concerns when you’re a woman living alone is your safety. None of us like to think of worst case scenarios, but it’s sensible to take reasonable precautions. You can purchase CCTV and home alarm systems for affordable prices these days, and they can even sync up to your smartphone so you’re alerted if something is picked up when you’re not at home. A secure home with good quality doors and windows will keep intruders out, you could even go with an apartment which offers round the clock security. At the very least, if you’re interested in a property then run some background checks on the area before you sign on the dotted line, if it’s rife with crime then maybe it’s not the best place for you to move into alone.
Have you ever lived alone? What tips would you give others in the same situation?
About Money & Mimosas: Money & Mimosas was started as a passion project by Danetha, a former NFL cheerleader and CFO. After a brunch conversation with girlfriends, Danetha was inspired to launch a resource to learn how they could all enjoy life while being smart with their money. Because who doesn’t want to have their money and mimosas, too?