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How to Live on Your Own

Girija Shinde
Many youngsters who are about to leave home for further education or for some other reason, want to know how they can live on their own. If you are one amongst them, continue reading for some helpful tips.
Everybody has some dreams and aspirations. As kids, they are limited and simple. But when we grow up, they turn into practical and difficult to achieve goals. We know our lives will be better; if we take those difficult but major steps. One of them is moving out of your house.
Now some people live away from their home since childhood for studies. But even if they are not staying with their family, they are in a secure environment which is provided by their parents, it is the parent's decision to keep you away for the sake of your future, and that is why they have a full-proof plan.
When you decide that you are going to live on your own, you get confused and scared. This is but natural. There is no need to panic, as living on your own is quite simple. First you need to know that you are your own helper. Know that you cannot be completely dependent on anybody for your needs. Once you keep this fact in mind, the answers will soon make their way to you.

Save Money

This is one thing you need to start doing in advance, like months in advance. You know that you are going to be on your own when you move out, so there will be no extra pocket money every now and then. You need to be prepared financially.
Make it a point to save enough money. Now the term 'enough' is quite subjective, so save at least that much money that can help you to survive for at least a month in the new place, without money. No doubt you will have everything planned, but things can go unplanned, so save money and be prepared. 
There are various ways to save money, one of the easiest way is to spend less! That means you have to adopt frugal living for some time till the time your situations improve.

A Place to Live

You will need a nice and affordable place to live when you move out.
Many youngsters move out and then search for a place, this is one thing that should not be done when you are living on your own.
It's simple logic, you go in a new place, you haven't lived on your own yet, so obviously it will be very difficult to find a nice home there! So act wise and search for a place to stay before you move out. College students or authorities can provide you with the information.
Make sure the place you choose is in a good locality, has all the basic amenities and affordable. You might have to live without the luxuries of your house, but remember, the more luxurious house you choose, the more you will have to pay. If you are going to stay in a costly city, and there are no other options, search for a roommate so that you can split the expenses.

Get a Part-Time Job

Savings will not last forever, if you have to live on your own for a long time, you will have to look for a part-time job. 
There are several such jobs, which will pay you enough as to cover your expenses. If you are a student, you can work in restaurants, theaters, etc. and you could also tutor small kids.
And do not be a spendthrift! Try and save every penny of what you earn. Shopping, dinner in big hotels, movies every weekend, are banned until you have saved a sufficient amount. If you are wondering how to live on your own with no money, firstly, do not borrow! Instead eat in churches, stay at social organizations, you can offer to work at the place you stay, so you will be able to earn some money and then live on your own.

Being Committed to Cleanliness

Living alone can be quite a challenge when it comes to keeping up with your own commitments.
There is no check on your personal behavior like there would be if you had a roommate. This is particularly true for men who tend to live unhealthy lifestyles when they move into a place alone. 
Cleaning the place and doing small chores can get boring over time and complacency can set in. No one's here, I'll take the trash out later. Well, that simply isn't going to work.
Women are better equipped to handle themselves due to their affinity for organization and personal grooming. Whatever the case may be, living alone requires a certain dedication to self-imposed rules to be a successful endeavor. 
It is not easy as having a roommate to call out to, but then again doing things yourself will keep you sure as to what is going on in your house. Ask a person living by himself if he ever lets the hot water on for too long, or leaves his door unlocked. Single living inculcates a sense of responsibility which will guide you later in life.


Living alone can become a routine in boredom, especially if you are a working professional who spends long hours on the job. 
However, studies have shown people who live alone often have better social relationships with their peers, undertake voluntary activities and are more likely to attend social events like concerts and lectures.
Living alone gives you that freedom to go out and meet people, spend more time with your friends and not return with any excess emotional baggage. It is also a good way to ward off loneliness and increase your happiness quotient. It is also easier to choose when and with whom you want to meet and spend time with, as there are no obligations to socialize with friends of your roommate or partner.

