My reason for writing this blog is that many people ask me how I cope on my own and how I can afford everything so, I thought I could provide some advice.
I left home when I was 17, whilst on apprenticeship wage and it was a lot harder than I first imagined. I had to grow up and mature quickly to start thinking about things I had never considered like TV licenses, council tax, budgeting etc. I currently live in a house share so in a way it’s like living in Uni halls whilst working a 9-5:30 job.
Being on an apprenticeship scheme, I thought I might be able to receive some financial help but in reality, you get nothing. Once I left home, I had sole responsibility over absolutely everything in my life and had to do it all on my own. This was the hardest thing about leaving home, I suddenly had to learn how to budget very quickly for all the bills, food shopping, rent and also put aside money for social events and emergency money. This might not seem a lot but on apprenticeship wage, at times it can be a real struggle, especially in the beginning.
When I decided to move out, I came up with a plan for all my life aims and achievable goals for the next two years:
- I left home in October 2016 in to a house share and had the goal of moving into my own place by the Summer 2017, by which time I will be earning a full-time (non apprentice) wage. So far I’m on track to achieve this goal due to research, money saving and planning.
- By September 2017 I want to be settled into my new flat or house comfortably with everything I need.
- By May 2018 I want to have passed my driving test and have a car on the road.
- I decided that due to the passion I have for my job and for the company I’m with, I wanted to become a full-time employee at Minster in the marketing team for at least the next 2 years.
- I decided that after turning 18 in November I wanted to get the most out of my young adult life and enjoy myself so I started budgeting nights out into my monthly expenditure. I even managed to budget for a festival ticket and my aim is to do as many festivals and raves as I can this summer.
I’d like to say I’ve done well for myself at my age. I manage to pay all my bills on time whilst also going out every weekend with friends, working full-time, keeping on top of house work and still having money left over for myself (not to mention the recent purchase of a Creamfields ticket.. oops!)
As time has gone on I’ve learnt a lot about budgeting, property, time management, responsibility and maturity.. a lot that school could never teach and I think these have been the real lessons in life. I’ve learnt how to take care of myself and get by whilst working incredibly hard to be in the position I’m in now at 18 years old.
I’m now looking to move out in a couple of months to get my own flat or house, I’ve got a great job in Marketing and I really enjoy it, I’ve got a really supportive group of friends and a loving family. I enjoy my life and have so much fun! I feel really proud that I’m in the position I’m in now. Hard work really does pay off and it’s definitely rewarding to get this far.
Advice to young people leaving home – Do your research. You imagine it to be a lot easier than it is but you have to face the reality and have a plan (and a back up plan!) Budgeting and devising a plan for the next year is definitely the way forward, time absolutely flies and you need to know what’s going to happen in 6 months time and what you’re going to aim towards.
If anyone has any questions at all, I’d be more than happy to help! You can find my contact details on the contact page.