Before moving out of your parents’ house and heading off to school (or out into the real world if you’re a recent graduate), there are a few things you must know how to do. Here are 20 of them…
1. How To Have Your Car Fixed!
When your parents aren’t around and something happens to your car, call YourMechanic. They can come to you and take care of anything from putting on your spare tire, to regular maintenance and battery replacements. If you use the code STUDENTPERK you even get $20 off your first service!
2. How to do your own laundry.
When you live on your own, you have to know how to do your own laundry. Mom isn’t there anymore to help you sort colors, whites, darks…and trust me, you don’t want to be like Rachel from Friends and turn all your clothes pink. Not a good look.
3. How to do your own dishes.
Okay. You might not do them for the first month, but eventually your apartment is going to start to smell. Dishwashers are a great thing, but only if you take the moment to wash off your plate and stick it in the dishwasher…and remember to start it every now and then.
4. How to cook SOMETHING decent.
You cannot, I repeat, cannot live off of Ramen noodles. You might be able to eat them for a couple weeks and ignore the bloated feeling from all the salt, but eventually you need to learn to cook something. Even if it’s just putting some butter on a chicken breast and baking it for an hour, at least that’s something.
5. How to put out a fire.
Or at least a general knowledge of how to use your fire extinguisher, because chances are, you will catch something on fire. Maybe you forgot to put water in your cup of noodles during your Ramen kick? Fire extinguisher is your best friend.
6. How to clean out your fridge.
Knowing how to do this before moving out cannot be stressed enough. Just clean it out. Food molds and then it leaks and then your fridge stinks and then you have to clean out sticky moldy food. It’s better to just clean it out before every grocery shopping trip.
7. How to budget.
Just because you could buy that shirt when you lived with mom and dad does not mean you can buy it now that you live on your own. Budgeting will only help you, it can even be fun!
8. How to pay bills.
Living on your own isn’t fun when you forgot to pay the electric bill and you come home to actual hell because it’s dark and hot. You don’t realize how stressful getting 3 bills at once (that you can’t pay) is until it happens. Know when everything is due and I promise online bill pay was made by God.
9. That asking your parents to spot you is OKAY.
Your parents are always going to help you if you need it. Now, I wouldn’t make a habit out of asking your parents for money, but asking only when you absolutely need it is totally acceptable. You don’t need to feel bad about it.
10. How to clip coupons.
Okay. I know you’re probably thinking this is stupid, but coupons actually do save tons of money. It’s so useful and you can make it fun if you get two Sunday newspapers and do it with your roommate or significant other.
11. How to balance a checkbook.
Before moving out of your parents’ place, ask them to teach you how to do this. Honestly, this is just something they should begin to teach in high school. Once you know how, it’s easy and takes two seconds…and it’ll make your life a million times easier, I promise.
12. Know the importance of savings and open a savings account.
Do this before moving out because it’s a lot easier to save money when you don’t have bills to pay and responsibilities to handle. I promise if you save up $300 or $400 you will be so much better off when surprise expenses pop up.
13. That pets are more expensive than you think.
Think about this before you turn into a cat lady. It’s an extra mouth to feed and take care of. If you can’t afford to feed yourself, please don’t get a pet. They’re extremely special and so worth it, but if you cannot afford it then you should not have one.
14. That gas is so, so, so expensive.
When you do your budget, ALWAYS set aside enough money for the month just for gas. Gas doesn’t always go a long way and sometimes you think you have plenty of gas and then you get in the car and your gas light comes on, it happens to the best of us.
15. The importance of waking up on time.
Being late is never cute and it is super inconsiderate. Set an alarm, do whatever you need to do because your mom isn’t there anymore to make sure you’re up and ready for school.
16. When to go bed early.
I promise going to bed at 2 am is only fun until you have to wake up the next morning. It’s almost never worth it.
17. That you don’t have to go to every party.
Parties are like going to bed late, they are only fun until the next morning when you have to get up and clean your apartment hungover. Pick and choose your battles.
18. You can’t make everyone happy.
You cannot make everyone happy, so when your neighbors complain, just apologize as genuinely as possible. They are going to complain that you walk too heavy or that you play your music too loud or that you breathed at 1 am on a Friday night. It’s inevitable.
19. You’ll probably learn more than you want to about your roommate.
You learn that they clip their toenails on the couch, that they drink out of the carton, and that they have night terrors and scream at night. You will learn a million terrible things about your roommate but what makes up for the lack of sleep due to their night terrors is the fun times you have with them. It’s honestly the coolest thing ever.
20. That you need to visit your parents.
This is the most important. Always, always visit your parents because they will so appreciate it. Your parents are the reason you are where you are, so always visit and don’t just go when you need something, go just because. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.