So you’ve read the title, and you want to learn from my mistakes then you’re in the correct place.
So I’ll start at the beginning, how to you make that step?
Unlike a lot of my friends, I never went to University and never had the urge to go travelling. Instead, I was still living in my childhood bedroom, coming in at 4am after nights out and sneaking up my mum’s squeaky stairs.
But, it was one of those nights when I had an amazing idea. I was going to get my own place. I had friends who had their own places and I wanted the same. The thing is, whenever I have something in my head, I have to do it.
It all seemed to fall together perfectly. My mum had a house in Fallowfield, and this seemed like the perfect place to start. Busy, full of people my age, and my mum was the landlord – perfect.
At first, the house was disgusting as the last tenant left it unliveable. As soon as you stepped in the front door the potent smell of cats hit you in the face.
But my mum was on a mission; she was in the house most nights and all weekends cleaning, and gutting it. She got her cousin’s husband to decorate and sort the place out. He’d come over after he finished work and also on the weekends. He painted every wall, every ceiling, all the banisters, and also fitted a brand new kitchen and bathroom – they just couldn’t be saved.
Over the course of a few months, I had taken numerous trips to Matalan, The Range, Primark and Home Bargains.
I was ready – or so I thought.
MOVE IN DAY!
The day came for me, and I moved in.
I’d packed my life away, and with the help of my friend’s van, I was on my way. (Thanks Warren)
I left most of the shit in my old bedroom because I didn’t have the heart to throw it away.
When I arrived it was clear that I was more interested in decorating the place than getting the essentials. My family obviously knew this would be the case and all came over the following weekend bearing gifts of rubber gloves, alcohol, towels, dining room sets, and cutlery.
My house soon started to be more of a home and I loved it!
I got bills, they’re multiplying
Bills, of course!
I also had no knowledge on bills. Other than my phone bill and petrol I was completely oblivious. There are bills for everything; insurance, water, heating, electric, council tax, TV license, Wi-Fi and obviously the dreaded bill of all bills, THE RENT.
I am now the queen of bargains, long gone are the days of £70 dresses I’ll wear once. I have bills to pay people!!
Every month now when I get paid all my bills go out on pay day (or the day after), and I also do a bulk food shop that week too. This way any money I see beyond that day is ALL MINE. I try so hard to keep the first week of pay day a no spending week, but realistically my petrol light is flashing on me and the northern quarter is screaming my name.
How do you survive when you can only make pasta and toast?
At home I thought I cooked LOADS, how wrong was I? I had absolutely no idea how to do anything. BBC Food recipes was my saviour in my first few months, and if you’re soon to be moving into your own place that’s a great website to start with, slowly but surely I was learning. I received a slow cooker and Pyrex dishes off my mum (present goals) and I was on my way to becoming a domestic goddess.
I always say ‘cook once eat twice’. Cooking isn’t fun, I don’t care what anybody says – ham sandwiches can get boring. Now I batch cook, and make sure I freeze any left overs for a night where I just cannot be arsed.
Food is expensive, make the most of those treats in your mums cupboards, soon the only snacks you’ll be eating are smart price Jaffa cakes – although they do taste pretty good. I do a main food shop every month, and buy for what meals I’ll make. I freeze absolutely everything that won’t get eaten within the first week – it’s like a game of Jenga on pay day in my freezer but it works for me.
Now my post seems pretty daunting, but I can assure you it’s not. Having your own house is the best thing you can do as a 20 something year old.
I have my friends over constantly without having to run it by my mum first and can always have my own space whenever I require.
If you are wondering if it’s worth moving out, I can assure you it is. I couldn’t think of anything worse than moving back in with my mum now (Sorry Jan!)
Of course I still need a bit of help, and I never feel stupid asking for advice – I recently called Krish while he was out with his friends just to ask how to make boiled eggs.
My washing basket is normally always at least half full, my stairs could do with a hoover more than once a week, and I desperately need to give my garden some TLC.
But I’ve done it for 2 years and I survived so you can too!!!