I believe that one of the biggest blows in life comes when we decide to become independent and  live alone for the first time. Yeah, sure, jump in the real world can be like a roller coaster, but that does not mean that this experience should be something traumatic, rather we should take it as a gradual process of changes until we find a positive balance.  

Based on my experience, I decided to make a list of tips that have helped me through this process and have made my life easier. But before going into the topic, I would like to clarify the following, in order to be successful in this process the first thing we must be clear it’s our budget. I carry my accounting in a Google Doc where I make a breakdown based on my monthly income, my responsibilities, and fixed expenses. After calculating how much my fixed expenses are, I use a percentage of the remaining money in luxuries that I consider I can afford during the month, such as going out with friends and going to the movies, among other activities. The tricky part at this point is not to spend all the money we have left,  but to establish a monthly amount to save and create an emergency mattress.

 

Cook: 

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If you do not know how to cook consider yourself dead.  Learning to cook, not only gives you freedom and independence, it also helps your budget because eating out can be a quick fix, but not feasible in the long run when it comes about money.

Nobody expects you to become the next Master Chef, but learning to cook a variety of dishes that allow you to eat healthy and varied without getting bored is fundamental, and will save you a lot of money at the end of the month. Start by asking your parents/friends about simple recipes or start by looking at some cooking tutorials  on Youtube.

 

Learn to make a good market:

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Having a good diet and maintaining the budget can sometimes be complicated, but the secret lies in learning how to make a good purchase at the supermarket. My first recommendation is to make a list, preferably on paper and stick it in the refrigerator.

This action will serves as a real reminder, and not one of those lists that end in the forgetfulness inside your phone. In addition, making a list will keep us focused on what we need and avoid making emotional purchases.

Here are some basic products that should be in every kitchen:

Herbs, Seasonings and Pastes

Oils & Sauces

Cooking Basics

Salt and pepper Olive oil Flour
Crushed red pepper Soy sauce Butter
Herbes de Provence Sesame oil Sugar
Good chicken Bouillon Vinegar Baking soda
Curry Paste Good mustard Cooking wine
Chili paste/ dried chilis
Old Bay
Garlic

 

Coupons:

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When you are ready to buy, do not rule out the opportunity to use coupons, it can be a great source of savings, whether it’s buying food or clothing.

At the moment I like to use Honey, which has a Chrome extension that lets you know when they have coupon codes for the site you’re on, and it basically  makes all the hard work for you.  

 

Electricity:

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Electricity is fundamental in our lives, we can not live without it, and it’s a necessary service, but it is something that consumes us money every second of the day, so it is important to learn how to optimize its use, so at the end of the month the bill is not exaggerated.

Some things you can do to save electricity in your home is to buy a test appliances for electricity usage, which you can easily find on Amazon for less than $ 30, this will allow you to really see how much each appliance is costing to your home, and help you  to reduce your monthly expenses. Additionally, another good option is to change the regular bulbs by led lights that are ideal for saving energy.

 

Learn about cleaning products:

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Probably this sounds like an unknown world. Have you ever stopped in the cleaning products section? Because you should. When you move alone for the first time you will realize that is not enough only use water and soap, much less use the typical excuse ” I will clean it later” because it will be worse.

Start researching which products seem cost-effective according to your budget, and invest in them, probably at first you do not see it necessary, but having a clean and organized environment will make you feel better.

One of my favorite products is vinegar thanks to its qualities as a disinfectant. Believe it or not, it’s great to clean floors, the toilet and even your microwave; for the last one, you just need to leave a cup with vinegar for a few minutes heating inside the microwave, and then the steam will help disinfect and clean it.

 

Create a cleaning routine:

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Living alone has many advantages, but it’s definitely not like in movies, especially when you have to take care of household chores and everything related to cleanliness.

My advice? Organize your time because leaving everything to the last moment, like going to the laundry, can trigger the chaos. Check what your fixed obligations are, such as your work schedule/ classes and check what days do you have free time. It’s better to organize the tasks per day so we will not accumulate all the hard work on our day off. 

 

Buy a toolset for home maintenance and repair:

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It may sound like something unnecessary at first, but believe me! If you have an emergency at home, you would like to have one of those kits.

In addition, there are things you can fix on your own without the need to have to pay someone else for doing it… But be careful with these situations, you have to know how to differentiate when to call an expert or when we can fix it ourselves.

Learn to do things by your own:

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I’m going to tell you a little story…One of the things I had the hardest time adapting to when I moved to another country was to stop going to the hairdresser often. In Venezuela, it is common for women to go to the salon every week because we come from a society where looking good is important, and in fact, going to the hairdresser every week did not represent a sacrifice for our pockets.

But each country is different, in some cities people only go to the hairdresser if they have a special event and the prices tend to be more expensive. Not to mention the fact that it is harder to find people who do their job well – sorry not sorry-. At least in my case, I have not been lucky in that aspect and not only have I lost a lot of money, my hair has ended up as a complete disaster.

For that reason, I decided to learn how to cut my hair, thanks to some YouTube tutorials – and of course, I learned to do the basics. But we must remember that there are things only an expert can do. And since that moment I try to apply that rule to other aspects of my life if you see that you can do it on your own just do it. Believe me, little things like that can be a big saving on your budget.

 

Buy a First Aid Kit:

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This should never be missing in a home, in case you have a minor accident, it is always good to have a first aid kit to treat any injury, either because you  accidentally cut yourself when you where cooking or any other type of scenario where you can get hurt, you will be thankful for having made the investment.

 

Get an Amazon Prime account: 

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Amazon is a great option to buy your basics, such as toilet paper and other things for the home. If you are one of those who buys products frequently on this website you should consider getting a prime account because it offers you benefits like free shipping among other offers.

Honestly, I consider it an ideal option to invest, because it only costs $ 99.00 annually.

 

 

 

Posted by:karlisherrera

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