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A Millennial’s guide to independent living

05:04 AM October 25, 2017

Collage posters and re-used furniture allows savings while presenting an eclectic vibe.

In your 20s to 30s, you’re at a time in your life when you can live most freely.

You can pursue your passions. You can choose how to spend your money. You can plan trips and new adventures. But can you finally live on your own?


For many of us so-called millennials, our parents’ home remains our comfort zone. We say that we are adults, but in reality many of us still go home to our parents’ care.

Though our families will always be our safe haven, living on our own allows us to grow and mature. When we live by ourselves, we learn how to cook, to manage the bills, and to become truly independent.

Considering these benefits, we ought to try being on our own at least once in our lives.

Starting out

For sure, you need to have a source of funds to be able to start living on your own.

Some of us may rely on savings or even initial assistance from the parents. Bank loans are an alternative solution, with many of today’s banks offering long payment terms at reasonable interests.

For the typical millennial who is just starting out, however, it would probably be best to weigh the options carefully. Renting might be a better option if budget plays a big role. Jewels Sison, a recent homeowner, puts it this way: “I only rented once I knew I had steady income.”

In terms of housing types, we also have a lot of factors to consider. Convenience and budget usually act opposite to each other. For people who work in the cities, homes near workplaces imply savings in terms of transportation and time.

Urban spaces, however, are usually pricier than the rest because of the demand. On the other hand, if you don’t mind traveling everyday to get to work, living in nearby towns might be a better option.


Town homes city usually offer larger spaces compared to city spaces for the same price.

Fresh plants and flowers can liven up simple spaces.

Another budget-friendly option would be to live with others in a co-housing scheme. It might be a great idea to pool resources together with friends or siblings and get a shared home.

Doing this usually allows us to have a wider array of options because more people mean more resources. It would be best though to make sure that your future housemates are people that you really get along with to avoid any trouble in the future.

The division of the house ownership has to be clearly delineated too to avoid conflicts.

Decorating on a budget

Once you have secured a home, the next step would be to furnish and decorate it. For many new homeowners, furniture begin with the basics.

A bed, a lamp, a table and a chair are some of the most basic items you can cover with a simple budget. Kitchen appliances and storage cabinets are also worthy investments that would prove useful in the long run.

If you have more resources, however, then by all means decorate away.

Decorating need not be a most expensive task. If you have creative hands and an open mind, you can easily make useful items out of everyday materials.

Do-it-yourself furniture allows you to modify items according to your needs and preferences. Moreover, re-purposing items allow you to save well while maintaining an eclectic theme around your home.

You do have to consider whether you are decorating for the short-term or for the long-run. Also, professional advice from architects or interior designers can help.

Contrary to popular belief, experts help save money because they help us avoid mistakes and identify our preferences.

Home maintenance

Lastly, after all the purchasing and decorating has been accomplished, you would have to maintain the upkeep of your home. As difficult it may be, it would be best if you could clean your home by yourself.

With the right tools and detergents, your home would always be up to your standards if you are the one maintaining it.

Tin cans could be turned into decorative lamps with a little bit of creativity.

If it is not possible, however, there are agencies that provide cleaning services. These agencies usually can remove difficult stains and clean hard-to-reach areas for a certain fee. They are worth looking into if you lack the skills and time to thoroughly clean your home.

We millennials have the future ahead of us. Young as we may be, investing in our own homes is a wise decision because the real estate market usually rises over time.

Though it may prove difficult at first, the lessons and skills developed are worth the first few difficult years. Living alone may not always be a bed of roses, but it’s a huge leap towards adulthood.

The author is a young architect who studied abroad and currently works for DSFN Architects. She currently lives in a co-housing setup in the city which has helped her develop cooking and cleaning skills.

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