Living independently is different in every culture. For some, reaching the age of 18 means moving out of the parents’ house to get a college degree, a job, and start a life. There are situations that even while children are still under the care and supervision of the parents, they are encouraged to work so they can start to save and have spending money of their own.
No matter what norm or traditional being followed for one to start to live independently, the end goal is to navigate one’s self to the kind of future that he or she envisions. We have heard all the quotes, captions, and even song lyrics about going out on your own, making a name for yourself, pursue one’s destiny, and ultimately being dependent on no one but yourself. But the better question is, how do we embrace being independent?
“Are you ready?” This is a tough question as you won’t get the answer until actually you made the leap and have personal experience. Being prepared and managing expectations are good ways to start as this easily outlines your priorities, needs, and wants when you decide to live on your own.
OUTLINE POSSIBLE EXPENSES. This includes housing, food, transportation, education, clothes, extra-curricular activities, healthcare, to name a few. Going out there with an outline of responsibilities equip you with rational thinking and this way whatever money comes in does not go to waste because you have an outline that enumerates all the things that you need money for.
GET A JOB. A job will be your source of income. Look for what interests you, how much it will pay, what your degree will be beneficial in, and consider location as a job close to where you live lessens the burden of transportations.
PRACTICE SOUND FINANCIAL HABITS. Being disciplined in knowing what income comes in and what comes out will give you solid financial ground. How you take care of your financial situation may affect decisions in other aspects of your life. Start simple—take time to document money flow, educate yourself in the process, practice and repeat so later on, when bigger income and expenses come you know what and how to do it.
HAVE A BUDGET. This will help you to live within your means and will make you realize what things you can and cannot afford. By being aware of your budget you actually save money for the things that is most important to you.
ESTABLISH A GOOD CREDIT. Establish good credit is a good base for a good future. Experts say that getting a credit card with a credit limit that suits your means is the perfect start. “Don’t delay and pay on time” because if you do, banks and creditors will start trusting your financial capabilities.
MAINTAIN AND SUSTAIN. Maintain and sustain a lifestyle that is suitable to the money that you earn. The words “live within your means” are powerful when there is no daddy or mommy to be there when you fall.
BE HAPPY ABOUT IT. Being independent should not be a burden. Embrace it! To put it in a different way, one can call it an adventure—exciting things to learn and experience. There is fear definitely but only fear of the unknown. You’ll learn the ropes and realize it is possible and it can be done.