7 things no one tells you about moving out of your parent’s home
We all know the feeling. You’re lying on your bed playing Candy Crush on the WiFi that you don’t have to pay for, as the aircon swirls the room into a comfortable 22 degrees, using the electricity that you don’t have to worry about, and the smells of your favourite home-cooked meal being made by mum downstairs tantalize your nostrils and set your tummy rumbling. With only one thought on our minds: “I can’t wait to have my own place”.
When we’re young, moving out of home seems like an exciting milestone that we impatiently await, torturing ourselves with the idea that our lives will evolve into the comic lives of the characters on the series Friends – complete with hilarious one-liners, friends over at all times of the day and night, and a well-paying job that can sustain our free-spirited lifestyle.
Amazing as Friends was, it can’t claim to hold a candle to real life when it comes to moving out of your parents’ home and into the real world on your own. Be it in a rented apartment, or your first ever self-owned property, there are a number of things that no one tells you when you move out of your parent’s home. And as the dedicated movers in and around London, we at Man and Vans have decided to sit you down and tell you the truth. Buckle up and prepare! It’s a bumpy ride.
1. Take-out is expensive
While Sunday night take-out was a regular routine with your parents, the cold hard fact is that when you’re paying for it yourself, take-out adds up. While we know how very much you love your pizzas, Indian curries and Chinese food in front of the television, if you do attempt to sustain your routine sans the parental payment plan, you may well end up with a lot more month at the end of your money! It’s also advisable that you attempt to learn to cook healthy meals for yourself too – unless you’re tempted to live on take-out everyday of the week, which may leave you in debt and in need of a wardrobe overhaul as well!
2. Friends around all the time can get old
We’re pretty certain you’re shaking your head in disbelief as you read the last line, but it’s the truth. While it’s incredibly exciting to be able to have your friends come-and-go as you please, it becomes a little tiresome when they decide to come-and-go as they please. Rather than having your friends treat your new home as a rent-free halfway house after parties or the breakfast spot on weekends (to which no one contributes any groceries, but will eat you out of house and home), you should try to set some boundaries from the beginning. Avoid the phrase “come over anytime,” and rather just invite your friends around when you’re able to entertain. Another cool idea is to theme these invitations with such requirements as B.Y.O.B. (bring your own booze) or asking each person to bring a dish so you can all dine together without having to foot the bill by yourself.
3. Use by Dates become more flexible
When it comes down to it – food is expensive. If you’ve managed to save yourself from the hefty bill that comes with regular take-out, your next challenge will be to decide how to spend your money in such a way that you can buy food you will use. We recommend keeping an eye out for specials in the supermarket or buying your non-perishable items in bulk. Remember, the Use by Date is there to protect you, but there can be ways around them too. If the bread has only just started getting moldy on the crust, cut it off and use normally. If the milk says it expired yesterday, but it doesn’t smell as if it’s gone off, you can probably get away with a few more cups of coffee and a bowl of cereal before it becomes completely inedible. Be smart about your food choices and the way in which you use them so that you get the most from what you’ve got.
4. There is no house cleaning fair
We know you’re super disappointed about this one, but it’s true. No matter how hard you try to cling to the notion that in your old house a cleaning fairy did al the work, the odds are more likely that it was your dear old mum. The more you put the cleaning and washing off, the longer it will take to do it all when you finally cave in. Try to stay on top of the mess by cleaning things as you use them. And if you can’t clean a little bit everyday, at least set aside a day a week to do a cleaning overhaul on the entire apartment.
5. Rent actually costs money.
We were as heart broken as you will be to find this one out, but no matter how cheap the rent sounds when you first find your place, it is actually going to cost you that amount. Every single month. No matter what. Who knew?
6. You’re the boss
This probably sounds like the whole reason why you moved out, but there’s a catch. Being the boss doesn’t just mean making the final decision about where to place the TV or what’s for dinner – it means being responsible too! That means the broken bathroom light bulb won’t get replaced until you do it. And the clogged up toilet will also remain that way until you give in and get your hands dirty. No one said being the boss was a walk in the park, but when your name is on the lease, you have to do it. All of it.
7. It’s still completely worth it
You may not have a cast of five friends who’re all incredibly witty, good looking, and rolling in cash, but you will still have the time of your life. And even if you’re knee-deep in washing for the first week or two, with time you will learn how best to keep your home, and soon, you’ll be doing so without any effort. So, while you won’t necessarily be out and about at the trendiest venues every night of the week, or be able to afford the bi-monthly facials your mum used to pamper you with, you will feel like a complete and total winner. A hungry, broke, dish-washing winner.