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How to live on your own: A complete guide


Learn how to live on your own and enjoy independent living

Whether you’ve decided it’s time to move out of your parents’ house or you want to get a place without roommates, it’s an exciting time. Getting your own place will get you outside of your comfort zone and into an independent living situation. You’ll transition your mindset to focus on things like how much does it cost to furnish an apartment and setting up your life to suit your unique needs and lifestyle. It’s definitely a big change for any person, and it’s one that may leave you wondering how to live on your own.

Looking for tips to help you make the leap to independent living? You can explore our handy guide about how to live on your own. You’ll discover everything you need to know, from how to handle your finances to how to manage your mental health and happiness. 

How much does it cost to live on your own?

When you start thinking about how to live on your own, questions about finances will likely cross your mind. Getting your own place without a roommate isn’t cheap, so you’ll need to have enough money to afford your monthly living expenses. We recommend considering the following costs when apartment hunting and making your monthly budget.

For starters, you’ll need to have enough money to afford rent without a roommate. The amount you’ll pay each month for your apartment will vary depending on the city you live in and the type of apartment you select. Whether you have a long-term or a short term lease can also affect your rent cost – remember, figuring out how to get out of a lease is extremely difficult, so you want to plan ahead as accurately as possible. As a result, your monthly rent could range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Also, keep in mind that you’ll likely have to pay a security deposit and your first and last month’s rent when you first sign your lease.

As you might have guessed, cities like New York City and San Francisco tend to have higher housing costs than many Midwestern and Southern cities. However, you can often still afford living in the city by renting just outside of the city or living in less trendy areas.

Rent won’t be your only expense when you’re living on your own. You’ll also need to consider the cost of utility bills. While some apartments include utilities in the rent, not all of them do. As a result, you’ll want to know what bills you’ll need to pay at your new apartment when you’re living without a roommate.

Some utilities that you might end up paying for include heat, water and sewer, electricity, internet and cable, and gas. Your apartment might end up including some of these utilities in the cost of your monthly rent. And although it’s not a utility, you’ll also want to consider the cost of renter’s insurance.

When you’re renting an apartment on your own, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of other apartment expenses like food and home furnishings. If you’ve been living with roommates, you’ll likely already have some furniture and home essentials that you can bring with you. Before you move, take stock of what you can take with you and what items you’ll need to purchase because they belong to your roommate. 

What do I need to know about finances when I’m living on my own?

When you’ll be living life on your own, you’ll need to learn more about finances and budgeting. In addition to developing (and sticking to) a monthly budget, it’s a good idea to get a little financial education. Since you’ve been living with a roommate, you probably already have a basic understanding of finances and budgeting. However, it never hurts to have a quick refresher.

First, you’ll want to know your credit score. This number can determine everything from whether you can rent an apartment to whether you’re approved for a credit card. For reference, a fair credit score is 580 to 669, and a good credit score tends to be between 670 and 739. If you have a score of 740 to 799, you have a very good score. While a credit score of 800 or higher is excellent.

It’s also important to understand how to use a credit card wisely. While a credit card might seem like free money, you do have to pay it back, and you don’t want to get in over your head and sink into too much debt. As a result, only borrow what you can afford to pay back. Some other tips for smart credit card use include paying your bills on time, frequently checking your bank account, striving to make at least the minimum payment, and keeping your balance below 30% of your credit limit.

Now that you’ll be paying rent without help from a roommate, budgeting will be more important than ever before. This means you’ll want to take some time to list your monthly sources of income and your expenses. You’ll also want to consider how much money you’ll need to pay for fun activities, including eating out, paying for a gym membership and traveling. Putting all these numbers down on paper (or on a screen) can help you get a clear view of your finances. It can also help you see areas where you may be able to cut expenses.

How does living on your own affect mental health?

When you’re moving out on your own, it’s a thrilling time. It’s an opportunity for you to start creating your ideal life, and for many, it can be a time when you can start being your true self. However, it can also be stressful to deal with the challenges of independent living. 

You might feel overwhelmed by all the changes at first. After all, you’re now financially responsible for your bills – without having a roommate to chip in. As you try to navigate the financial side of living on your own, you’re also having to find time to work, have a social life, run errands, and keep up with the household chores around your apartment. 

It’s easy to fall into a perfectionist mindset and beat yourself up when you don’t feel like you’re doing everything right. However, it’s important to know that no one is perfect, and there’s a learning curve as you learn how to live on your own. Give yourself grace. Not only that, take the time to celebrate your wins and enjoy the little things in life that bring you joy in the present moment.

It’s also common to experience loneliness if you’re living without a roommate. When you’re living with someone, you almost always have someone around to spend time with. Going from this arrangement to an apartment where only you live can be quite a switch. To combat the loneliness, we recommend getting out to visit friends and meet new people, which is easy in one of our apartments or coliving spaces. Getting a pet like a dog or a cat (if your apartment allows it) can also help you feel a little less lonely. After all, there’s nothing like coming home to a furry friend who can’t wait to see you.

Finally, if you feel too overwhelmed, lonely, anxious, or depressed while living on your own without being surrounded by loved ones, a mental health counselor can help you feel better. Many young adults turn to counselors to help them work through issues in their lives. These professionals provide a safe and confidential space for you to discuss problems and concerns. Your counselor will then work with you to develop coping strategies to improve your life.

Moving into one of our apartments can be a great way to help you live on your own

We make living on your own a little easier by offering private apartments. With options that include studios as well as one- and two-bedroom apartments, you can enjoy independent living in your own space. Our apartments provide beautiful and comfortable living spaces in some of the most popular cities in the United States. Not only that, but our apartments are fully furnished and offer convenient amenities and responsive property management. Best of all, our properties offer a built-in community, making it easy to mingle and make new friends. Learn more about our private apartments today.

If you’re looking for a shared living space, we also offer furnished, coliving spaces that can be a great way to help you get on the path to independent living. You can enjoy city living in popular U.S. destinations for an attainable price by renting a private room in a beautiful, all-inclusive shared suite. Best of all, each space comes equipped with all the furniture and home essentials you need, allowing you to save money on furnishing your space. Explore our coliving spaces today!


  1. https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/what-is-the-average-age-to-move-out-of-your-parents-house
  2. https://www.moneyunder30.com/cost-to-live-alone
  3. https://www.equifax.com/personal/education/credit/score/what-is-a-good-credit-score
  4. https://www.capitalone.com/learn-grow/money-management/use-credit-wisely/

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