For those of you who don't know, I'm 25. And up until about 8 months ago, I lived with my mom and step-dad, Donyvan. Now, I live in a condo with my grandma, who I call Nan. In living "with" I mean we split everything, so we're pretty much roommates. So, I'm on my own. Financially, that is. I still have my family to lean on in times of need.
In those last 8 months, I've learned a lot. Well, honestly, I'd say I've learned a lot in the last couple of years. I've learned things about life, people, and, mostly, about myself. A lot of things my family and friends told me, but I never really took what they were saying to heart until I lived it.
So, this post is just to give some advice to my fellow single girls, or some that are soon to be single or live on their own.
These aren't in any particular order:
1) Keep your place clean! You never know when someone is going to stop by, and the more often you clean the less time it will take you when you do it. If something's not really really dirty then it'll be a breeze to do a quick clean-up. I admit my mom cleaned a lot for me when I lived at home. Now, I do a lot of the cleaning and I don't seem to mind because I love living in a clean place. Plus, do you really think a man wants to marry someone who's a slob? If he does, then that probably means he's one too. Do you want to marry a slob??
2) Learn to cook. And no, Ramen noodles don't count. It's not hard. If I can do it, so can you. Just start simple. Go on sites like All Recipes or find a blog about easy recipes. As long as you know you're way around the kitchen enough to make some chicken and vegetables for a simple meal or bake chocolate chip cookies, then you're doing good. Plus, think about the money you'll save and the calories from not eating out all the time.
3) Keep your freezer stocked. Whether it's Eggos, chicken breast, or even just frozen dinners, the freezer is your friend. As a single girl you can also make a full recipe that makes 4-6 servings, freeze it, and have food for weeks.
4) Keep your place smelling good. I'm a little weird about this. I love for our condo to smell good. I hate when the kitchen smells like steamed broccoli or the laundry room smells like the dogs food, or the air just smells stale. This is also another good thing to keep in mind if you have people that may just drop by. You don't want someone to walk in your place thinking: "what is that smell?"
6) Stay organized! This mostly applies to bills. Don't let that water bill get lost in a pile of papers. Buy a calendar and use it. Write the bills on their due date and the amount you owe. A lot of bills you can pay online and even set them up for automatic payments. If you're forgetful, do this! I learned this the hard way multiple times. It's no fun.
7) PAY YOUR BILLS!!! If it means giving up that new pair of shoes, purse, or dress, DO IT! Even if it means eating Ramen noodles every night. You do not want to ruin your credit, or get evicted because you can't budget.
8) Make friends with your neighbors, or at least meet them. (unless they're creepers) You just never know when you might get locked out without your phone, or need some sugar.
9) Don't buy toilet paper from the Dollar Store. Unless you are just really really desparate and poor, I don't recommend it. It's really not worth the money you will save. You end up using twice as much because it's basically like nothing.
10) Do things for other people. Call it the "Golden Rule," karma, or paying it forward. In my experience, the more nice things you do for people then either that person will do something nice for you, or out of the blue someone else will. This especially applies to your parents. They did things for you over a span of 18+ years. But them a cup of coffee or invite them over for dinner. Then if, one month, you're having problems making ends meet they might just buy you some groceries or fill you gas tank.
11) Learn to sew. I don't care if it's an entire dress or just sewing on a button. Granted I learned to sew when I was probably 12 or 13 and made an apron when I was probably 15. But, I know there are girls who have no idea how to sew. It's not hard. Don't sike yourself out and think it's going to be too time-consuming and you're going to jab your finger 100 times. Just try it. I strongly believe it's a good skill to have.
12) Thank your parents. Listen to their advice. They DO know a lot. They've probably lived what you're going through. They can be your friends- no one whould judge you for that.
I'm sure there are more things. And I know as soon as I post this I will think of more, but for now that is my list. Enjoy. And take my advice to heart.