Last Updated on August 22, 2021 by Angela Vaz
For years, I’d dreamed of living alone.
And for the first time in nearly 28 years, I finally am living alone.
It’s just my dogs and me now and I’ve never felt this level of freedom and independence before.
Living alone for the first time can be daunting, but in this post, I will cover everything you need to know to learn how to live alone.
If you’re looking for a post on combating loneliness because you’re alone, please read this post instead.
I will cover different aspects of being by yourself and living independently in your own apartment/house.
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How much money does it cost for a single person to live on their own?
There isn’t a fixed number because every country has a different living expenditure.
It also varies heavily based on how much you are spending on rent and food.
Before you move out and decide to live alone, please calculate your expenses.
You should not spend over 80% of your earnings on your living expenses.
This gives you that feeling of assurance, and you’ll be able to save at least 20% of your income monthly for your future or emergencies.
So before you take this big step of living alone, please calculate:
- Your monthly rent and utilities
- Your groceries and other household expenses
- Your commuting to work and other important places you need to visit
- Any other expenses
This will give you a rough idea of how much you will need each month, and you can rest easy knowing for sure that you won’t run into any financial booboos.
Let’s move on!
15 things you need to know so that you can learn how to live alone comfortably
1. Make sure you are safe
Before anything else, ensure that you are safe.
Your safety is your top priority, especially if you are not living in a family-dominated neighborhood.
Do your research before moving into your new home. Ensure that your locality is safe and has everything you need so that you don’t need to travel miles to get groceries. Check if restaurants and grocery stores do home delivery in your area.
Ask around to see if there have ever been any safety issues or break-ins in your neighborhood.
Make friends with the neighbors so that you have someone to call if you run into an emergency.
Ensure that your house is always locked. Always.
Make it a habit to lock your door the second you enter your home. Close all your windows before you leave the house as well.
Invest in some strong and sturdy locks for your door so that nobody can break in easily.
When stepping out of your home, always carry the following:
These items will help you feel safe and be prepared for any situation, and they won’t take up much room in your bag.
Also, keep a list of emergency numbers on your fridge and your phone.
2. Be organized with your documents and finances
Keep files for different sets of records and documents. I have different files for my degrees, legal documents, identity papers, etc.
And I keep them all very secured in a cabinet so that it’s all in one place.
As for your finances, just make sure that you stick to a budget.
Set a monthly budget and record all your expenses in an Expense app.
What I love about expense apps is that they provide you with a graph to see how much you are spending each month in what category.
And I’m able to go through my expenses and see if I can cut down on anything to save more money and spend less.
Make sure that you are always spending lesser than what you earn. It’s a good habit.
Here are a few more things to note about keeping good finances:
- Try to save about 15-20% of your earnings
- Automate utility bills and subscriptions so that you don’t waste too much time each month paying this.
- If you have a credit card, note down what you’re spending on so that you don’t lose track of your expenses.
- Set a date each month to clear your credit card expenses so that it doesn’t accumulate and burden you later.
3. Don’t compromise on your sleep
A healthy adult requires 7-8 hours of sleep a day.
Do not compromise on your mattress and bedding. A healthy sleep cycle will help you stay energetic and happy throughout the day.
Invest in a good mattress because you’re going to spend a lot of hours on it. And get 2-3 sets of good quality sheets that are comfortable to sleep on so that you can get a good night’s sleep every single day.
Likewise, get blackout curtains for your bedroom so that you can keep your room dark when you sleep.
Melatonin is a hormone that gets produced at night and helps you sleep. By keeping your room super dark when you sleep, you are activating this hormone, and you will fall asleep much easier.
So, investing in good blackout curtains will help you in the long run.
4. Adopt minimalism
Buy what you need.
Keep your space minimalistic.
Your home is your safe space. It should be extremely comfortable and make your life easier.
So, don’t accumulate clutter.
Focus on experiences rather than things. Physical things will only give you temporary happiness. It will give you sustained happiness.
When you’re buying necessary things, spend well. Don’t count pennies.
But limit your spending to things that you really, really need. And focus on buying more consumables than items.
5. Buy essentials
Before you move in, buy your essentials first.
Things like furniture can be rented or bought second-hand.
Decide beforehand what you really need. Please make a list and stick to it.
Here are some vital things you may need before moving in:
- A couch for your living room
- A coffee table
It’s okay to splurge a little because living on your own for the first time is really thrilling but don’t go too crazy.
6. Claim your space!
This is your home, and you can make it look like whatever you want!
Arrange your home the way you want to. Go shopping once a month to thrift stores or local shops in your area and buy something that makes you happy, like a festive dining table cloth, some fancy bed sheets, or a pretty coffee mug.
Your home should make you feel happy, safe, and comfortable.
So, do whatever it takes to make your house into a home.
7. Learn to make your own meals
You cannot live on ramen noodles and Mcdonald’s burgers forever.
