Not many people know about my failed move out experience many years ago, but I thought I would give you all a bit of a laugh and share it with you today. Maybe you will learn something from it and maybe you will just have a laugh at my expense and congratulate yourself that you are doing much better in life than I am. As most of you know, I recently got engaged and with that comes the responsibility of saving for and planning a wedding. I am also saving for my first home. Still living at home certainly helps with both of that and all of this planning has made me think about the time I tried to move out and how prepared I need to be this time.
Before shaming myself, I just want to ask one question and I would love it if you answered in the comments section. Do you know how to change a lightbulb?
This research is courtesy of LightBulbs Direct and okay I feel pretty weird having to clarify this, but I do know how to change a light bulb. Sure my height works against me, but give me a ladder or a boost and I can get one changed. Thinking about school and the life skills it taught me, I can’t help but feel I was let down in that area. Things might have changed since my day, but we didn’t really have any life skills lessons. Don’t they teach home economics classes in the USA that involve; raising a baby, budgeting, running a household how to be active in your community etc..? I didn’t get anything like this, unless you count Food Technology and I can’t help but wonder if it would have prepared me better for adult life. Sure, I wouldn’t mind knowing more about car maintenance (changing a tyre), but I would have found it really useful to know more about budgeting and what owning/renting my own home involved.
Anyway, I promised you a move out tale…
At the sweet and innocent age of 18 I was working as a full time travel advisor, getting paid and feeling all grown up and ready to fly the nest. My brother rented a 2 bedroom house not too far away and asked If I wanted to move in with him. Having no clue what this involved at all, I jumped at the chance and against the advice of my mum I moved on in. My brother is a typical guy and has no idea or care for furniture, furnishings or decorating a house. All he needed was a kitchen, bed and his computer, the rest of the details were left to me. So when I moved into this old house, it was quite a shock. I suddenly had the responsibility of paying rent, food shopping, cleaning and cooking. I should mention here that I was a sheltered 18 year old, but the biggest shock of all was how lonely I felt in this old quiet house and just 7 days in I was miserable. Whilst I got on well with my brother and still do, we didn’t really spend any time together. I ended up being stuck in an old creepy house without any real furniture, lonely and missing the comforts of home. I also had to start watching my money and think about the rent I needed to pay, food I needed to buy and what little money I had left over to actually turn that house into a home. As you can probably guess it didn’t end up working out and two weeks in I crumbled, called my mum, sobbed my heart out and begged her to let me come home. I felt like a failure and all my mum kept saying was “I told you that you weren’t ready or prepared for this”. At the time I hated her for it, but she was right, I really wasn’t. If I had been more prepared, I probably could have stuck at it. So what would I do different in hindsight?
Take longer than 5 minutes to consider my brothers proposal – Deciding to move in with someone is a big decision and one that I learned shouldn’t be taken lightly. My advice, all be it quite limited, is to really think it through.
Be involved in the house viewing and selection process – I wasn’t part of the process from start to finish and I didn’t like the house. It gave me the creeps and was a big part of why I went back home. This time around I’m moving in with Harry and we both have to like the house and location, otherwise no dice.
Look at my finances to see if I could afford it – I wasn’t doing too bad, but going from having no outgoings to suddenly having rent, bills and food to pay/buy was scary. Sitting down before and planning would have really helped me and this time around we have spent a lot of time talking about this and budgeting. Harry is already a home-owner, so he is more in the know than I am and that really helps.
Move in with someone I am compatible with – Just because he is my brother, doesn’t mean he is the prefect house-mate. If anything he was an insensitive jerk who had no idea about how to turn a house into a home. So always make sure if you are moving in with someone else, you get along and you both understand how it’s going to work. This time around, I said yes to the proposal, so I shouldn’t have done that if I couldn’t imagine spending the rest of life with him.
Discuss roles and household responsibilities before moving in – If you don’t talk about these things before, can you really moan when it goes south? I ended up being the maid and this time around we are already talking about who is going to be responsible for what. Harry is a perfectionist and a much better cleaner than I am, so I personally think he would be better suited to cleaning..but we both understand really it’s a shared responsibility and I will not be doing all of the cooking. He thinks I haven’t noticed his attempts to trap me in the kitchen with his mum to learn how to cook his favourite dishes.
Like I said, I was a young sheltered 18 year old who had no clue about what moving out really involved or what the real world was like. But answer me this, can you change a lightbulb?
*Sponsored post in collaboration with LightBulbs Direct. All thoughts, opinions & experiences are my own.