By Melodie Veldhuizen
Are you going to study full-time next year or are you going to find a job? You’re excited about leaving the safe nest of your parents’ home and spreading your wings. But are you aware of and ready for the accompanying challenges and responsibilities? Perhaps your parents have already tried to wise you up a bit, but you feel that you’re grown now and do not want to take their advice. Nevertheless, here are a few hints to keep in mind.
• Do not make a hasty decision. Look at factors such as size, affordability and security, and also the distance from your place of work or study.
• And remember, apart from your monthly rent, there are other expenses such as municipal accounts and levies.
• Are you going to live on your own or share with somebody? Be careful in your choice of a flatmate. Even the best of friends sometimes disagree. Even if you have a difference of opinion on an important matter, you must feel free to discuss the matter. You must have a written agreement regarding the division of costs. You must from the outset agree about sharing household tasks such as cooking, laundry and tidying up to avoid recriminations about flatmates not doing their share.
• Furniture and electrical appliances: It is nice to have new things, but graciously accept second-hand furniture and other essentials such as a washing machine and refrigerator from family and friends, rather than incurring debt. You can buy new things later.
• If you do not have a domestic, keep your living quarters tidy all the time so that it does not eventually take you a whole week to tidy and clean.
• Keep washing and ironing up to date or, if you can afford it, use a laundry.
• Learn how to replace an electric bulb and wall socket and how to use a screw driver, pliers and hammer.
• You must know how to use a fire extinguisher.
• Keep emergency numbers at hand.
• Make sure that your vehicle is roadworthy and insured.
• Keep to the service schedule.
• See to it that there is always enough fuel in the tank.
• Regularly check the tyre pressure as well as oil and water levels.
• Draw up a budget and adhere to it.
• The most important items on your budget are rent, the municipal account, transport, food and toiletries.
• If you are not on your parents’ medical fund, you are probably partially contributing to a medical fund subsidised by your employer. If not, do some research about different medical funds and hospital plans and as soon as possible join one that best suits your pocket and needs.
• Invest in a retirement annuity. It is never too soon to provide for your old age.
• Take out a funeral policy.
• Avoid buying on credit or using a credit card. If it is really necessary, pay your monthly instalment on time to avoid a poor credit record.
• It is preferable to buy cash or use cards that earn bonus points.
• Takeaways are convenient but expensive and unhealthy ─ rather make your own food.
• Check the expiry date on all food.
• It is important to know how to store food safely.
• If you are unhandy in the kitchen, you should learn as quickly as possible how to operate a microwave and stove.
• Get a few easy recipes from the internet or your mother’s cookery books, especially of your favourite dishes, and practice preparing them. You will soon feel like trying out recipes for new dishes.
Stay in contact
• Your parents are going to worry about you. Stay in contact. It is unnecessary to account for everything you do, but just assure them that everything is fine and that you are safe. Answer a WhatsApp or phone call as soon as possible. Visit them regularly or, if they live close enough, you can sometimes invite them over for a meal.
• Ask for advice and help if you have a problem ─ normally parents, family and friends are only too eager to help.
Fly safely and enjoy your new-found independence.
Better Health. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/HealthyLiving/moving-out-of-home-tips-for-young-people
Van Baalen, Theresa. Wat nesverlaters moet weet. Vrouekeur, 13 July 2018