Living Independently for the First Time: 4 Things You Need to Know

Whether you’re newly married, have just started a job in a new city, or simply want to experience what it’s like to live alone, moving out of your family home and into your own space can be a big adjustment. Having your own place means you’ll have to take the lead on everyday responsibilities like cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, paying the bills, and more. And if you’ll be sharing living space with your spouse for the first time, then all sorts of discoveries about their everyday habits, routines, and attitudes that you didn’t have the chance to observe before are just around the corner.

Hence, while the idea of independent living can be alluring, it’s important to make sure you’re fully prepared before you take the plunge. Before jumping the gun and looking for an apartment rental or applying for a housing loan Philippines-based banks offer, it’s best to familiarize yourself with what to expect. Whether you’re going to be living alone or with a partner, it will definitely help you to keep the following things in mind: 

Responsible Money Management Is a Must

Living on your own comes with significant financial responsibilities, and costs can quickly pile up even if you’re already used to managing your own money. Once you move in, one of the first things you should do is sit down and draw up a budget that will allow you to meet your financial obligations while still living comfortably. Record all your transactions to track how much you’re spending, then review your budget at the end of your first month and adjust it if necessary.

Newlyweds need to communicate about their finances regularly to ensure that they’re always on the same page when it comes to money. Ideally, you’ll want to have an extended, honest conversation about your financial status before you get married and move in together. Some essential money matters you’ll want to discuss with your partner include the following:

  • Are you bringing debt into the relationship? If so, how much? How do you and your partner intend to tackle debt as a couple?
  • Will you maintain separate bank accounts, use a joint account, or some combination of the two?
  • What are your long-term financial goals?

Essential Items Are Best Bought in Bulk

Living alone means you won’t always have someone on hand to run out to the store and get you what you need if you’re sick or otherwise occupied. Instead, it’s best to stock up on nonperishable foods and other essential supplies that will come in handy in your everyday life. That way, you won’t be caught unprepared in the unlikely event of an emergency.

Nonperishable foodstuffs to stock up on can include canned meats, dried pasta, instant noodles, and other similar items. You’ll also want to keep a thermometer, disinfectant sprays, and a good supply of basic medicines like painkillers and cold meds in your medicine cabinet. Lastly, set aside matches, candles, flashlights, extra batteries, and other items you can use during power outages and extreme weather disturbances. 

Stay on Top of Household Chores

A clean and organized environment is much more pleasant to inhabit than a cluttered, chaotic one, so do your best to keep your space clean even if there aren’t any other people around to see the mess. That’s not to say you need to do a hard-core deep clean daily—in fact, you’d be surprised what a difference just a little effort makes. Don’t let laundry pile up, and do your dishes as soon as possible. Wipe down any table and counter surfaces you’ve used before going to bed. Vacuuming regularly can also help you keep your space free of dust, crumbs, and other dirt.

It may be especially helpful for newlyweds to divide household chores based on their personal strengths and preferences. Perhaps one of you enjoys doing laundry while the other would rather wash up in the kitchen. Then you can take turns doing tasks neither of you finds particularly pleasant, like cleaning the bathroom. You’ll be well on your way to running a smooth and efficient household if you both have clear responsibilities from the start.

It Pays to Be Nice to Your Neighbors

While there’s no need to be best friends with the people next door, it’s definitely beneficial to introduce yourself and exchange greetings with them every once in a while. If you end up getting along, you’ll have more people to turn to if you need small favors, advice about the neighborhood, or even just a little companionship when you or your partner are in want of some company. Demonstrate that you’re glad to have your neighbors’ backs, and they’ll hopefully do the same for you down the line.


As nerve-wracking as it can initially seem, living independently can also be a grand adventure. Making the proper preparations and staying on top of your everyday responsibilities will put you in the best position to enjoy your newfound freedom.