Whether it is your own decision or someone else’s, moving out on your own for the first time to live independently can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips to help make it easier:

  • Which options do you have?

First you have to consider buying, sharing or renting a new place. Ask yourself questions like will you be happy completely on your own, or would you rather share? What can you actually afford? It can be a good idea to rent a room first while you give yourself more time to make up your mind and shop around.

  • Find the right place

Research online to find a suitable place is an excellent start, but make sure you do not rely on pictures only. It is important to see the place for yourself to get a feel of the place, location and surroundings. Get someone trustworthy to go with you when you look at prospective places, so you ensure you look thoroughly.

  • Finances

Ensure you know what your budget allows when it comes to paying rent or a mortgage. You do not want to be found short of money to buy food and pay your other bills when the rent is paid. Do not fall into the trap of looking at places you know you cannot afford. If you manage your finances well while renting and always pay your bills on time, your good credit rating will be a huge benefit when you want to buy your own home later.

No matter how much or how little money you have, managing it well is the key to living independently.

  • Chores

Although independence = freedom and adventure, it also comes with added responsibilities. Stay on top of chores like cooking, cleaning, laundry and taking bins out. Simple tasks can turn into mountains of work if left for long periods of time. Look after yourself and eat well.

  • Communicate

If you are sharing your new place, communicate openly about ground rules and respect each other’s opinion. Also keep communicating with the family you left behind and keep your relationship going by letting them know how your new independent life is going.

  • Hide a spare key

It can be a very nasty surprise to find yourself locked out of your new home. Keep a spare key in a safe place where you can access it if needed, but no unwanted person can lay their hands on.

  • Ask for help

No one can anticipate everything about living on their own for the 1st time. Do not be too proud to ask for help when you feel you are not coping fully. Your family and friends have been there before; they will be able to offer assistance or advice that may be exactly what you need. Also try to get involved in your new community around your home.