If you’re living with roommates or have moved back in with your parents, the thought of living alone has probably crossed your mind. The only problem is figuring out when to take the leap. After all, rents and mortgages are not cheap, and the prospect of living on your own can be daunting when you’re doing it for the first time.
Fortunately, there are some signs that you’d be better off living on your own. If you start seeing them, it’s time to look for your own place.
You Don’t Have any Privacy
While living with other people is great for finances, it’s lousy for privacy. Everyone has some area of their life they’d prefer to keep to themselves, and when you live with other people the reality is that everyone knows everyone else’s business.
If you’re feeling like you have to hide things from your roommates or your parents, you should think about moving into your own place.
You Have too Much Stuff for One Room
The older you get, the more stuff you’ll have, whether it’s entertainment like books and video games, or some furniture you thought was nice, like a desk or a sofa. Eventually, though, you’ll need more space to store your items than one bedroom will allow. If your room is getting crowded, you should start looking for a place of your own. You should also review your budget to make sure your money is going toward stuff that’s important to you instead of stuff you bought on impulse.
Your Commute is too Long
Even though living with other people can help you save on rent and utilities, if you’re living too far away from your workplace you could be trading your money for another valuable asset—your personal time.
Finding a place of your own closer to your workplace can free up a lot of free time. You’ll also save money on gasoline and reduce the wear and tear on your vehicle so you don’t have to buy a new one quite so soon.
You’re Financially Stable
If you’ve got a full-time job and have no trouble paying your rent and your share of the bills, you’re ready to move out on your own. If you’re hesitant, you can give yourself a shot of confidence by reviewing your budget and figuring out how much you can afford in rent and utilities. The answer might surprise you!
You Want to Learn Basic Life Skills
If you’ve ever felt unready for the real world, you’re not alone. A lot of young people go out into the world and realize they’re lacking some basic life skill it seems that everyone else knows, like cooking, doing laundry, or even how to tidy up your living space. Fortunately, these are not hard skills to master.
The best way to learn these skills is to get your own place and figure out how to survive on your own. You’ll be surprised at how fast you learn to cook your own meals and wash your own clothes when you don’t have anyone around to cover for you.
You’re Over 30
Let’s be honest—being a responsible, functional adult is a lot of work, especially if you live on your own, and despite its disadvantages, living with other people can be easier.
Once you’re over 30, however, you either graduated college a while ago and have started a full-time job, or you’ve been in a stable full-time job for quite a few years. Either way, it’s time to take a deep breath and take the next step of moving out on your own.
Of course, not everyone’s life progresses at the same pace. If you’ve suffered some financial setback in your 20s, like getting laid off or racking up credit card debt that you’ve needed to pay off, you might not feel financially stable enough to get your own place. You might even feel comfortable living with your parents or with roommates and not want to take on the stress getting your own place can bring.
If this describes, you, you’re probably in a rut and could use some help to get out of it. One of the best ways to do this is to create some easy financial goals that are S.M.A.R.T.—specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound—then review your budget and figure out how much money you can put towards them. Once you’ve saved up enough money to reach your goal, start working on the next one.
After you’ve achieved a few easy financial goals, you can turn your attention toward getting your own place. Think about what you’d have to do to achieve this goal, then make a plan and put it into practice.
Make Getting Your Own Place Easier With First Alliance Credit Union
Getting your own place is a huge financial and personal milestone, but it’s also expensive and intimidating. Keeping an eye out for signs you should get your own place can help you figure out when you should make the move.
You can also make moving to your own place easier when you become a member of First Alliance Credit Union. You can use several of the free products in our resource center to create a workable plan for getting your own place, including our S.M.A.R.T. goals worksheet, our budgeting guide and and our budget calculator. You can even use our moving guide to help plan your move when you're ready
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