Out of the Nest

A couple of young people that I know quite personally recently got engaged. Now it’s all about the wedding and what not, and planning, and getting ready for the future. They have about a year and a half until the wedding so there is a lot to think about. One thing of great importance is living together and the issue of where and when. Both of these youngsters still live with their parents so while they may think that they’re so mature and independent because they’re getting married, they are still dependent on their parents for shelter and food whenever it’s convenient, and all of the other luxuries of not living on you’re own where you’re dependent on yourself.
I was discussing this issue with my roomie the other night. We talked about how we feel bad for the couple. As of now they don’t really intend on moving out together before the wedding, and not out of moral reasons, but to save money. Personally myself used to be opposed to living together before getting married because I thought that once you were finally married there would be no difference in feeling if you already lived together. But now I actually think it’s a really good idea to live together first, even if it’s just for a short time before the wedding just so that you really know each other in all situations and you know that your marriage will last. However this is not about morals or cohabitation before marriage, this is about being fully, 100% independent. If you’re not going to live with your fiancĂ© before you get married then you at least should live on your own or with a roommate first. Many youngsters do not realize how truly hard it is to be fully independent.
My roomie and I were making light of this now that we have the hang of things, but we were reminiscing about all the things that used to be provided for us that we now have to get ourselves. Some of these items are things that you don’t fully think about being an issue when you move out on your own. Things like dish soap and paper towels. These things were usually just in your kitchen. You also need essentials like toilet paper and who would have thought that toilet paper could be so expensive. You really get what you pay for. My roomie and I have come to not mind two-ply. She found what she calls a “Mexican Market” in the mall that’s she works in and scored on a huge pack of toilet paper for like four bucks, WINNING!
Girls, wait until you’re on a budget and you need to buy your own tampons since your parents aren’t buying you the ones you like anymore. Yeah we went cheap once and got that off brand, card board applicator nonsense. That crap hurts. So we went a step up and got off brand, plastic applicators. Those still aren’t great. There are some things you just can’t be frugal on. My advice for you girls on what not to be frugal on is tampons and razors. Just get the good stuff or you’ll end up sitting weird and uncomfortable seven days out of the month with band-aids on your legs.
Everything else you need though my roomie and I have found suitable alternatives that are affordable. I know it’s sad, but a sacrifice is your good $20 shampoo and in place get the $1.99 Suave. Most of mine and my roomie’s, scratch that, all of our stuff for the kitchen is the generic brand. Our favorite place to shop is Target. We literally get everything there that we don’t even consider the Target brands to be “off brand” anymore. We have learned how to save money with coupons and the cheaper brands. We even get our dish soap and paper towels or napkins at the dollar stores! We have no shame, you have to do what you have to do.
With this we have learned so much. We were both pretty independent to begin with, we both just didn’t pay rent. Now we know how truly hard it is. We keep each other accountable for turning off lights and wasting electricity or paying bills. Even though we have lived on our own for six months now and have the hang of it we are still living paycheck to paycheck. Getting the hang of it doesn’t mean that you eventually have more money, it’s still a struggle. It just means that we have gotten used to living within our means. We have cut costs where we can and know that if we want to spend money on something that isn’t essential we have to save or budget accordingly. In the mean time we are both working hard at work praying we get raises so that we have extra money. I can honestly say that one of the biggest stresses that I’ve experienced was rent last month and the month before when I literally had to go a week on $10. I couldn’t buy anything extra so if I didn’t bring lunch to work, then I didn’t eat, and yes, we do have a stack of ramen in the pantry just in case.
Living on your own for the first time is not easy but it’s doable and takes practice, and good budgeting and planning. I highly recommend you live on your own before you get married. The stress of learning to survive with the stress of a new marriage seems like way too much stress to be combined. Trust me, if my roomie and I can do this, then anyone can.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s