As a teen, it is all you dream about; your own place. Space to do what you want, when you want. No parent nagging you to empty the dishwasher or pick up your dirty washing.
You can have a fridge full of things only you like and the chance to sit in front of the TV all day if the mood takes you.
What could be better? As you get older and a little wiser, however, you very quickly realise that it is not going to be that simple.
There are actually quite a lot of things your parents do which you don’t even realise, and you are soon buried under finding a place, arranging a deposit, trying to put up a flat pack, arguing with landlords, paying bills…I thought this moving out thing was supposed to be fun?
Luckily, with a little organisation, it can be! Read on for some top tips for living on your own, and enjoy your newfound freedom!
Be picky, but not too picky
Right, so your first place is going to have X number of bedrooms, and great parking, and be right in a central location, and close to work, and have floor to ceiling windows in the study, and an ensuite…but you only have €500 a month.
One of the downsides of moving out is finding out that your money doesn’t actually get you much, and you will need to compromise on your dream.
Living slightly out of the central areas is usually cheaper, but much less convenient. Having more than one bedroom is great, but you will usually sacrifice kitchen space.
Some things are important to be picky about, however; keep a look out for damp or mouldy patches – this is a bad sign straight away, as they tend to only get worse.
How safe will you be? If you are looking at an apartment, who has access to the communal entrance? How do you get in or out? Who else has keys?
If possible, especially if you’ve actually bought the property, it is best to change the locks as soon as you move.
Also, make sure you have priories met – do you have a lot of friends or family from abroad that like to visit? If so, a spare bedroom can be a godsend.
Prefer throwing house parties? A big kitchen should be your focus. Don’t go in expecting the world straight away, but also keep a critical eye open to stop yourself getting fleeced.
That cheap apartment that seems too good to be true? It probably is.
And don’t forget to get your home insured. Better safe than sorry.
Be thrifty in your spending
When you move out of your home, there will be an awful lot of things you didn’t realise you needed in your life.
If you are lucky, your first home will have the basics such as beds, sofas and white goods, and you will only have to purchase essentials such as kitchen items, decorations and possibly electronics.
If however, you are lucky enough to be buying your first home after moving out, you will need to budget for all those big items.
The best advice is not to go mad – yes, you will want the absolute top quality best of everything and that’s ok, but being savvy and selective can really save you money.
Look around for deals, ask neighbours or friends for things they no longer need or use.
Check out Facebook selling pages, ‘Min jixtri , ipartat u ibiegħ’, Maltapark and Treehouse for items; you will be surprised at the gems you can pick up cheaply or even free.
This saves you money, allowing you to blow more on items where high quality really matters to you; be that top quality bedding, artwork, or kitchen supplies.
Make the space yours
On the same note of decoration, it is important to personalise your new home to make it comfortable and familiar.
Whether you are in a cheap apartment or your first owned house, the space can take a while to warm up and feel like home.
Adding photographs, posters, artworks, decorative ornaments, soft furnishings and personal touches instantly warm up a space, making it feel as though it is truly yours.
This is particularly important if you are living alone for the first time; annoying as they can be, I can promise you there will be times when you miss your family and feel a bit homesick.
This is a totally normal and expected part of the process, and in a way is an exciting opportunity to test your independence.
Adding small touches to make your home feel like home can really help, and will allow you to settle in and start enjoying your new pad!
Living alone for the first time is a curious mixture of fun and fear, but it does come with a few responsibilities.
Get organised from the get-go with rent or loan payments, direct debits for bills, and home and contented insurance to make sure you are fully covered.
Have all the paperwork in an easy, convenient place, and write down any payment dates well in advance, along with a household budget to keep track of your spending.
It might seem overwhelming, but getting on top of these things for the day will give your peace of mind and make sure that you avoid any nasty surprises, allowing you to fully enjoy your new found freedom!