People Share The Best Tips And Tricks For Young Adults Living On Their Own For The First Time
Photo by Karl Solano on Unsplash

Living on your own for the first time can seem like a walk in the park—you're finally free to do what you want, when you want. But it's not all sunshine and roses, since living by yourself means you have to handle any unforseen crises that come up, and you have to do your own laundry.

Reddit user nebair asked:

"What are some tips and tricks for young adults living alone for the first time?"

Be Prepared

"Plunger and a fire extinguisher are better to have before you need them."


"While you're at it, get a fireproof blanket too. And make sure you have a working fire alarm (there's usually a test button)."


"And a Carbon Monoxide alarm, especially if you have gas anywhere in your place."


"There are different types of plungers for different uses. Learn them and find a store that sells the one you will most likely need."

"Most stores, especially dollar stores, will likely sell only one type. Make sure you know which one you're grabbing."

"Fire extinguishers should have different types, too. Learn what each one is good for what fire. Grease fire from cooking? Candles tipped over?"


"Class A: Solid fires"

"Class B: Liquid Fires"

"Class C: Electrical fires"

"Class D: Chemical fires (think a galaxy note 7)"

"Generally, you should have a few class ABC extinguishers around, as well as a class BC just outside of the kitchen (not in the kitchen or it's not of much use if the whole kitchen catches fire)."


Treat Yourself Right

"Think you're having a relationship with future you. You do nice things to your SO, right? Do the same with future you."


You Really Won't

"You're not going to clean it up later. Just do it now and get it over with."


"Same thing with laundry. If you are thinking about doing it, you have free time to do it. Trust me. You never think of it when there is no time for it. Best to do it then."


"And set a timer so you don't forget about those clothes you put in the washer."

"No one likes coming back the next day to find out your clothes all smell of mildew and you have to start again."



"Everything is more expensive than you think it is and will only ever get more expensive."


"It's all the little things you don't always think of: paper goods, soap, common food staples, garbage bags, etc. You won't buy them every time you go to the store, but you'll feel the impact when you run out."


Rent First

"Budget wisely, pay the roof down. Rent first, then utilities, then phone, internet etc. But always the roof first."


"There are some great budgeting apps out there that can help with this - they really let you see where your funds are going."


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Meal Prep Is Your Friend

"Meal prep and meal planning are your friends. Not only will this save you money because you won't be wasting food you get at the store but you'll be less likely to order takeout."

"Be prepared for expenses. Try to sock a few bucks away each month for emergencies. Even if all you can afford to squeeze out of the budget is $10/month ... DO IT! And don't touch that money unless it's a legit emergency. Needing pizza/beer money/new video game/new clothes/etc is not an emergency."

"The library is your friend. Borrow books - like cookbooks - to learn new skills and pass the time. Borrow cds and dvds and possibly even video games depending on your local library's stock. It can save you a few bucks here and there and gets you in the habit of being thrifty and socking more money away in that emergency account."


Buying In Bulk Really Helps

"Buy non persihable foods in bulk. Rice and beans go quite far, for example."

"Get a good quality kitchen knife, it makes a world of difference in prep work for cooking. It doesn't need to be exorbitantly expensive, just not some cheapo crap from Walmart or Amazon."

"Set schedules for yourself. It is very easy to get used to lounging around with no one telling you to do laundry or house chores. Keep yourself disciplined, but don't forget to reward yourself too!"


Not Optional

"Cleaning is not optional."


"I found that it helps to create a cleaning schedule--ex. dishes every day, laundry every week, bathrooms every other week, vacuum once or twice a month, etc. And then you ignore the schedule and have to clean like crazy ten minutes before company arrives."


"'Don't put it down, put it away' is a mantra I chant to myself often."


You Never Know

"Get your locks changed in case anyone out there has a key."


"And if you have a garage, reprogram your remote. You don't have to buy anything, just press some buttons."


"You'll need to check with your landlord first as a lot of apartment complexes don't allow you to change locks."


Peace Of Mind Is Priceless

"Get a light by your bed. For some reason, every now and then, I get this crippling anxiety that there's someone in the room when I wake up. It could just be a creak from the wind but once the lights on and you can see there's nothing you can go back to sleep without any worry"


"Get a blinding light pointed toward your bedroom door you can turn on from the bed."


You Never Know When You'll Make A Mess

"Get cleaning supplies before you need them."


"At the very minimum, have scouring powder and dish soap. Most household cleaning can be done with a dilute solution of vinegar and water."

"And there is NO substitute for Formula 409."


Cooking Is Actually Fun, Too

"It's way cheaper to cook at home and get food containers for leftovers than it is to order in all the time."

"And also that you should not tell your neighbors too much personal sh*t unless they become your close friends."

"Oh and don't forget to forward your mail from Amazon, eBay, and the post office, or it's going to take a very long time."


"Same goes for drinking at home. Spend one night's bar tab on a box of wine and a cute set of wine glasses instead, and you're set for a while!"


Bulk TP Is A Good Idea Too

"If you have the space, buy nonperishable items like toilet paper or detergent in bulk."


"I remember the first time I had to buy toilet paper my self I was so bewildered like 'why the f**k is this so expensive'"


"Develop some hobbies and passions if you don't have any yet so that you don't go f**king crazy from the loneliness"


"Yep. Got into piano. Musical instruments make good hobbies. Easy to make both shorter and longer term goals since that's basically just pieces you'd like to play."

"What's super nice is a keyboard/digital piano typically allows you to use headphones so you don't have to worry about bothering the neighbors even if you have thin walls or happen to want to play at 3am."

"Also some sort of media consumption hobby you can partake in while doing boring stuff like cleaning is useful. Podcasts, audiobooks, music etc are great to listen to while cleaning or cooking etc."


Don't Be Afraid To Buy Secondhand

"There's tons of good quality furniture available on Facebook marketplace. Second hand furniture of good quality is way better than some Ikea stuff. And it's usually cheaper too, sometimes free"


"Plus, always search for it in the richer part of towns. You'd be surprised what amazing furniture people throw out."


"Garage and estate sales can have some real bargains. The latter are great if you're looking for hardware and tools."


"Secondhand furniture can have bedbugs. Be wary."


"Agreed. I'd steer away from couches and things like that, but it's great for dining tables/chairs, cabinets, tv units, bookshelves, coffee/side tables, bedframes, etc."


Make Sure To Keep In Touch

"Don't forget to call your mom now and then (or another trusted adult, if you don't have a mom or if your mom is not helpful.)"


Crying Can Be Self Care

"If you want to cry then you need to cry, 9/10 times you'll feel much better afterward."


You Wont Need It...Until You Do

"Renter's insurance: get some."


Always Sleep On It If You Can

"Don't spend more than you can pay off each month on a credit card. Debt is suffocating. Also, if you get the itch for a new car but yours is running fine, rent one for a couple of days and then go back to old faithful."

"If you're unsure about something, sleep on it. Not all decisions have to be made immediately."


Living on your own for the first time is usually equal parts exciting and anxiety-inducing. Hopefully these tips will help you prepare for when things don't go quite to plan, and keep you living comfortably in your new digs.

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