i’m still figuring it out myself! but i guess here’s what i’ve learned
- save up x2 as much money as u think ull need
- talk everything out before it festers and becomes a real issue
- no space is urs— dont move out the idea that its ur space. if ur moving in with a partner its not
- moving out looks like freedom but lots of people confuse freedom with independence. being independent means you’re gonna have less time to urself than ever. it means being on time to school, work, buses, etc. it means when u mess up u gotta be ok w tryin to figure it out urself first. bills dont go away. dishes dont go away. responsibilities dont go away. ur free time isnt really ur time anymore; u have to worry about things. if uve never done this before, it’s pretty stressful. if uve already had a job during school and paid bills, it’ll be easier.
- do lots of research. things u dont think about paying for, u’ll have to pay for. ive always paid for my transit, things, and phone, etc, and traveled away from home for months at a time so i figured out how to budget for food and housing and i STILL fucked up multiple times. it’s HARD. i highly suggest laying out a VERY detailed budget and then adding $50 at the end of it because things will always wind up being more expensive anyway.
- don’t act like you’re not ever going to grab food while you’re out or pick up something for the house, either. toilet paper, burritos, dish soap and shampoo all add up. make sure they’re in the budget.
- don’t buy a car if u can’t afford it. that’s the #1 mistake i made. i bought a really great car— the engine had been totally rebuilt and everything. i love it to death. but when i moved to another state i found out they had different regulations on air cleanliness and had to immediately shell out $400 to replace a lil muffler thing on it. a few months later, the old thing, the fuel pump had been going out and totally wrecked my mileage for months because it’s 23 years old. $900. got a flat, didn’t have roadside assistance, had to shell out $80 to get the donut on because our jack broke; the car sat too long on the rim when we were waiting for help, bent it, so we had to buy a new one on top of the new tire— another $80. we had to fill up the oil on the side of the road once because we hadn’t gotten an oil change and accidentally filled it up too much, fucked it all up, and had to get the air gauge replaced. $200. and i have an AWESOME car and i’ve never once been in an accident— and it gets 48mpg, never sputters, can drive for hours and hours and the parts are all super dooper cheap because it’s so tiny. this is literally all just small things that happen. i blew all my savings on repairing it. seriously— don’t get a car if you can’t afford it.
- discuss chores and bill divvying before you move in. don’t do swaps, either, those rarely work. i cook, clean, and generally do all the grocery shopping, appointment making, budget planning and food menus, etc etc; dan does the laundry and the dishes and vacuums, and is around when i need his help with a big chore. it generally works for us.
- if you’re going to work and go to school at the same time, it’s hard. i work my own hours and i still spend anywhere from twenty to thirty hours working on top of school and writing at least three papers a week. add in living with a partner, cleaning and cooking, and maybe having the semblance of a social life, and you realize there aren’t enough hours in the day. my mom’s been visiting and helping with all the cleaning and cooking and all i’ve been doing with my free time is SLEEP because of how exhausted i always am. it’s hard. i used to try and make time to once a week take a bath, do my nails, do a deep scrub, etc etc, but i don’t really have the time anymore. if you do, i definitely suggest it— it’ll help with your sanity.
- the bun is the best thing that ever happened to me but it makes traveling a huge ordeal. don’t get a lil creature that relies on you to stay alive if you aren’t home a lot to take care of it, u dont have the resources, the space, etc.
- find out ur cheapest grocery store and Do It
- don’t move to a city w/o decent public transit
- learn how to clean, do small repairs, mend things, etc before u move
- have a toolkit, lightbulbs, and cleaning equipment when u move
- keep jumper cables in ur car
- wash your towels and bedding when u do laundry. seriously, it’s like one extra load. just do it.
- make an effort to go on dates still. living with someone can sometimes kill the romance when you realize They Have Gross Habits (dan can’t stand that i trim my nails in the living room, for instance, and he stays up too late and keeps all the lights on and keeps me up on school nights) but date nights are still a lot of fun and getting dressed up just for the other is romantic and sweet and nice
granted, even though i’m stressed out 99% of the time, the 1% of the time i’m not makes it totally worth it. i love my house and my bun and my partner and my life. it’s hard and i’m stretched thin but i’m rarely dissatisfied and truly feel like i’m earning my place in life, which is really satisfying. good luck!
Portable Multiple-Choice Diary of the Day: Mia Nolting's “portable multiple-choice diary” is perfect for Generation ADD.
Let’s go ride bikes!