Tackle the Television

The idiot box is the surest way to kill time, or so it seems. But eating, sleeping and lying on the couch with the television humming away will not help you much. 
Although it may be helpful in putting on weight and giving yourself headaches. People who live alone come to depend on the television for companionship and a human voice in the house.
Well, wouldn't it be better to just switch it off and go for a walk in the park? Or maybe a cappuccino at the corner bistro where, luck favoring, you may meet someone.The best way to not let the TV rule your my-time, is to go out and meet friends, call up acquaintances and try and spend the evening socializing. 
Remember, I'm not talking about social networking online, which is but a poor excuse for a real-time meeting and not much better than burrowing in front of the television.

Know Your Neighbors

Living alone can be challenging in that you have to be careful about everything in the house. 
From remembering to shut of the lights to the location of your car keys, there is no one to call out to. Make friends with the people who live nearby, your neighbors are the first line of defense in case of an attack of the lost keys.
Let a trusted neighbor have a spare key to your place. Meet your neighbors from time to time, drop in for a cup of tea or invite them to your place. It is always a good idea for someone in the neighborhood to know your routine, trusted people undoubtedly, and who will take an interest in your well-being, were they to note a drastic change in it.

Learn to Manage the Little Problems

Broken faucet? A leaky pipe? You can't call the repairman over every time now can you? Learn how to do small tasks like these on your own, it will come in handy when something suddenly goes bust in the middle of the night. 
Washing clothes, cooking food and other mundane tasks like these aside, you can learn a little carpentry, or maybe plumbing to smoothen things out. These are tasks which do not take much time but can be really cost prohibitive if you choose to employ a repairman or contractor.
If you are living alone and are strapped for cash, its best to learn some handy tips and tricks for home troubleshooting. In case you feel you may not be able to do everything on your own, you can always call your freinds over and get their help. However, self-help is probably the best help when you are on your own.

Don't Forget Healthy Living

Probably the most important aspect and the most frequently ignored one, for people living single, is health.
Not that they are not health conscious, but often enough, single men living alone find it harder to keep up a diet and exercise regimen and end up binging on junk food and alcohol. This is also true for women though there are differences in lifestyles of both sexes when it comes to living singly.
Try and cook your own food, get local produce which is cheaper and fresher than the expensive supermarket sorrows encountered under bright lights. Eating out can be an occasion to meet up with friends over a glass of wine and some stimulating conversation. Avoid eating takeout food and most importantly, keep exercising. Hit the gym regularly or just go for a run-in the mornings but make sure your body is getting its required dosage of fresh air and healthy food.

Get a Hobby

To pass the time? No not at all, to learn something new, to meet others interested in what you like and to probably make some money out of it! There is nothing dumber than getting a hobby to pass the time, people just pass the time and forget the hobby.
Start a stamp collection, go green and do a little gardening in your backyard (if you're blessed with one), maybe even write a novel and watch it become a bestseller. Men can try expanding their culinary skills, women can start collections or even pottery. Also, one can do a part-time course in writing or maybe a soft skills program. When you live alone there is much you can achieve with the time on hand.

Improve Your Skills

If you are of a more serious bent and want to advance your career in directions you've been dreaming, enroll in a good online or offline course.
You can spend your time earning a diploma or a degree, make a valuable addition to your resume and get a better paying job. Instead of investing in a Playstation, try a new course in culinary arts, project management or even something as whacked-out as Zombies in Popular Media which is an actual course at the Columbia College, Chicago.
There are other unconventional courses you can apply to for added skills such as photography, journalism an advertising. How you make use of time is totally your choice, it would be better utilized in doing something productive.

Spend Time with You

Last but never the least, for its one of the integral aspects of living out and alone, is to have fun!
Make the most of the free time you have, go to concerts, visit museums and parks and carnivals. Go to the beach and listen to the ocean. Or maybe you can just stay at home, cuddled up in your well-rumpled duvet with a paperback mystery and a hot cup of cocoa to keep you going.
Single living can be an enjoyable experience if one can maintain a certain amount of discipline and try to live a healthy, rounded lifestyle. It is easier said than done as the rigors of our daily toils often take a mental rather than a physical toll on our bodies and sharing them with a roommate acts as home therapy. If you lack a roommate though, you can write your feelings down in a journal.
Living on your own is not as intimidating as it sounds, you just need to be aware of your surroundings and be aware of the fact that you are no more in the safe shell of family. When you are aware of what exactly needs to be done, and what should not be done, you will surely be able to live on your own with ease.