By Aurora McCausland
Moving out and living on your own, especially for the very first time, can be an intimidating experience. Most of the skills you need to survive on your own, aren’t things that you were taught in high school. You don’t really need to know anything about mitochondria, how to find the square root of most numbers, or how to format a paper in MLA format. For everyday existence, there’s an entirely different set of skills you should attain before living on your own.
How to take care of your car
A surprising amount of people have no idea how to change a tire. If they find themselves with a flat, they call roadside assistance, or wait and hope someone friendly will stop and help them change it. Avoid this situation altogether, by simply learning how to change a tire. And while you’re at it, learning a few of the ins and outs of simple car repairs for your car, isn’t a bad idea. Learning how to change the oil in your car will save you money every few months when it comes time to get it changed. It’s a job that you can do yourself, takes less than twenty minutes, and is incredibly easy to do. Learning how to take care of your car will help you save money and help you feel more secure when you drive your car.
How to budget and manage your finances
Unless your parents were really good at teaching you how to manage your finances, it’s very possible that you’ll find yourself lost and stressed about paying your bills on time, when you move out. Balancing a budget isn’t nearly as a difficult of a job as many people think it is, but it’s an intimidating task if you have no idea what you’re doing. One of the easiest things to do, is set up an allotted budget per month for different expense categories. Things such as eating out, groceries, gas, utilities, rent, etc. There are a lot of great apps, such as Mint, that will help you keep track of your spending habits. Just make sure that you pay your bills on time, and your income is always higher than your expenses.
How to check your furnace and AC units
There is little worse than being in the dead of summer in the middle of a heat wave, and your air conditioning not functioning. Just as bad, being in the middle of a snowstorm and your furnace breaking. Some things are really big jobs and will require a handyman who knows what they’re doing. But it’s worth your time to learn a few of the basic functions of how to work and fix your furnace and air conditioning units, as well as your water heater, so if something goes awry, you can make temporary repairs until a professional is available to come take a look at it.
How to do basic household maintenance
Some parents require a lot from their children, while others, require very little. No matter where you fall on this spectrum, it’s important that you know how to manage and take care of your household. Things like, how to wash dishes by hand, basic cooking skills, how to do laundry, and the most efficient ways to sweep and mop, are necessary to know if you’ll be living on your own. Some of these may seem basic, but if they’re things you’ve only ever witnessed your parents doing, and have never had to do for yourself, you may want to pay a little more attention and lend a hand next time your parents are making dinner.
How to manage stress
Living on your own is stressful. Whether you live completely alone, with roommates, or with a significant other, moving out of the comfort of your parents’ home is a stressful transition. No matter how prepared you are, and how many necessary skills you already know, you’ll feel stressed out during this time. That’s normal! Learn healthy coping skills so you can maintain your sanity and manage your stress when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Things such as self-care, breathing exercises, and time management, will help tremendously when you find yourself overwhelmed and stressed out.