This isn’t my first time living outside of mama and papa bears house. I’ve shared condos and apartments with multiple people and it was a good run but I’ve reached that age where people tend to get serious with their relationships so it’s harder and harder to find roommates. Just a year ago if you would have told me “Sheila, this time next year you’re going to have a one bedroom apartment to yourself” I would have been like “Are you effing high?! I’m not living alone. It’s scary and for losers”. This time last year my plan was to live with my parents and save up money for a downpayment on my own condo by the time I’m 30 but my parents are borderline hoarders and the clutter drove me insane and I REALLY missed having my own space. So here I am in my awesome one bedroom apartment (with a garage so I have so much more room for activities). In the past few weeks here are 7 qualities and habits I’ve Developed since I’ve been 100% independent.
1. You Buy One of Everything and Use It Until It’s Gone. You have to be way more responsible with your money. You don’t have anyone to share groceries or toiletries with so to budget accordingly you buy one of what you need and use it until it’s gone. When I had roommates or lived at home I would have a shower full of different shampoos and hair products and a wide variety of cereals. “Is it a fruity pebbles or a wheat chex kind of day?” That’s a question you don’t get to ask yourself anymore. You start putting a lot of thought into which cereal you get because it’s the only you’re going to have the next week or two.
2. You Justify Restaurant Meals By Portioning It Out RIP Salmon Ceasar Pasta Salad from Cheddar’s. Actually all restaurant salads. There’s no way I can spend 12 dollars on food in one sitting and not feel guilty about it, and eating second day salad is slimy and gross (Gag!). Now when I go to restaurants with my friends I look for meals I can break up into 2 or 3 servings because then it averages out to about 3-5 dollars a serving so I don’t feel so bad. I still get in my fair share of vegetables and salads but not at restaurants because the prices are insane. For 10 bucks I can get enough vegetables and salad mix to last me like 3-4 days.
3. You are Less Glued to Your Phone and Tough I initially felt sorry for my friends when I moved out because I thought “Oh man, I’m going to be so bored and lonely I’m going to be texting them to death” but I think I text less now than when I lived at home. I guess I’m busier cleaning and making sure my place is Fresh and Clean Outkast style. Since I’m a minimalist I feel like my creative juices flow more than when I was in clutter hell at my parents. Oh, and scary noises in the night you become numb to. With the exception of an incident with my garage door breaking and sending me into level 10 paranoid weird sounds don’t get to me. The car door slams, wind that sounds like taps on the window and weird cracking and popping sounds of whatever- maybe the building settling? Those noise are sooo whatever. If it’s someone breaking in I don’t even care because I will drop kick a mother trucker. I seriously feel so brave and strong I should be a Mortal Kombat character if that game is resurrected.
4. You Watch Your Bank Account I check my bank account more than I check my Twitter. Not only am I making sure my spending is in check and constantly doing math to make sure funds are available when bills come in, but I’m also making sure my cards haven’t been compromised. There’s way too much hacking going on. No one is safe. Hide your cards, hide your passwords- they’re credit raping everyone.
5. You Stop Drinking at Bars Kind of the whole point of me going to bars in the first place was because I didn’t have a place to have people over so it was the perfect place to meet up. Now that I have my own place I have zero desire to go to a bar. If you even mention the word cover charge I’m throwing my hand up saying I’m out- with the exception of birthdays and special events. And paying 6 dollars for a liquor drink when I can get a whole bottle to last me months for like 20- no way! I would rather be at home playing on Pinterest with Friends on the TV in the background. I also wear a lot of flip flops and I’m tired of “beer feet”.
6. Your Internet Browsing History Makes You Look Like Martha Stewart Once upon a time if you went through my history you’d find tons of celebrity articles, memes and Facebook. I was all about finding stuff to make me laugh and entertain me. While I still look up my fair share of funny stuff I primarily look up recipes & healthy eating, coupons, cleaning & decorating tips. I’m in the process of becoming the ultimate homemaker on accident. I just really like my place and me and want to take excellent care of both ;).
7.You Realize How Little You Ever Needed Now that I have to provide everything I need for myself my impulse buys are knocked down to zero. Used to I’d see a coffee tumbler or dog toy and just be like “Oh, ten bucks that’s nothing” and buy it. I was actually sad at first about moving out and not being able to buy what I wanted when I wanted but it’s not so bad. It was a lesson I needed to learn. I was at a marketing breakfast at a trade show in October where they talked about a theory that people are happiest when they make a purchase or in anticipation of an item arriving and I was soon guilty of that. I’d be so excited to buy something and then use it or wear it like once and completely forget I had it. Now I’m all about memories & traveling (which I know I talk about this point in my blog all the time now) so when I see things I want I realize I don’t want it as bad as a concert or plane ticket and put it down and keep walking. I still load up online shopping carts with cool stuff but don’t follow through with payment because as weird as it is that makes me just as happy as buying it? I’m weird and it’s okay because it keeps me from being broke!
Share your experiences and habits you developed your first time living alone below. I LOVE comments!