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Moving out of your family’s home is one of the biggest steps you’ll ever take in your life. It’s also one of the scariest and most overwhelming. Will your income be enough to cover expenses like rent, electricity, internet, water, groceries, and laundry? Do you have enough savings to pay the advance and security deposit plus the appliances and furniture you would need in your new home?
These were the kinds of questions (plus countless computations) that kept me up at night before my husband and I finally took the leap and moved out of our parents’ home and into a small condo unit. Six months into living on our own, I’ve learned a thing or two about things that I wished someone told us when we were just preparing to move out.
First, it seems much scarier to imagine what it would be like to live on our own than it actually is. I was anxious that our bills might run so high that we wouldn’t have enough money to buy our food. I was worried about things breaking down or starting a fire. I was scared someone might break in while we sleep or while we’re out.
I was imagining some pretty bad things. But it turns out, we can manage our bills by managing our consumption, we can avoid breaking things or starting a fire by being careful, and we can feel safe in our home by choosing a safe neighborhood and development – which is why we opted to live in a condo with security guards despite the higher cost of rent.
Second, we didn’t actually need most of the things we bought at first. Some of those things could’ve waited until after a few weeks or months or maybe not at all. But there are also essential items that we got right and now couldn’t live without.
One of the ways we stretch our budget is by cooking our daily meals. We create a weekly meal plan that’s aligned with our grocery list. We try our best to cook using whatever leftover ingredients we have like extra sotanghon noodles, for example, so we only need to buy fewer extra stuff. We also figured that cooking a big batch of ulam that will last us until dinner can help us save on the cost of ingredients.
Our induction stove has been our cooking partner since day one. I knew from the start that I didn’t want to have a gas tank in our kitchen where we – because we live in a small condo – sleep very close to. We were worried it might spike our electricity bills but fortunately, it didn’t, no matter how frequently we use it to cook or heat our food.
Window curtains were on our list of things to have on day one (or even before that if your landlord allows you to start moving in your stuff a day or two earlier than what’s stipulated in the lease contract). Since we chose a unit with big windows for ventilation and daylight, this also means that our neighbors can easily see us.
Unless you’re ok with people watching you go about your life or while you sleep, then by all means, ditch the curtains. But for those of you who value privacy, window curtains should be on top of your list. You can also opt for blackout curtains if the condo or neighborhood you live in stays well-lit even at night.
When you live in a small space like ours, space-saving and multipurpose pieces of furniture are a must. We have a foldable table that serves as a cooking prep table, dining table, and sometimes, as a work table, too. Since it’s foldable, we can put it away if it’s not in use and create more walkable space.
I never knew how much I needed a table until I moved out. It’s an essential part of living on your own so make sure not to skip this.
While we’re on the topic of space-saving furniture, our sofa bed is also one of my favorite purchases. We opted for a sofa bed so we can make space for an office since my husband and I both work from home.
During the day, it’s a sofa where we sit to relax or watch TV and then at night we can easily convert it into a bed without needing too much extra space. If you’re also planning on moving to a small space to save on rent, you might want to go for a sofa bed as well.
Washing the dishes is my least favorite part of living on our own (okay, maybe second only to paying the bills). I hate having water flowing all over the kitchen counters (and soaking my shirt) and also dealing with nasty food scraps.
But thanks to our dish drainer with an actual drainage system that collects water from the rack and releases it back into the sink, washing the dishes has become more tolerable for me. No more wiping with a towel or wetting the kitchen counters! To our mighty dish drainer they go.
When I look at our electric kettle, I can feel my inner Marie Kondo coming out to say thank you for the things it has done for us. For a small amount of P650, our electric kettle has been so useful to us.
We moved into a bare condo unit with no water heater so hot showers aren’t possible. So on cold days when I just can’t bathe with cold water, our electric kettle has always run to the rescue. The same water kettle helps us make delicious coffee in the morning and easy meals like cup noodles and instant soups when we’re not in the mood to cook. So if there’s one other kitchen appliance other than the induction stove I suggest you buy, it’s an electric kettle.
Other essentials of course include electric fans, pots and pans, utensils like plates and spoons and forks, and sheets and blankets. But these are things you might be able to bring or borrow from your family’s home if you can.
When you’re moving out, it’s important to save as much money as possible. There can be a lot of surprise expenses to look out for like appliance or socket installations, internet application fees, and so on. So think twice before buying anything. If it’s not something you know you’ll use tomorrow, then you don’t need to buy it yet.
I remember being too excited to finally be able to decorate our own place and take photos of our “aesthetic” home. So I really spent a lot on pretty shelves and organizers. But as time went by, I realized that it’s not the decorations that would make me happy, it’s the new memories I’m creating with my husband and my dog as we live this new life we’ve been dreaming of together.
I hope that you can keep that in mind, too, as you enter this next chapter of your life. Happy moving! – Rappler.com
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