My boyfriend moved into his first apartment earlier this week! He got his own one bedroom home in a big complex on the edge of town. It's an exciting time, but it's also struggle city. From his first time buying his own groceries to figuring out how to wire his own wifi, here's some advice I've picked up from a broke twenty year old living on his own for the first time.
1. Never miss a chance to bargain shop.
2. The curb is a better place to find furniture than the store.
Old to them, new to you! We've found file cabinets, bookshelves, and cast iron table frames on the curb that just need a little love to become the perfect piece for Alex's new place.
3. Why pay for shipping when you can make your friends help you move your stuff in?
I'm sure somebody you know has a truck, and it's much cheaper to pay them for gas than to pay that $199.99 shipping and handling fee.
4. Invite friends over to help pass all your newfound alone time.
5. But don't let them in your fridge.
6. Go to self-checkout and charge your avocados as limes.
7. You may have to pick up some odd jobs to make a little extra cash.
Like kids? Know how to read? Become a language arts tutor for local elementary school kids.
8. Make a friend whose mom still buys their groceries and eat with them once a week.
Offer to do the cooking if they do the shopping!
10. Cable is expensive. Books are not.
Or just don't go out to eat as often. Cooking together at home is often a better date anyways!
12. Go see your mom when she misses you.
You bet she'll send you home with leftovers and a candle or something.
13. When you do need to buy furniture, Craigslist should be your go to. Just make sure you see it in person first.
Wooden pallets make good bed frames, pickle jars make good toothbrush holders... you get the idea.
15. Drink coffee so you can grind all day and afford your next cup of coffee.
16. Stay positive.
You may feel like you don't have it all together. You have to sleep in a sweatshirt because you keep your place cold to save on heating, and you live in as little light as possible to save on the electric bill. But you're doing it-- you're living on your own! So enjoy yourself, laugh at yourself, and remember these are the days you'll look back on with a smile.