Leeds Graduates: How to survive living on your own for first time
Graduation can be scary. This is true for many because it may well be their first time living on their own after many years with their parents and/or with flatmates.
But if you don’t want to move back home after uni and don’t want to put up with the politics of washing up and cleaning that often causes rows with flatmates; living alone may be for you. Here are our tips to help you survive living on your own for the first time:
Assuming you’ve already got yourself a job, you need to be aware that living on your own is generally more expensive than it is when you live in a shared student house.
Not only will the rent be higher, but you’ll have to pay all the bills on your own as well. This includes council tax, from which you were exempt as a student. Yet living on your own also means you’ll be able to take advantage of the Single Person Discount.
When you get paid, set aside the money that you expect to spend on food for the week, as well as gas and electricity bills, TV/internet bills, student loans and fun.
Living on your own may mean you have to seriously reduce your fun budget. Don’t rule it out having a good time completely. As no matter how sky high your rent, you’ll no doubt want to spend time with your friends and go out once in a while. Whatever’s left over from your budget is yours to spend however you wish.
Find a reputable letting agent
A good letting agent will have lots of experience dealing with professional tenants and will have knowledge of all the different issues that can occur. Make sure you do some research and check out that they have the proper accreditation before you sign any contracts. First-time professional renters can sometimes get stung by hidden cost and some agents may only offer accommodation in specific areas.
If you’re looking to stay in Leeds, look for an agent with a high street presence and one that offers a broad portfolio of housing options. In areas like Headingley and the City Centre, Parklane have been operating for over 40 years and our renowned for dealing with professionals. Alternatively, www.rightmove.co.uk should help you find properties in other suburbs.
Most importantly, whoever you decide to sign with, look for testimonials and seek advice from family and friends.
Learn how to cook
As easy as it may be to log on to the website of your favourite takeaway and tick off boxes on the menu, learning to cook will save you a lot of money. To start learning, ask friends to cook with you; it can be a lot of fun learning in groups. Before you start, find some easy recipes online and print them out.
If you get stuck, you can always ring your mum or dad for tips on how to rescue your meals so that any mistakes you make won’t wreck your food budget.
Look out for useful hand-me-downs
Your auntie’s old velvet chairs and your nan’s old sofa may not be the in thing at the moment. Yet they are a lot more comfortable than a hard floor. Besides, when your budget is this small, you just have to take what you can get (for free).