When we move out of our parents’ house, we usually either start out in a dorm room or in an apartment with a couple of roommates. But as we get older and move up in our jobs (and therefore in our salary range), the idea of living alone becomes increasingly appealing. So how do you know if you’re financially or emotionally ready to live alone? Here are a few things that can clue you in:
You’re Starting to Earn More Money
The first big clue that you’re ready to live on your own is that you are earning enough money to pay for an apartment each month without too much of a struggle. The golden rule of rent affordability is to spend no more than 30 percent of your monthly take-home income on an apartment. Calculate your take-home pay for one month and figure out what that 30 percent figure is. Can that number get you at least a decent studio apartment that will work for your needs? If not, you might want to consider living with a roommate a little longer so that you can afford a nicer place on your own later on.
If you find that there are some nice rentals that fall in that 30 percent (or less) range, then maybe you should seriously start to look for a place of your own. Although no apartment is perfect, you need to at least be sure that your place isn’t too far away from work and that it has most of the things on your wishlist (such as a dishwasher, washer/dryer, hardwood floors, etc.).
Your Roommates Are Driving You Crazy
Living with a roommate can be really great — until it just isn’t anymore. Unless you have a dream roommate that doubles as a best friend and is someone you actually love spending time with, living with a roommate can start to get old after a certain point in your life. You might grow tired of always having to remind them to do the dishes, clean their side of the bathroom, or to please not have anyone over on Friday nights because you have a really early spin class on Saturday mornings. A roommate can sometimes get in the way of how you really want to live your life, and after a while, you might just be ready to come home to a place that’s entirely yours.
You’re Ready to Decorate Your Own Apartment
You’re long past the days of hanging up posters on your dorm room wall with sticky tack. You envision a sophisticated grown-up apartment with beautiful furnishings and plenty of equipment to cook meals and entertain your guests with. If you’re done compromising on the common area decor, you might be ready for an entire space to inhabit on your own. If you have both the desire and the budget to do so, you might just be ready for your own apartment.
Moving out on your own also forces you to buy everything you’ll need for yourself instead of dividing it up between roommates. There’s nothing like the feeling of knowing that you completely furnished your whole apartment yourself.
You and Your Significant Other Need Some Privacy
The old saying “three’s a crowd” is never truer than when you’re trying to have a romantic evening with your significant other only to have your roommate walk in. Whether they’re interrupting a romantic dinner or a night of Netflix binging on the couch, having a roommate constantly ruin your alone time can get a little old. Having your own apartment means that you can have your boyfriend or girlfriend over any time you like without having to feel guilty about them invading a roommate’s space. You may not be ready to move in with your significant other, but moving into your own place will give the two of you some much needed space where you can just relax and enjoy being together.
You Work from Home and Need an Office Space
As telecommuting becomes increasingly common, more employees are starting to need a little more space to fit their desks and work equipment in their apartments. If you don’t enjoy having a work space in your bedroom and there’s not enough space in the living or dining area to put a desk, then it might be time for you to move into your own place. Even if you can only afford a studio apartment, it’ll still feel better than being cramped in your room all day working. Being able to divide your space up into work and relaxation areas is extremely helpful when you’re working from home. If you have a roommate, then this just becomes more difficult, as the space isn’t completely yours to make that decision.