Still At Home? Make The Most of It!

Mother and daughter in kitchen smilingThese days, living on your own is not an easy process. There are so many expenses that need to be tended to. All of you new graduates know exactly what I’m talking about. We know that student loans are the reality in a millennial’s life, while we dream of getting that brand new apartment with trendy furniture, and a pantry filled with food. There is so much more to it than all the Pinterest apartment images in your head. You have to pay rent, electric, internet, groceries, gas, savings, and even have a little extra spending money left for a night out with friends.

Meanwhile, for many of us there is another option — living at home for a while longer. It is better to move out when you are more financially secure and have a stable source of income. Now, that doesn’t mean that you should stay in your family home for the rest of your life, but not rushing to move out before you are ready gives you an opportunity to get that head start.

Use your family as a resource

Mature father helping adult sonLiving at home can have many benefits other than being able to save money for future apartment expenses. There is that benefit of seeing your family more after several years away. It’s time to show appreciation for what your parents have done and how they have provided for you through the years. But what we usually don’t appreciate enough is that parents are veritable fountains of wisdom. There’s a lot you can learn from your elders when it comes to grown-up skills. The internet is a helpful resource, but asking someone who has actually experienced going out in the world is so much better. Ask them about planning for expenses, and how to find a location that would be best? What kinds of challenges did they face when they first moved out? How can you avoid those same mistakes?  You may occasionally get annoyed with your parents, but they have many answers that can help you in your future.

Maximize your savings

pigYou have probably seen this in various articles on My First Apartment, but saving is key. You need to have financial security in order to make that big move and setting aside money into your savings account is the best move you can make.  You can even “test drive” living on your own while still living with your parents by saving each month an amount equal to the rent you’d be paying. As a rule-of-thumb, you need to have at least an amount equal to 3 times your rent when you move out. This will allow you to pay for application fees, deposits, first and last month’s rent, some furniture, and a jump start for your independence.

Learn basic housekeeping skills

Mature woman and her son preparing food in the kitchen.Another plus of living at home is that it gives you an opportunity to learn how to cook and bake. Learn recipes from your family members, and take the time to perfect them. Every now and then make dinner for the whole family, to practice for your future dinner parties. With the internet, it is easy to access simple dinner recipes that can take a maximum of 30 minutes. My go-to’s are Pinterest, Tasty, and Delish. They always have fantastic recipes that are simple enough to make and will earn raves from the family.

Two skilled men doing maintenanceAlso, take the time to learn basic home maintenance skills, maybe even simple home repairs, if someone in your family is handy. How to clean efficiently, how to remove stains from clothing and furniture, how to correctly change a light bulb, these are a few of the simple skills that will save money when you are on your own.

Explore your area from an adult perspective

There are many frustrations of living at home but this can also give you a chance to see and try new things around your area. That boring old neighborhood may hold some surprises and there could be gems hiding nearby that your younger self would never have considered visiting. Try that new state park and go for a hike. Or be spontaneous and give that restaurant you always drive by a chance. It might be a potential favorite spot.

The famous quote says “Trust the timing of your life”, and this 100% applies to moving out of your childhood room. Use the time of moving back home to give yourself a good foundation before you fly the nest and go out on your own. Save up, learn a little something from your parents, and work hard. It couldn’t get any simpler than that. Next thing you know, you’ll be sitting on your own couch in your own apartment.

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Author My First Apartment

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Kristen Valera is a working girl in the CT area who enjoys finding new places to eat, and has officially made the big move to her first apartment. She hopes her experiences will help others to find their space.

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