Reality Check: Are You All Set to Live Independently? (

(This “Reality Check” article was published in last May 2009)

In college, some people get a taste of living somewhat independently from their parents. Why somewhat? Because even though these people have their own apartments, their parents are still the ones who pay for the bills. But it’s a different ballgame after college. You don’t have excuses anymore to get financial support from your parents since you’re already earning your own money. Now if you want to live on your own, you have to consider if you can handle it-and it’s not all about the financial aspect, mind you. You have to be mentally and emotionally prepared for the perils of living alone, too.

So are you ready to move out and live on your own? Here’s a checklist to help you make your decision.

1. Are you earning at least P25,000 a month? That’s what you basically need to live comfortably in a studio apartment. Half of that will go to your monthly rental and utilities, and the rest is for your transportation and food allowance. For instance, if you rent out a studio unit in Cityland Shaw, you have to pay P9,000 monthly for the rent, which doesn’t include parking (condos located in the CBD are more expensive so you need to pay more to live there). Plus, you need to set aside around P2,500 for your utility bills-that’s just a conservative estimate. And once you have paid for everything, you’ll hardly have enough left for your savings.

2. Do you have a stable job? You need to have a regular flow of income in order to pay for all your expenses. It is also important that you learn how to manage your money well so you can properly budget everything.

3. Can you dish up something else besides fried eggs? Unless you want to eat out or order food to go all the time, you need to learn how to cook. You don’t have to be a master in the kitchen; just learn the basics like steaming rice and preparing simple meals. Aside from being able to control what goes to your food, you’ll also save more when you eat at home.

4. Do you know how to get around Metro Manila? Whether or not you have your own transportation, you need to know the ins and outs in your area. The most important route to know is the way from your place to your office.

5. Do you know first aid? Illness and injury may be far from your mind but you need to learn the basics of first aid just in case you get sick or have an accident. Remember, your mom is not there to take care of you anymore. You should put the local emergency hotline in your speed dial just in case something happens. In fact, why not make a list of all the important hotline numbers and post it on your ref?

6. Do you know how to entertain yourself? Imagine not having company most of the time: how would you deal with the solitude and depression? Get involved in activities or sports to keep yourself busy.

If you answered “yes” to one to three items, then you should accept that you’d be living with your parents for quite a while.

If you said “yes” to four to five items, then you’re almost ready to live on your own.

If you answered “yes” to all six, then better pack your bags, kiss your parents goodbye, and say hello to the real world!

(Image taken from this site.)