This will affect your health in the long term and leave you feeling lethargic and groggy throughout the day.
Eating outside every day isn’t practical either.
Fix a budget for ordering take-out monthly and, more importantly – learn to cook!
This is an invaluable skill that will help you in the long run.
You don’t need to go MasterChef with your meals.
Learn a few recipes that you genuinely love and cook those meals during the weekend.
Do your grocery shopping and cooking over the weekend. Focus on buying a good balance of healthy foods and non-perishables.
You’re only 1 person, and if you go nuts buying food, a lot of it will go to waste.
This definitely takes some practice, but it will get easier to shop for yourself once you understand how much food you consume.
Planning your meals in advance for the whole week will really set your mind at ease and save you so much time!
You can make lasagne, pasta, gravies over the weekend and freeze them so that your meals are taken care of for the whole week.
8. Keep your home clean and tidy
Living alone also means you need to be very responsible.
Keep a schedule for cleaning your home so that it doesn’t pile up.
A clean and tidy space will also help you stay energized and productive.
Here are a few practices that work really well for me:
- Do the dishes and clean the counter every night before you sleep. There is no better feeling than waking up to a clean, sparkling kitchen.
- Keep different days of tidying up, swabbing your home, cleaning the toilets, doing the laundry, changing the sheets, dusting table tops and counters and so on. This way, you’re not overwhelmed with cleaning everything all at once.
- Try to use more environment friendly cleaning agents like these.
Cleaning your home doesn’t need to be hard. This is one of the reasons I stress minimalism.
When you have fewer things, there is less to clean!
9. Be independent and strong-willed
Yes, living alone for the first time can be hard.
And yes, there will be times when you feel lonely or crave some human interaction.
But resist the urge to go out every single day especially if you don’t need to.
Learn to enjoy your own company. The relationship you have with yourself is the longest one you will ever have.
Go out during the weekends and hang out with people you genuinely like.
Keep in touch with your friends and family via phone calls.
Send little notes to them. It will make them feel loved and give you a nice, cozy feeling too!
10. Keep lists
You can keep a manual list pad or keep all your lists on your notes app.
Wake up every morning and create a list of all the things you need to do that day.
Keep separate lists for groceries, work, personal items, wishlists, recipes, and so on.
Lists really help you organize your life.
Give it a try.
11. Do not work in the same place you rest
Have a separate work area.
Even if your study is in the bedroom, keep your work table far away from your bed.
This will help you stay focused on your work when you’re working, and you will be productive throughout the day.
Keep your desk tidy and distraction-free!
12. Set a schedule that works for you
This is one of the main benefits of living alone.
You don’t live with anyone. You get to make your own rules!
Wake up at 4:30 am or 2:00 pm! It’s your call.
Set a schedule that works for you and try to stick to it during the weekdays. The weekends are all yours.
You can move things around because you get to dictate how you spend your time and energy.
13. Become more mindful
You’re going to be alone with your thoughts a lot.
And I need you to remember that you’re going to have good days and a few bad days.
But it’s important to be self-aware and understand that your thoughts and feelings are just thoughts and feelings.
They do not define you.
So when times get tough, it’s okay to take a break. Journal, meditate or call a friend and go out.
Pick up a skill that gives you joy.
And be patient with yourself.
You can overcome any obstacle that is in your path.
Here are a few posts to help you with this:
- 15 ways to get a fresh start next year!
- How to take complete control of your life and improve it right now
- 25 personal goal examples to help you become a better person
- How to become 1% better at anything every day
How can I make my life happier living alone?
I’m not going to deny it.
Living alone for a long time can affect your mental and emotional wellbeing.
We, humans, are very social creatures, and we require human interaction of some kind to remain happy and keep our moods elevated.
I highly suggest maintaining a good social life when you’re living alone.
If you are working from home, make friends by joining classes in your locality or volunteering over the weekends.
This requires you to step out of your home, and the change in environment will do you good.
Here are a few ways you can step out of your comfort zone:
- Pick up a skill you’ve always wanted to try by taking a physical class – this will help you meet people with similar interests
- Join the meetup app and check out what gatherings are happening nearby and go out and meet people.
- Consider getting a pet (they really help keep you active and happy) and you’ll even get to bond with other pet owners in the area
- Take up a side hustle that requires meeting people
- Go to cafes once a week. Surrounding yourself with people and noise will help elevate your mood.
- Arrange coffee dates weekly with friends or family that are living in the same area.
Is it scary to live alone?
I know I’ve covered a lot in this post, and it may overwhelm you.
But I can assure you that living alone isn’t scary once you get used to it.
Living alone has a ton of benefits!
You can walk around in your underwear, sing as loudly as possible, and the best part is no one is around to judge you or tell you what to do.
So, celebrate the perks of living alone, and I wish you all the best for your new adventure!