Planning To Live Independently? Make Sure You’ve Got These 5 Things Covered

Planning To Live Independently? Make Sure You’ve Got These 5 Things Covered
Image by @katemangostar / Freepik

Your twenties being the time when you are building your career and friendships, it is also the perfect age to experience all kinds of firsts. For many, that includes gaining independence.

As Filipinos, we are known to have close family ties, but time will come when we would need to leave our childhood bedroom to live a life of our own. But don’t pack your bags just yet, you have to consider these important things before moving out!

Do you have the basic skills?

Twenty-five-year-old Jal moved out of her parents’ house at the age of 23. Despite her young age, she managed to live independently, with lessons learned along the way.

“It started out rough. I was only thinking about the financial aspects of living alone that I didn’t think about the most basic things,” she says.

When moving out, you have to consider if you know how to do basic house chores, such as cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and the like. “I knew how to do other house chores, pero sobrang hirap ako sa pagluluto. I was really bad at it, at ang ending ay palagi akong nag-o-order ng delivery.”

She says that cooking your own meals will help you save money, as deliveries and restaurant food cost so much more than the actual ingredients you can get from the grocery. “When I noticed that a big chunk of my expenses goes to food deliveries, I knew I needed to learn how to cook. I learned that the hard way.”

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Can you keep within your budget?

Before moving out, you have to understand that you will pay for everything -- everyday things you take for granted because you get to enjoy them for free at your parents’ house.

“Simple things like drinking water, rent, electricity, lahat ‘yun ikaw na magbabayad,” says Jal. “If your sweldo is not enough to cover these basic needs, maybe it’s best to stay at your family home until you are financially independent.”

To find out if your wallet is ready for this big-girl milestone, Jal suggests listing down all your possible expenses and see if there will be money left for your savings.

Kung lahat ng sweldo mo ay mapupunta lang sa basic needs like rent, food, water, Internet, etc. at wala na matitira for savings, you have to think twice also. This is not sustainable, in my opinion,” she adds.

If you think that your possible expenses are too much, consider getting a roommate to share them with you. Jal says, “I wish I had a roommate when I first moved out, masyado ‘ata ako na­-excite noon. But it’s definitely easier if you have a close friend that you can live with. You can split your rent and utilities, and you can be independent together.”

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Consider your apartment’s location.

One of the most crucial aspects of living on your own is choosing the place itself.

Sarah, 28, moved out of her parents’ house at 26. “You have to be practical. Yes, syempre gusto natin na maganda yung apartment or condo, pero you have to consider the facts,” she says.

It is best to choose an apartment that is close to your workplace, so you can save money by cutting down on commute fees. “Aside from proximity to [your] workplace, importante din na pumili ng apartment kung saan safe yung community. That should be your priority as well.”

Jal recommends finding a place that is near groceries, bills payment establishments, hospitals, and other necessary institutions. “If you live near these establishments, simple lang, it will be easier for you to contact them or seek their services if you need to.”

Plan ahead.

Living on your own is not something you can decide on a whim. It takes time, patience, and a lot of planning.

“Think about what you really need. Do you need a one-bedroom apartment? A bedspace? Or do you want a studio condo? Because these things have such an effect on your budget,” shares Sarah. “Matagal na proseso ‘yan eh. Hindi naman pwede na isang realtor lang ang kakausapin natin, tapos pipirma na kaagad ng contract. Canvass first, take your time,” she adds.

This is also the perfect time to declutter your belongings and donate or sell things you don’t need. “I did this. I took out everything I didn’t need and my mom sold them through a garage sale,” Sarah shares. Since we are in the middle of the pandemic, you can consider selling them online or donating them to charity.

Be 100% sure.

Ask yourself, is this sustainable? Is this something you can continue doing for months, or even years? If your answer is yes, then welcome to the next phase of adulting!

“The last thing you want is moving out and then returning to your family home after 6 months,” says Jal. “It’s a big waste of money, time, and effort as well.”

Before moving out, be 100% sure that you can still live comfortably despite the added expenses, and that it is something you really want. You’re doing this for your growth and independence, after all!

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