Let's chat about one of the most challenging aspects of entering adulthood: moving into your own place.
When I graduated college, I realized my twenty-something's budget just didn't have room for living on my own. I was fortunate enough to live at home with my parents (rent-free, no less) until I got my feet on the ground. Which I did - for two years. As comfy as it was living at home with minimal responsibilities, it was also kinda hard to feel like an adult when I was still retreating to my childhood bedroom every day (ya know, the one with no lock on the door, soccer trophies stashed in the closet, and my high school yearbooks on the bookshelf).
Ever try to have a dating life while living with your mom? I don't recommend.
Two years and a tight-budget later, I decided I could swing it. I found a roommate online, we found an apartment with a "decent" rent (decent in heavy quotations, gotta love San Diego livin') and we decided to send it. I've now been living in my own apartment for 2 months, and there's some things I've had to navigate living as a twenty something on her own for the first time.
One major thing I had to do was set a budget for myself. While I was living at home, I was a little more cavalier with my paychecks. I could do that when I wasn't paying for rent, groceries, car insurance, a phone bill, the list goes on. Moving on my own, the expenses added up quickly. It was essential to sit down and really decide what I could afford, and how my lifestyle would have to change once I started living on my own. I budgeted out how much I would have to spend on necessities each month, and how much I could afford to budget for the non-essentials, while still making room to add to my savings, my student loans, and my 401(k).
I confirmed I could make living on my own work, but only if I had a roommate to split rent with. So, I turned online to find a roommate, room-share, or basically anyone that didn't give me "murder-y" vibes. I dodged a few craigslist scams, and ultimately was able to find an awesome roommate. Best case scenario. My advice for this stage of the moving out process - be familiar with how you live. Know yourself well. It's essential to find someone you are genuinely compatible with or else issues can arise in the future. If you're messy, just say you're messy. If you're a homebody, just say that. Own your living style, because they're going to figure it out eventually regardless.
Once you have a place to move into - the work is honestly just beginning. It wasn't until I moved into an empty, un-furnished apartment that I realized how much random stuff my parents had around their house that I took for granted. Like furniture. Thank God for OfferUp because nobody tells you how expensive furniture is. My advice: bargain hunt!
We were eventually able to accumulate a full apartment of furniture by being patient and seeking out the best deals on Facebook Marketplace and OfferUp. As you set up your budget for moving out, just remember to include having to buy your own furniture, kitchenware, and more. And not just the big items, but the little items as well! I never realized how much I used a spoon-holder until I didn't have one.
As a whole, I love living on my own. I like being independent and making all my own decisions for myself. There's definitely a learning curve - but overall living on your own in your twenties is a great way to grown and learn about yourself. I learned how to better ride the ups and downs and take initiative for myself because I became my biggest support system.
Finally, my last piece of advice: remember nothing is permanent. If you want to try being on your own, it's likely a year-long lease at maximum. It's a great time to explore, move around, experience new things, and make decisions for yourself. Most of all - enjoy the freedom and be proud of how hard you worked to be able to support yourself!