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Oh moving out into your very first apartment – that factor of life that everyone either loves or hates. Personally, I was super excited to move out, but not without a couple of fears and doubts.
Let me tell you, it is not easy affording to live on your own when you’re only twenty. And it’ll only get more difficult in these next few weeks when I become a student again.
But it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.
Why? Because I get to be a grown up, create my own space, and best of all, live with my very best friend.
I moved out of my mom’s house when I was twenty, into a small one bedroom apartment with my boyfriend, Justin. I had been working full time for a while, and he recently had graduated from college. We by no means had a lot of money. But we wanted to live together, and with the maturity to do so, made it happen.
Fast forward a year and here we are in our second place together – a much bigger apartment. Living parental free for a year has taught me a fair amount about being responsible and mature, and I’ve definitely grown up a lot.
Moving Into Your First Apartment
Lessons From Someone Who’s Been There
I don’t think I would have learned the value of managing money if it weren’t for moving out. You really don’t understand what you need to save and what you really should skip out on buying until you have multiple bills to pay.
I was still living with my parents when I started working full-time, and it was great to have no bills to pay. But I was careless with my money. Yes I bought a lot of houseware items, (because I’m a loser and that’s what I like shopping for) so I had stuff for when I moved out, but I was shopping a lot.
I don’t spend nearly as much money on shopping items now as I did back then. I bought a lot of things that I did not need, and now I’m much better at analyzing if I really need something or not when I’m in the store. Nobody needs ten cutting boards and four strainers.
Tip! I did buy a lot of our kitchen items such as a pizza cutter, cheese grater, corkscrew, etc. on Amazon as they were a lot cheaper than in the store!
Having A Roommate
“Roommate” sounds silly considering he’s my boyfriend and we’ve been together for four and a half years, but living with another person who isn’t family is definitely something else.
You learn all their little habits that you love to hate, and appreciate the little things they do for you. Having that compatibility is so so important though, or you can really wreck your relationship with that person, and hate going home every night.
If you’re thinking of moving in with a friend, know somewhat what you’re getting yourself into, otherwise you could really put a strain on the relationship.
Go on vacation with them, have lots of sleepovers, and see how they truly live. Being on the same level regarding tidiness is a must. Maybe they aren’t as much a neat freak as you, and that’s okay, but if they’re a total slob, you are going to resent them for it eventually. Work together to keep your home clean by using these awesome organizational tips.
Food Is Expensive
Want to eat extra healthy and organic? That’s expensive. Want convenient, mac and cheese & microwave dinners? That expensive too.
Really anything you want to buy at the grocery store will end up being expensive, but do your best to stick to healthy plain foods and avoid all the processed boxed crap. I am always keeping an eye out for sales, and items that aren’t the basics (bread, milk, eggs) I will only buy on sale.
I also don’t like to limit my grocery shopping to completely sale items, because come on, that’s ridiculous, so I save money by not going shopping on a regular basis. Money saved on clothes & makeup is more money to spend on fruit and veggies.
Need your sugar fix? Make it yourself! I’ve made it a rule that if I ever want cookies and sweets, I need to make them myself. I never buy boxed cookies. Baking is one of my favourite hobbies anyways, so if I’m feeling that sweet tooth coming on, I’ll bake up something tasty such as some yummy pretzels or these cookies.
You Might Lose Friends
This completely depends on who you are and who your friends are, but you may just grow out of your friends. With the newfound responsibility you’re going to have, your priorities are definitely going to change. And when you have drastically different priorities than your friends (ie. blowing money at the bar every weekend vs. buying food & laundry detergent), personalities tend to clash.
What you spend your money on is totally up to you, but what I’ve found is that I enjoy entertaining in my home over going out to a bar. Getting “white girl wasted” isn’t my jam anymore, and those friends that still live with their parents and aren’t ready to grow up yet sometimes don’t understand that.
Let’s be honest, I’m really mature for my age. I’m only 21 and probably act closer to 27 lol. So majority of my friends are older than me now, probably because our priorities in life match closer.
It is so important to feel comfortable in your new home. Yeah, it’s scary moving away from your parents and out on your own. You lose that security you’ve had all your life. Decorating your place in a way to make it feel like home to you is vital.
If you’re able, take some things from your parents home that were yours that can bring back more homey memories. This’ll help with transitioning into your own place. I was able to take the furniture from my bedroom, and that helped it still feel like my own bedroom, and not a random room in a giant apartment building lol.
Have Fun at Home
You don’t need to spend money to have fun. Period.
Okay, I’m sure you’ve heard that so many times. And of course it’s true! Maybe a tad bit of money spent if you’re gonna be technical, but staying home and creating your own fun can be so much cheaper (and fun!) then going out and blowing it on a movie or mini golf.
A while back a wrote a post on rainy day activities to do at home which is a great list of fun & inexpensive things to do at home.
I love having people over and entertaining, and it can be so much cheaper than meeting all of your friends out at a bar or restaurant! Everyone brings their own drinks and some snacks, and you’re good to go! Play some board games or cards, have a baking night, you name it. Share your hobbies with your friends and teach each other things! All free and so much more rewarding then blowing 30 bucks on a movie and popcorn.
Moving out at a young age is super daunting and scary, but so so rewarding in the valuable lessons you can learn. Having a newfound privacy, really learning how to take care of yourself (and another person sometimes) and learning real life skills by trial and error (aka failing a lot) all come with moving out of your parents house.
Moving out at such a young age and still being in school definitely brings it’s challenges, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The best part for me? Being able to wake up to my very best friend every day and accomplishing life together. Nothing beats that.