If you’re 20-something, just cleared college, got your first job and are thinking about moving out of your parent’s house. Pull a chair, move closer, listen keenly. This post is for you.
Last month, 28th May to be precise, I took that bold step. I had just finished my final exams 2 weeks prior; had secured a job to start me off; had some pretty “decent” savings and some essential stuff to begin life with. How hard could it be? Well, ladies and gentlemen, I know you have heard this a million and one times before, but moving out is HARD and EXPENSIVE as hell.
It all seems easy as pie on paper when you’re planning it; the figures seem both workable and achievable. Then the moment you walk into that house and realize that literally everything you need for comfortable life requires money, the stones come pelting down on your head. You thought you had everything figured out then life just sits there, staring at you with a sated smirk on its fat face, giving you that , “No hun, you don’t know shit” look.
Nothing can prepare you for the harshness that is beginning life on your own especially if you do not have a close support system of family and friends whom you can reach out to both emotionally and financially. I have “survived” my first month of moving out and with it came a tonne of wisdom and experience. So here goes my list of moving out hacks ….
If you have a loving home and a bunch of people who don’t mind having you around for a couple of years until you are ready to start out on your own, then by all means stay! If someone can is willing to put a roof over your head , feed you and ensure you have a warm bath daily for free; what more could you ask for?
- Move Out for the Right reasons.
Whatever reason is “right” is entirely a matter of opinion. But make sure you don’t move out of your folk’s home because of the “everyone is moving out” mentality. That is very childish. Search you soul, weigh the pros and cons, then make a very conscious decision to move. That way , it would be easier to cope with all the difficulties that will plight your path the first few months. And even if you move out, leave on very clean slate and in good terms with your parents/guardians etc
- Never Pay House Agents
You’d be surprised how easy it can be to find a house in the hood you want to move into simply by spending a couple of hours walking and asking around. It is tedious, yes, but you need to save as much money as you can so it’s worth the hustle. Besides, some house agents are pure conmen,insist on always dealing with the landlord.
- Never settle for a house which you do not like
I know you have to strike a compromise between your standards and bank account. In most cases, you will have to compromise. But I insist,no one deserves to come back every evening to a house in which their spirit is not at peace. You are not doing anyone a favour by being miserable. I say, only settle for that apartment/house which you will glady come back to and pay rent without feeling a pinch.
- Start out with the basics
Don’t get ahead of yourself. Everybody must start somewhere. Start with the most basic stuff and proceed to the not so important. You owe yourself a comfortable bed and mattress so that even if your world is crumbling at your feet, you atleast have a place to go sink your sorrows into. If you must fail at something, then don’t fail at selecting a good mattress.
PS// Don’t forget to buy light bulbs et al, you might be shocked,, but they don’t actually come with the house. I thought they did.
- Always have a friend who can sort you out.
I know many of us were taught since childhood to shun debts. But it reaches a point where you have Kshs. 100 between you and poverty. You need to eat, get to work, buy airtime et al. Have that friend whom you are not scared of asking for a small loan; food , emotional support etc. If there’s something that I have cherished most about moving out; it’s the fact that you begin realizing whom your dependable friends are. You need an anchor to keep you from sinking
Do you have that friend who’s willing to share that last Ksh. 100 bob they have with you? Are you that friend yourself?
There’s no shame in poverty. But , then again, there’s no grace in starving and dying alone with all your problems; that’s vanity.
This is rather obvious but it’s way easier and cheaper to cook. Forget about take-outs , go home, cook and eat. Trust you me, your bank account will be grateful.
Who knew curtains were so darn expensive?? I always assumed they were like Ksh. 200 bob each/!
Anyway, don’t buy any of those ready-made curtains at exorbitant prices. Go down to Eastleigh, or the curtain shops on Biashara street, buy fabric and they will stitch them for you. That way you will have curtains that don’t make you want to gorge out your eyes because of their ghastly nature.
- Electricity Tokens
It is only after moving out that you will realize why your parents would shout at you for leaving lights on. Well, electricity is not cheap. It will come naturally for you to switch lights off when you are not using them simply because you will pay through with your hard earned money.
I was taught a few tricks. Always pay the meter standing fee, then buy your tokens in Ksh.100 bob quantities. You’ll get more tokens this way than if you just buy all of them in bulk. This is tried and tested. Also, someone swore that when you buy tokens on Sunday morning, the quantities are higher. I haven’t tried this.
The first week you’d be excited about having all the space to yourself and having no one to tell you what or what not to do. You will leave dishes in the sink, leave all your clothes strewn all over etc. Then you’ll realize that you are wasting so much time looking for an outfit in the morning while getting ready for work; or that roaches will finally invade your kitchen and you will start being orderly. Responsibility and cleanliness will be your second name.
You are now the mother and father of your house; the ruler general; commander of all the space. If you leave it dirty, it stays dirty. And you are the one who will suffer .
PS// Like I said, moving out is a bold step. The mere fact that you want to/have taken it already is a huge achievement. It is tough; but it shapes you up. It makes you responsible and hardworking as hell. Nothing is scary as the thought of not being able to pay your rent, eat or clothe yourself. You learn to value your job and friends more. You finally feel as if you have your life figured out somehow. You are more careful with your finances and it will take a lot more thought before you compulsively buy stuff. You appreciate the struggle your parents went through to provide things you thought were basic or you god-given right. Moving out changes your perception about everything and teaches you that life can be hard and you should be grateful for the stuff you have; nothing comes easy.
Above all; moving out is the best way to find yourself; to learn and fall in-love with the human being that you are. In the solitude and loneliness, you get a lot of time to reflect and do a lot of soul searching.
Oh, and you will realize that possibilities are endless. There’s no stopping a person with freedom and an idea .e.g you can eat cereal for dinner at 2 am, seated on you cold kitchen floor with nothing but your underwear on, listening to the crickets outside; and you would feel really good about it. It would not feel odd at all!
<<To everyone that just moved out; hold on.Don’t sweat it! It get’s easier with time; or so I’ve been told>>