This is a sponsored guest post.
Many moons ago, I’d just finished school and did the whole “gap year” thing before moving on to studying at university. Despite my parents offering to let me stay at home, I was young, bold, brave and confident that I could embark out into the big world by myself. So I decided to get a job, find a share house and move out. In retrospect, the decision was rushed, and a little bit naive. I wasn’t prepared at all. Lucky for you, if you’re reading this and you’re considering a similar move, I’m about to discuss what I wish I’d known about moving out for the first time. I made some mistakes, some assumptions and learnt a lot along the way. Read on to hear my story.
I Had No Concept of Security
I moved into a share house with three other young people – all students, working or otherwise busy. We were robbed twice in the two years that I lived there. I wish we’d had security doors, but it was an old rental and we were broke. Ever since then, I’ve made sure that every house I move into (and there’s been a few) has some necessary forms of security. Some non-negotiables for me are security doors, deadlocks, lockable windows and a real or faux CCTV system. These deterrents go a long way towards comfort and peace of mind.
The Bills Keep Coming
The first gas bill during my first winter out of home was a rude shock. I won’t tell you precisely how much it was, but it was expensive for four young people, all either studying or working casual or part-time jobs. We had gas ducted heating, and although it kept the house warm, it wasn’t exactly economical. The power bill was a tad more manageable, but that stung as well. Then we had the internet and water to pay for as well. We split the bills equally, but I’ll tell you now – I didn’t have much money left over for leisure. If I’d known then, I would have saved some money each month to cover bills or arranged a payment plan with each utility provider. Speaking of money.
Have A Back-Up Plan for When Someone Leaves
Once, a housemate up and left without much warning, leaving the rest of us to cover the rent and scramble to find a new housemate. Luckily we did and only had a week’s shortfall, but any longer could have spelt disaster.
The Chores Don’t Do Themselves
Much to my surprise, we didn’t have a house elf or fairy godmother to do the dishes, vacuum, sweep, mop, dust and tidy. And, being busy young people, we didn’t always find the time to do the chores ourselves. This meant that the house got messy sometimes. There was still one of us more diligent than the others as well – and before you ask, no, it wasn’t me. These days I’m better at the chores, and that’s because after a few different share houses I discovered the roster system. A cleaning roster means that everyone does a little and no one does a lot, keeping relationships smooth and ensuring that the house stays neat and tidy.
To Sum Up
Moving out so soon was a hasty decision, but I learnt some valuable skills. Security is essential, and you need to be prepared for the bills. It pays to have a bit of money saved for both the invoices and if someone leaves suddenly and you need to cover the rent. The chores don’t get done by magic, so implementing a roster is a great idea.