As a twenty-something who’s looking to move out, it’s important to focus on where, with who, and how to live in the city. For me, these items were heavy on my mind for a considerable amount of time before I swapped my lifelong family roommates for someone new.
First, think about where you would like to live. It’s important to move to a neighbourhood and living environment that you’re comfortable with and is convenient for your lifestyle. For me, I knew I needed to live in an apartment because I needed parking (while most houses will say they have access to parking in their online posting, most property managers will later tell you to just get a street permit) – this meant I likely wasn’t living in the Annex or Ossington. I also knew I wanted to downtown versus midtown or somewhere too east or west along the Bloor line.
Second, it’s important to seriously consider who you would like to live with. As much as I love my best friends, there are some of them I know I absolutely could never live with. Some people know they want to live alone, but I knew I’d get lonely without a roommate. When I was first planning to move to the city I intended to live with one of my girlfriends from school, but it didn’t work out and I ended up living with an acquaintance. Although Mike and I didn’t know each other very well, before we made the final decision to move in together, we had a serious and honest conversation. We provided our expectations of each other, lifestyle choices and regular routines. So far, so good. Communication is important.
Lastly, it’s important to plan how to live. When I first moved out on my own, I quickly discovered that I could not live the same way I did when living with Mom & Dad. The reality is rent eats a significant portion of my paycheck, and most twenty-somethings have a similar experience. I definitely had to cut down my spending, but it gets easier and easier each month. A few tips:
- walk as much as possible, take the TTC when needed, but try to avoid cabs at all costs;
- while it’s okay to eat out every now and then, go grocery shopping and pack lunches;
- visit the sale rack; and
- always ask yourself, “Do I really need this?”
Believe me, your wallet will thank you.
Do you have any tips for adjusting to moving out of the nest? Please share 🙂