Adulting 101 : What I Wish My Parents Told Me Before I Moved Out
Moving out for me was something I really anticipated. After staying with my parents for 18 years, then living with housemates at a private hostel in campus and later with my sister after campus, I yearned for when I’d move out.
I looked forward to making great meals, sampling new recipes , decorating my space with items that speak more of my taste and not functionable hard metal double-decker beds that I was used to in high school and campus.
My sister’s place provided all that. However, being an introvert, I like having quiet weekends where I spend my free time with books, movies, side projects, music and cleaning. This was not always possible with my extrovert of a sister who has a gazillion friends and plays the Saxophone. In addition the commute to work was draining and so moving out seemed like the easier, affordable option.
What I Wish My Parents Told Me Before I Moved Out
1. The New Place Will Be Uncomfortably Quiet
This is a new chapter. Use it to discover yourself.
Even as an introvert, the level of silence will shock you. Sure, you can fill it with music, and movies and any other noise but the silence is there in the background. Friends will leave after the house warming party leaving you with four staring unfamiliar walls.
Use this quiet time to listen to yourself and your thoughts. Get to know yourself and don’t try to fill the silence with noise. Cherish it. Learn to embrace solitude.
When I moved out I started reading and writing more, listening to relaxing music and reading some more. Take this chance to hone your craft or work on your creative projects.
2. You won’t Have It Altogether When You First Move Out
If you can’t buy everything you’d want before you move out, buy the most essential items then buy the rest gradually.
Having come from a house that has everything I would have wanted to move out with a fridge of my own, a cooker, a microwave, awesome kitchen utensils or decorate my place with the theme that I always wanted; rustic farmhouse. Instead I spent months being frugal and saving up for these items until I finally narrowed it down to the essentials:
- First month rent plus deposit.
- A bed, bed sheets, pillows and covers.
- A 2 banner cooker; gas cylinder and pipe
- 4 Sufurias
- 2 cups, 2 plates, 2 spoons and a sieve.
- A Writing desk and chair.
You can use my list as a guide to the essential items. As a writer, a working desk is great for my productivity and being tall, I need to be comfortable as well.
3. Be at Peace with your Former Hosts
They were there when you needed help.
Most times, people move because they are at loggerheads with the host mainly due to a clash of personalities. If you are being hosted, try to contribute to the monthly expenses by paying half the rent, paying the utilities or helping with the chores. Own that home and treat it with care. You don’t want to be treated as a free loader, or feel like one.
Doing this will establish as sense of respect and friendship which will stick even after you have moved out.
4. Make A Budget and Stick to it
Live within your means.
I can’t stress enough the importance of this and I am so glad I grasped this earlier on. Go slightly below the budget if you can. As much as you are moving out you will still have a social life and this means making compromises between what is a need and a want. One thing you should never compromise on is your fixed bills and immediate needs. Make sure these are paid first before you can indulge in other expenses.
Additionally, once you move out you will realise that expenses always creep up when you least expect it. For this reason it is important to keep some cash for emergencies in your budget.
5. Have An Emergency Fund
You are now responsible for you.
Although in the first few years or months your parents might come through for you, this will not always be the case. When you sign the lease for your new place you are responsible for all the bills, repairs, your health, and ultimately your life. It will take a while after you have moved out to say that you are capable of managing your finances. Until then, have some money aside.
More often than not, you’re still learning to manage finances when you first move out. Create an emergency fund. This can be as low as KES 5,000 a month but trust me it will come in handy during the tough times.
These are some of the tips that I wish my parents had given me or someone had told me before I moved out. Now I live in my own place, I have managed to decorate it to my liking and added personality to the empty walls. If you are seeking to move out, you’ll be okay eventually. The best thing you can do for yourself is to be realistic.
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