If you’re from a non-metro, at some point you may have to leave the nest your parents built and start your own life in an alien city. (Actually I’d recommend it even if you’re in the same city, but that’s a topic for another day!) Living alone for the first time can appear both exciting and daunting at the same time.
Trust me on this one (or trust the umpteen seasons of Friends), this can be the happiest, most fulfilling phases of your life. Here’s how to do it right!
Your Own Place
Wow! Even as I am writing, I am excited for you. Finally, you’ll be in your own space. Take your time looking for something that ticks all the right boxes.
Of course it has to be safe, clean and approachable. But zero-in on things that are important to you – so that you understand what is it that you don’t mind paying a premium for. It is ok to stretch your budget for what you value, but negotiate before you agree on a price.
Yes, you need to be smart.
Your Own Money
Nerdy as it sounds, you will need a budget and savings. That’s what they call financial independence.
You can thank me when you’re able to splurge on throwing that special friend a surprise birthday party. Or indulge yourself with that gaming console you have been eyeing. Or finally save enough for your first car that you buy with your own hard-earned money.
Savour that heady taste of success guys, that’s what it’s about! And yes, you’re welcome 🙂
Also, learn a bit about investing — Fixed Deposits, Tax-saving instruments, Mutual Funds — it’s not rocket science. Let a financial planner manage your investments (it comes with a cost), or even go with your parents’ advice (that comes free though!) if that’s what you want, but do understand what is happening with your money.
Begin now, however small, and get a headstart.
Your Own Rules
It’s a little sad if you treat your new (even if temporary) home as just a place to crash in for a couple of winks and a few begrudging waking hours. Come on, you want something that gives you space when you simply want to chill in peace, zone out from the world or indulge in your books, music, gaming, whatever.
Also guys, staying on your own can get lonely at times. You want a pad where your friends don’t mind hanging out with you. So make it comfortable. If you want an air conditioner or a microwave or a maid to cook for you, this is not where you suddenly become Uncle Scrooge.
Keep your place clean, your clothes washed and ironed, and the kitchen well-stocked. Yes Wake Up Sid, it’s time you grew up 🙂
Your Own Family
Moving out of the house also allows you to choose your own new family. Go out of your way to be there for your friends; help them; and always have their back. Some of them may reciprocate: welcome this new family of yours.
Someone may become that precious 2AM friend: treasure that one.
Also build some sort of a support system in the same physical living space. Be nice to your colleagues and the security guards, get to know your neighbours, and visit your local aunt to relish & appreciate her awesome paranthas.
A nice alien doesn’t find himself lonely on any planet 🙂
Your Own Life
Break the routine on weekends: Join a gym, a guitar class, a book club. It’s a fun way to make new friends with similar interests.
A good backup when your boss cancels your pre-approved festival vacation at the last minute (brace up, it will happen; take a deep breath and remember that the job pays your rent!), and your regular gang goes missing.
Soon, you’ll find you have a friend who shares your taste in movies, one that has the same passion for board games, and another who is always up for an impromptu drive up the hills.
And I will be so proud of you for having designed your life so well 🙂
And Your Own Responsibility
Guys, no more will your parents run after you, nagging you to eat healthy and on time. (Who would’ve thought that you’ll miss this!*sigh*)
What scares me is that it’s now up to you to eat well, exercise regularly and sleep on time. Okay, so have a doctor’s number saved in your phone and a basic medicine kit with the usual anti-dotes for fever, aches and pains. Ya I know that sounds a bit much, especially for someone tough like you who was born a tiger and all that.. Save it!
You will also need someone who will take care of you for when you decide to be sick for a week. Now, know who that someone is and more importantly, know when to drop the macho act and give them a call.
Your basic survival kit is incomplete without kitchen skills. And please, a guy not knowing how to cook is so last-century! Plus this one is so simple… don’t get me started now 🙂
Okay, it’s also hot. A guy who knows his way around the kitchen is hot. NOW will you please learn? (Click here to know what else girls find hot in a guy).
Of course there’s a lot more. But I’m sure you’ll figure out the rest. And then you can brag about how you got by staying on your own, without any outside help, especially from a blog 😉