When I was nineteen I offically moved out of my parents’ house. Or officially…I changed the address, but stayed with my parents for entire weekends and even days in between. This had multiple reasons, but what it came down to was that I moved for the wrong reasons. I was in a hurry (despite the right age), didn’t think it through and I think I was a little unrealistic. But well, that’s me sometimes. I don’t regret it either, but if you still want to know how not to go live on your own the first time or how not to move entirely, please, continue reading. Because the other day I discovered that I moved eleven times already in my ‘short’ life and there will definitely be more. I am what you might call a moving expert. 😉
Most of you have your diploma already. And not nearly everyone goes to live in a dorm anymore while studying, and living together during is not so strange anymore. I know I made the mistake of moving out for the wrong reasons when I was nineteen. No regrets here, but I did discover what was right for me and what wasn’t. Not necessarily the point here, so let’s continue. The point is that you leave your parental house for the right reasons. And that you make a well-informed decision when you decide to move. For the right reasons with the right means. I missed that memo back in the day. I still miss memo’s sometimes, haha.
Owning NOTHING beforehand
So yeah, moving out is fun and all, but you have to look ahead a little. I usually do, but I also miss a lot while looking ahead and planning. My boyfriend and I are the same in that and when we pack for a holiday, we always forget at least one thing. And I was like that when I was younger too. When I moved out I never thought that I needed actual stuff to survive. You know, stuff like plates and forks and bedding. I didn’t have any of that and so I had to do what I could last minute.
I can tell you this: buying a bed, mattress, and a carpet last minute without being able to give it a second thought is not the smartest thing you can do. It brings a lot of unnecessary stress, irritations and unwillingness. At least on my part.
Nowadays things are a lot better. You know, I have my own plates and all. And my own bed, tv and dining table. By the way, the first time I actually lived on my own I suddenly learned how to make sure I had internet, how the gas companies worked and what kind of taxes there were. Oops. Better late than never, I guess.
Moving without saving up first
Nowadays things are a lot better. You know, I have my own plates and all. And my own bed, tv and dining table. By the way, the first time I actually lived on my own I suddenly learned how to make sure I had internet, how the gas companies worked and what kind of taxes there where. Ooops. Better late than never, I guess.
Not owning anything beforehand isn’t the worst thing in the world. As long as you have money to buy the things you need. Of course, your parents can jump in a little, but the lion’s share should be for you, right? I mean: you want to be independent, so you pay for your own things. That’s what I say now, of course. When I was younger I toootally did not take that into account. I honestly don’t remember how I did it the first time, but I think I tried to imitate Bambi in front of my parents. Shame on you, Johanne, I say now. I could have contributed at least SOMETHING. I think I was kinda late in the whole responsibility department. I didn’t mind so much back then, but I do now.
And I understand that as a student, starter or underpaid person you don’t always have enough money to even save up (I mean, I still don’t), but it would have been nice if I at least tried to help out back then.
So when I lived on my own for the very very first time, all all alone, I was finally able to save up some money. I was living with my parents for a few months and I was finally able to buy my OWN stuff. The reason why wasn’t the happiest (now it couldn’t have worked out better!) but my stuff can never be taken away from me. Except for maybe when we move to another country. When adventure calls you…
Take what you can get
Not a fine strategy either. And something that happened to me more often than I would like. Not having an actual choice of where to live. The first time ever I secretly did, but I just pretended I didn’t. I was young and couldn’t think straight. After that there were some well-informed and well-considered moves, but also some forced ones. Twice I had to go back to my parents, for whatever reason. That I didn’t mind so much, but what happened after I did. One time I lived in the city center of Groningen in a small apartment (there wasn’t anything else available that I could actually afford) and my cats hated it. They were so depressed there. There were almost no windows and it was too damn small. The second time I got an apartment within a couple of months. I had to take it, but it worked out perfectly. I made some good memories there and the apartment was somewhat small (big enough for the cats), but mine.
You can’t cook a single meal
Oh my, it took me so long before I could cook an actual meal. When I was a student I totally sucked. When I ate alone, I just made fried foods, I bought Subway sandwiches and on occasion, I would eat a homemade chicken burger with some fries or shoarma. But that was it.
A little later on, things got better. I basically was too afraid to cook because I thought no one would like my food. For a long time I tried not to do it, until one day I was forced to. Nooooo, I said, I don’t want to! But I did it anyway (how brave). It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears (exaggerating only a little here). Since then I kinda developed into an okay chef. I can make my own steaks now and my lovely boyfriend keeps telling me that I should open my own restaurant in Spain. That’s him exaggerating, because I only says that because a lot of the food we eat here isn’t common in Spain and because he doesn’t spit out my food. 1 + 1 = 2, let’s say.
Move because of faulty reasons
Don’t move out just because you think you have to. Don’t start living together because you’ve been together for so long. Basically, don’t do anything you don’t support for a 100 percent. I know that’s hard to find out sometimes and it can happen that you only find out your true feelings when you actually do it. Try to figure out beforehand why you want to take the next step and why that would be good for you and only you.
At nineteen I might have moved out for the wrong reasons. Some of the moves after that were basically poor judgment as well, haha. No, I’m totally exaggerating (again). The last few moves may not have been perfect (not everyone travels after/with their boyfriend like a headless chicken because he strives for a big career ;-)), but for the right reasons. We totally took what we could get, but we were lucky. We could have ended up in worse places than we did.
Some totally useful tips from me to you (do whatever you want with ’em)
- Make a list of all the things you need
- Is the gas, water, and electricity included in the rent or not?
- No? Check how well the house is isolated. A well-isolated house will save you a lot of money.
- Make sure you actually have your own plates and forks and such before you move, because it makes moving even more fun
- Try to be as independent as possible. Of course, it’s fun to go to your parents every weekend (I would still do that if I still lived close enough), but make sure you know how to be independent. How it is to do your own groceries, to manage your own budget and to cook.
- I don’t have any tips for potential homeowners. Because I never ever bought a house. But I think you’ll get pretty far with common sense: stay within your budget, find out all your monthly costs and make sure you end up in a nice neighborhood. You’ll probably be staying there for a while.
- Also, make sure your house is fitted for a potential expansion. You know what I mean 😉
And what if you ‘mess up’ anyway?
I think you’ll survive. If nothing goes to plan and you’re bound to make some unwanted decisions? See it as an adventure. They’re supposed to go wrong at some point, they’re supposed to fail and be scary. Life isn’t plannable anyway, so why try here? Luckily there are worse things than a forced move, a wrong house or choice. Let’s just be happy we have a place to live! 😉
Have you ever made a moving mistake?