Maybe you’re ready to move out of your parents’ house, but you don’t know how to live alone without going broke. This is a dilemma faced by many young adults, and for some, staying home is the only option for now. But before you close the door on having your own place, understand that there are ways to live alone without going broke. Yes, it takes sacrifice. But you can do it.
1. Skip the Car Payment
Who wouldn’t want a newer car? But if you’re trying to live alone without going broke, it makes financial sense to skip the car payment and go another route. If you live in a major metropolitan area, using public transportation can get you from point A to point B with very little out-of-pocket. And if you’re set on having a car, save up your money and pay cash for an older vehicle. Not only will you avoid a car payment, but you’ll pay cheaper insurance.
2. Ditch the Credit Cards
Credit cards can be your worst enemy when you’re trying to live on your own. The more you charge, the higher your minimum payments. And if you develop a lot of debt, it can take many years to pay off your balance. Rather than apply for a bunch of credit cards, get one credit card for emergencies and keep this card in a safe place – away from your wallet.
3. Choose Basic Accommodations
A two bedroom apartment with a lot of square footage may be ideal, however, you’ll pay more for this type of accommodation. Keep it simple and living on your own may be doable. For example, get a simple one bedroom apartment. If available in your area, consider a studio apartment. These apartments are small, but they have everything you need – bathroom, kitchen and sufficient living space.
4. Get a Library Card
The library has plenty to offer with regards to entertainment. Why spend money on books that you will only read once? This also applies to magazines. Library cards are free, and as long as you return the books on time, you’ll avoid any costs. Plus, many libraries offer DVD rentals.
5. Buy Your Food in Bulk
Buying groceries in bulk may create an initial large expense, but once you have these items in your refrigerator, you’ll spend less on future trips to the grocery store. Plus, buying in bulk is the best way to get more bang for your buck. If buying in bulk is not an option, take advantage of other ways to save on food. For example, use coupons or take advantage of grocery store discount cards.
6. Be Creative with the Internet
If you’re working with a tight budget, eliminating costs like the Internet can help you make ends meet. If you have a smart phone with Internet access, consider ditching your home Internet service. Likewise, if you develop a friendship with one of your neighbors, they may allow you to join their network.
7. Host Game Night
Living on your own can put a damper on your social life, especially if you don’t have a lot of money to go out. But there are still ways to have fun. You’ve got to get creative. For example, host a game night at your apartment and have friends bring a dish. Search the local newspaper for free entertainment. Go to the beach, ride your bike or hike in a national park.
Living on your own may seem like a far off dream, especially if you don’t have a lot of disposable cash. But many people make it work and so can you.
How were you able to make it after moving out of your parents’ house?