What Your Own Place can do for You
Getting Your First Place - What it Means to You
So it's finally time! You're getting your own place and leaving the nest! Chances are, you're in one of two situations:
1. You've been pining for the day when you could leave and get your own place, live your own life by your rules. Ah, freedom at last!
2. You've grown quite comfortable living at home with the folks, but they'd like for you to finally go out on your own. You don't like this, but you are 30, 40, 50 years old now, your folks are both healthy and don't need you to stay and help out, and they would like to enjoy an empty nest, which is more than understandable!
Well, regardless of which group you fall into, or if you're in between, there are some things you should know.
It's time to get your own place! Your emotions should change if you allow them to, and hopefully propel you into the right actions and thinking!
First, once you get your own place, you will meet reality, and it's neither all good, nor all bad.
Let's start with the bad news, first, which those of you in group # 1 above should really heed, as you're more likely to have only thought of the good side of leaving home. You will have expenses like rent, insurance, and household items. And you will have to do all the chores and cooking and shopping, unless you like a dirty empty place! And you won't be completely free of rules, either. There are landlord's rules, and community rules and laws, too, so even if you're able to buy your own home right out of the gate, you'll still need to maintain it, and pay property taxes and utility fees, not to mention obeying noise laws if you like to party.
Now for the good news, which does outweigh the bad news, believe me! For people closer to group #1 above, yes, you will feel the freedom and know that you are your own boss, and this is a great feeling! Those of you in, or closer to, group # 2 above, should stop sulking and think of this also. When you do, I promise that this will change for you, too. There's nothing like knowing that you are finally in charge, even if it's of just a very small corner of the world.
Now, let me tell you of my experiences, and how I felt about them. First, I don't neatly fall into either group above. My heart is in group 1 above, but the realities of my life and my lack of 'better thinking' at the time, pushed me closer to group two in some ways. I always wanted my own place, and would never have resented my folks wanting me to go out on my own. But, financial times were tough for me, due to my loaning relatives money, and the housing and rental market being prohibitive in my area, so needless to say, I did not leave home until I was over 30. Now, to be sure, I made sure I helped out at home during this time, even contributing financially to the household. But I did have the yearning to get my own place. I also failed to recognise ways in which I could supplement my income, which might have helped me leave sooner, then, I waffled between getting a house and renting an apartment, adding my setting of unreasonable goals for myself at the time. All this added up to a 'mental chaos' that I created in myself that I now see prevented me from really focusing on attaining the means to leave and get my own place. But finally, I took a separation package that my company offered me, and made the determination right there and then that I was going to get my own place. That's when I made the big move from the Los Angeles, CA area to the Portland, OR area. And am I ever glad that I did!
It's amazing what mental transformations took place in me once I got my own place. First, I cleaned the empty apartment completely. I actually enjoyed this very much, even though I generally hated cleaning before, though I always helped clean when I lived with my folks, as I do believe in general cleanliness as a rule.
Then, there was the shopping. I had a new apartment and no, or very few household items. When I lived with my folks, shopping for household items was certainly not my cup of tea. I found it boring, and if I did see a product that I thought would be really cool, my folks were not always convinced. But now, as the sole decision maker, I could get that cool item if I wanted to! Take note group #2! You get to decide, and you get to say 'yes!' to that cool item! Just ask anyone you know who is in group #1! I actually had fun picking out things like a new vacuum cleaner, kitchen dish strainer, furniture, silverware, cookware, wastebaskets, clothes hamper, shower curtain, and a host of other items, including various electronics.
And, I got to arrange them as I wanted to.
Take note group #1! The shopping is great, but don't overdo it! I did a lot of shopping, but was careful not to overspend, and to think with a practical mindset. The vast majority of my furniture is the put it together yoursef kind. It was cheaper and smaller, given the space limitations of my apartment. Also, if I had to move, all the furniture was small and light enough for me to carry and to transport in my car, albeit with multiple trips, all by myself. And the furniture looks good, even though it's not the Ethan Allen, Jennifer, or similar high end brands.
Best of all, I was able to do everything my way. Of course, I did ask for advice from time to time, and it's always a good idea to do so for those things you're not sure about. But there's nothing like that feeling of finally being your own person, especially when you set up your own home phone number. And for those of you in group #2, this means that you can try out your own brands of items, including foods, that you may have always wanted to try out but couldn't when you lived with your folks! And guess what? In a few years, your folks may be asking you for advice when they learn more about the items and brands you've tried!
Now, of course, I was mentally prepared for the expenses, such as rent and insurance. So, for group #1 especially, do research on this before your move, so you won't feel blindsided when you actually have to pay these, and other, expenses, that you will incur when you get your own place!
And, for both groups, remember that when you do leave, your folks will miss you instantly, no matter how much they may have wanted you to leave home, so, don't forget to keep in touch with them , especially during the first year after you move out, because it will be hard on them at first, even as they are proud of you for getting a place of your own.
Now that I do have my own place, I never want to give up that feeling of independence. I love my folks dearly, but the only way I would go back to live with them would be if one had a serious illness and the other needed me to stay and help out, which, for people in this situation, is completely acceptable.
So, congratulations on your first place, and good luck!
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