How to live alone as a woman?

 How to live alone as a woman?

How to live alone as a woman?

The question here is not “why” women should live alone but rather “how” can they live alone? It is 2022 and if we still have to discuss the reasons as to why women should live alone then all the talks of equality and feminism have been just a big pompous show-off. If a woman wants to live alone, she should be able to live alone. It should not be up for discussion.

There are a number of reasons why a woman wants to live alone. Maybe they moved away from home to pursue their higher studies or maybe they got a job in another city or country or maybe they want to be independent. Whatever may be the reason society should support them in their decision as you may find out living alone may not be all it’s cut out be.

Moving away from home is hard as it is and if you decide to live alone it can add-on to your difficulty. Living alone may have some trepidations. It can be quite unnerving to manage everything on your own. All the responsibilities of the house are on you, if you screw up the onus falls on you alone. But if you have set your mind on living alone then power through all the fears and just go for it. After all, living alone can be quite exhilarating. You now own the space you are living in, it’s your roof, your living room, your kitchen and you can do as you please. You do not have to answer anyone about your whereabouts and the best thing is you can have your own schedule.

But you now being an adult with responsibilities should know that living alone is not all fun. If you want to live alone and do it well then you can follow these tips:

1.    Do thorough research before renting or buying a house.

Before renting or buying a house you should take many factors into consideration. Factors like a good locality, how far your place falls from your workplace or your school. The rent and cost of a house in relation to the amenities and its location.  Do take into consideration how big of a place you want, how many rooms you want, will all the stuff you have will fit into the given space, and what amenities are they providing. Also, consider the means through which you’ll look for a house, like through a broker, getting help from a friend, or looking online.  

2.    Save the handyman’s number.

With renting and buying a house comes many responsibilities. The house needs constant care and repairs for them to be in good shape. And sometimes those repairs can only be done by a professional. In this case, if you have a handyman or repairman’s number you can easily get the repairs done. The repairs around the house can be a leaking tap, a broken toilet, a fused light, or a broken air conditioner. So, it is important to keep all the important numbers in your contact list. By also saving their numbers you need to know how much they should charge you for the work they have done. Keep the information handy as they can overcharge you. Be firm and authoritative with them and let them tell you how much they want for their services. If the said amount is more than what they usually charge from other people then tell them the same.

3.    Be financial literate

Now that you are living alone, all the financial responsibility now falls under you. It would not be wise and very adult-like to go to your mother and father for managing your finances. So, it is advisable to learn all about finances. Manage your own bank accounts, fill out the TDR forms on time, and know which investment plan is best and is good in the long run.

Being financial literate not only means knowing where to invest but also keeping track of your money. Know how much money is in your savings account, how much will be left at the end of the month after paying all the bills, and how to do your taxes. Doing taxes can be difficult and for this, you may require some help. So, you can get help from some of your friend who knows about this stuff, or you can get a help of an accountant.

4.    Make a Budget

Growing up with your parents you must have noticed that your parents would make a budget at the start of the month to run the house. And that is the smart thing to do if you want to run a house smoothly. So, just like your parents draw up a budget at the start of the month. To make a budget you need to follow some steps:

·       First calculate your net income and how much is the monthly income flow.

·       Then make a list of all the bills, rents, food and stuff you spend your money on.

·       After this calculate how much money you spend on these things monthly.

·       And you have your budget

·       Stick to that budget and adjust your spending accordingly.

·       But with an increase in prices, you may go over budget, so it is better to review your budget regularly.

5.    Learn to do basic maintenance things

Women should know how to do basic repairs around the house. It is not only a man’s job to repair stuff around the house. To be complete independent do not rely on anyone else. You are a smart capable working woman; you can learn to maintain your house. We are not talking about major repairs like electrical issues, major plumbing etc. but small stuff which is basically life skills everyone should know. The basic maintenance task and repairs you should know how to do includes:

·       Learning to shut off the main water supply

·       Unclogging a sink or drain

·       If you have gutters then clean them regularly

·       Replacing a light bulb or fixture

·       How to hammer a nail on the wall

·       Regularly clean your fans and chimney if you have some

·       If you have washing machines then clean them regularly

·       Defreeze your refrigerators regularly

6.    Do not allow strangers inside your house

If you live alone especially as a woman you need to be extra cautious. When you’ll move you will get all kinds of advice from people telling you how to be safe, what to do and what not to do. Even a quick google search will throw you all kinds of tips and advice you need to take when living alone as a woman. The most important and the most heard of them all is that whenever someone comes to your door and it is a stranger you should not allow them to enter the house. They may be food delivery people, a courier man, a mailman, or any other vendor. You should take the delivery on your doorstep only and pay for it there only.

Even if for some reason they have to come into the house you have to be cautious. Keep your main door open till they have done their work and keep an eye on them. Always ask for their identification, check for a badge, uniform, or any other signs. Communicate keep with them and ask if they need anything, and make the appointments in the daytime only.

7.    Make a schedule for your daily life

When you live alone you will have a whole lot of freedom. You don’t have to tell anyone where you are going, you can come and go as you please. You will cook your own food and there is no one who will tell you what to eat. You can binge-watch Netflix or any other OTT platform you want. But all this freedom may leave you disorganised and disoriented. This may also affect your mental health. You may develop bad habits of not cleaning your house, not washing those dirty dishes with no sleeping pattern, and not eating on time. So, to avoid going further down this rabbit hole you need to make a schedule for your daily life and stick to it. Wake up at a fixed time, and go to sleep at a fixed time. Have all your meals at a particular time and do not delay in doing your house chores. Having a schedule will give you a purpose on the days you do not have anything to do.

8.    Connect with your neighbours

Living alone does not entail you being lonely. It is always a smart move to connect with your neighbours. They are the first ones who help you when you are in some kind of trouble. And if you ever feel lonely and just want to hang out you can go and hang out with them and just talk in general. Also, it is good from the perspective of you living alone. Being friends with your neighbour will make them care about you and they will look after you. Connecting with your neighbours will bring many opportunities where you do not have to cook and they will invite you to dinners or give you home-cooked meals.

Every woman, if possible, should live alone at some point in their life. In the western community, girls move out at the age of 18. But this is not the case in Indian or many South Asian cultures. Many women go from living with their parents to living with their husbands. They do not learn to be completely independent and are dependent on other people in their life. Living alone builds character and makes you clear with your goals with what you want in your life. So, maybe give it a try and who knows you will love it.

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