Thinking about moving out for the first time? Congrats!
That’s a massive step to take towards gaining independence. But there’s a big question you need to answer before packing your boxes: are you going to live alone or have a roommate?
There are a ton of advantages of living alone (I’m personally a big fan), but it might not be the right move for everyone.
So, in an attempt to help you make that decision, let’s talk about what benefits living alone brings:
Advantages of living alone
1. True independence
The biggest advantage you get living alone (in my humble opinion) is that you’re truly independent. Once you’re on your own, you don’t have to ask anyone for permission or advice. Instead, you can live life exactly how you want to.
There’s no need for you to worry about anyone else’s opinion. I’m a firm believer that everyone should experience this sometime in their life. Eventually, you might have a partner and a family — before you do that, make sure you understand how to be independent.
When you live with someone else, whether it’s family, friends or someone else, you give up privacy. Even with separate rooms, you share common space.
This means that you have to be mindful of what you say and do, as well as when you’re doing it. Even if you have a good relationship, it can often feel like you need to put on a (figurative) mask in your public space.
Not everyone likes peace and quite as much as I do, but it’s a BIG plus in the living alone category. There’s no need to worry about loud music or late-night parties disturbing your sleep.
Not to mention you don’t have to be quiet either — if you’re a night owl or early riser, you can make as much noise as you want without disturbing anyone else.
4. Your own space
It’s not just about the emotional independence, but having your own space means more control over your overall living situation… and your décor!
You can decorate however you want to and truly make the space your own. Need some inspiration? One Instagram account I HIGHLY recommend for renter-friendly décor inspiration is @honeyidressedthepug.
5. As clean as you want it
One of the biggest struggles of living with another person is maintaining the cleanliness of the home based on everyone’s standards. It can be hard to agree what tidy and clean are supposed to look like.
Whether you’re the messy roommate or you don’t want to live with one, it’s better to live on your own so you keep your space how you want.
6. No rules (except your own)
Independence comes in many forms, and one of those is the lack of rules. If you live with someone else, you’ll likely have some form of rules that have to be adhered to.
While you have more input as a fully-grown adult, there are still compromises that needs to be made. If you’re looking to live alone, you can make all of your own rules and stick to them.
7. No food sharing
Food gets expensive, which you only realize as you become an adult and have to start paying for it. Luckily, if you’re living alone, you can eat what you want without having to worry about sharing it with someone else.
8. Set the temperature
Not everyone likes to keep the thermostat at the same setting. I LOVE a nice cool room, but that’s not the case for everyone. When you’re sharing space, you need to compromise by finding a temperature that works for everyone involved. But when you’re alone you can set that bad boy at whatever temperature you want.
Planning on having a special someone or even friends over? You can do it whenever you want when you live by yourself. With a roommate, you’ll likely need to agree who can come over and when. Some people are weird about having people over. So
Be sure to check with your roommate first. You don’t want to have to worry about them coming home and being startled by a stranger in their house.
if you want to invite friends over for a party or have people stay overnight, you can do so without having to ask for permission from a roommate
10. Get to know yourself
Growing up means growing into yourself, and one of the big advantages of living alone is the opportunity to get to know yourself better.
You have the opportunity to figure out who you are when no one’s around, what you like, and where you want to go.
Disadvantages of living alone
1. More expensive
Living alone can be expensive. You’re responsible for 100% of the rent, utilities and other bills. If you have a roommate, these bills are split, making the costs overall easier for you as an individual to handle.
How much this matters depends on your financial situation. Many people who have first moved out simply cannot afford living alone, but others make it work just fine.
Living alone can get lonely at times. When all your friends are out with their roommates or significant others and you’re stuck at home by yourself, it’s easy to feel left out and isolated. While being alone has a ton of advantages, it’s important to pay attention to the times when you’re not feeling as good.
If you start feeling isolated, make sure to reach out to your loved ones and set up regular social activities so you don’t become too withdrawn.
There are pros and cons to having all the responsibility, and one of those is that you’re the only one to deal with issues when they arise.
If something goes wrong in your home—a pipe bursts or the power goes out—you’ll be solely responsible for fixing it since there’s no one else around to help.
4. Safety concerns
I want to point out that I’ve lived alone for most of my adult life and haven’t had any issues. But some people, especially ones that have JUST moved out on their own are, are a little concerned about safety.
If this is a concern for you, consider investing in some security features like an alarm system or a dog (just make sure your lease allows pets first!).
So, should you live alone?
Whether you move out alone or with someone else is entirely up to you. There are pros and cons to both situations, and it ultimately comes down to personal preference. If you feel like you would thrive with your own space and wouldn’t mind being responsible for everything in your apartment, then go for it!
On the other hand, if you would prefer to share expenses and have someone around most of the time, then finding roommates might be a better option for you. Trust your gut and go with whatever feels right for you!