Living solo is a much hyped and well-marketed idea — and with good reason! For some it could mean stepping out of their parent’s shadow while for others it could be learning about the importance of spending time alone. But like all exciting journeys, this too will need you to step out of your comfort zone and make some bold choices. Sounds fun, right? Read on to learn how you can ride the ups and downs of solo living with just a little bit of planning and saving.
Most people will vouch for the fact that independent living is more expensive than living with family. Not to mention that with little or no supervision on one’s expenses, it’s easy to lose track and splurge, and this is all the more so if you’re striking it out on your own for the first time. Here are a few handy tips to help you manage your money better and step up your savings game.
- Prioritise and track spending
No matter which movie is releasing or what brands are on sale — your rent always comes first! Once you’ve paid it in whole, you can then line up your other expenses. And while you naturally begin to eagerly await the next payday, the wait need not be painful. Just download an expense management app or simply start tracking your expenses on an Excel sheet. You’ll be surprised to learn where the money goes and you might even have a chance at saving some of it!
- Save (to splurge)
We all need to let off steam once in a while. While some place their faith in retail therapy others prefer a short vacation. Too bad that all these ways of coping with adulthood are expensive! If you know what you enjoy and are willing to pay for it, we suggest you start setting aside a small sum each month to find a treat waiting for you at the end of the year!
- Plan for the future
If you are currently free from any financial responsibilities, living alone is a great time to start saving for a comfortable future. You can save for the car you’ve always wanted, your higher education, or any other long-term goals you are working towards. Just remember to dream big and save small — every day!
Whether you grew up playing sous chef in your mother’s kitchen or stumbled around pots and pans, solo living is bound to be a gastronomical adventure! You could bring along your copy of ‘Cooking for Singles’, but what you really need is an appetite for scorched food and an endless supply of creativity! Follow these steps and soon you’ll be whipping up exciting solo meals like a pro.
- Buy consciously
Shopping for groceries in bulk can save you multiple trips to the supermarket, but this may not be the smartest idea when living alone. It’s better to shop once or twice a week for small portions of fresh fruits and vegetables. This gives you the freedom to stock up on seasonal varieties and increases your chances of eating healthy.
- Embrace flexibility
Unfortunately, living alone may not always mean that you eat home-made fresh meals. Even the most skilled cooks amongst us must cut corners in the interest of time. This, of course, does not mean that you need to compromise on your health. With a little practice and lots of planning, you will soon find the right balance between a busy schedule and the kitchen.
- Break rules
Finally, moving out is missing the point if you can’t have pancakes for dinner and pizza for breakfast! Order in, have a potluck, or bake a cake to break the monotony of cooking everyday. As long as you are staying away from making choices that adversely affect your health, feel free to upset the natural order once every while!
Furniture and accessories
With worries about food and finance behind you, you can start crafting your living experience by decorating your home just the way you like it. Moving out finally gives you the canvas to experiment after years of living under your parents’ roof or in dorm rooms. Here’s how you can work with a tight budget and exercise all your creativity in decorating the apartment.
- Start with a vision
Take into account how you want the home to make you feel every day and let that guide you on your quest. On the practical side of things, optimising available space and cost-effective decor usually top the list for those who lead a solo lifestyle. And yes, ‘dream bachelor pad’ or ‘cuddle sanctuary for pets’ are acceptable routes to work on too!
- Look in unlikely places
From thrift stores to garage sales, you will be surprised by the number of things you can buy in the oddest of places. These offbeat purchases can both be pocket-friendly and add an exotic touch to your home. Most importantly, do not shy away from upcycling items and retrofitting them into your home. An old cassette stand can find use as a spice storage, a bookstand or even a low stool!
- DIY with intent
Let’s face it, the market may well fall short of your expectations — in terms of style and cost. But thankfully you can always find refuge in some really cool hacks online to DIY home accessories. Soon, you will be painting your own coasters on weekends and wondering why you ever bought things when you could have just done it yourself!
As you pack your bags and prepare to move into your new apartment, make sure you’ve ticked all that you need to live by yourself. Remember to enjoy your own company and stay open to this adventure that is sure to take you from who you are to who you want to be.