Why It’s a Great Idea to Live Alone in Your 20’s

Living alone was not the plan.

living alone tips

Sure it sounded like a good idea when my roommate kept a moldy baguette in our room for a couple weeks. Sure it sounded like a good idea when another roommate’s boyfriend spent the night and his snores filled our tiny dorm room. But, when actually faced with the decision to live alone? Yikes.

So here’s the quick backstory: I decided to transfer back home to my own backyard and finish my degree at the University of Houston. Not only would I be closer to home, but my family was actually renovating a house 15 minutes from school that I could live in.

The catch was it wouldn’t be done in time for the fall semester, so I’d have to find a place to live. And you know who wants to room with you when you have to get a 4-month lease in one of the most expensive areas of Houston? Hah. No one.

So – there you have it. All of a sudden not only do I need to learn to drive on the highway without having a panic attack, begin to build credit, and adjust to a new school and city, but I also am faced with living alone.

I was nervous, but you know what? I love it.

For a long time, I thought I would never get the chance to live on my own and I didn’t know how I felt about that. Having roommates is SO convenient and cost-friendly. I thought, “Hey, I’ll do this till I’m married!” And I’m sure some of you will, too. Not a big deal at all! However, there are some valuable, VALUABLE life lessons you can attain from living alone and just….being alone more often than not.

Let’s explore those, shall we?

First off – from a money perspective, is it do-able? Can you afford to live alone?


cost of living alone

Look for a good deal on rent for an apartment

You may need to be 15 minutes from school (like me) to really maximize the amount you’re going to pay. For me, it’s also a matter of safety. Where I live is in a better area than places closer to school. There will be some trade-offs, so be flexible.

Consider things you can go with out

Cable? Try an Amazon Firestick or Google Chromecast. Expensive decor? Go to garage sales and resale shops for basic necessities like a couch, coffee table, or even bar stools.

Save up

I saved up a TON over this past summer. I decided to only spend on needs, which was tough. This meant no Starbucks runs and dips into the Target Dollar Spot for about three months, but it was amazing how much I was able to save and then use towards necessities for furnishing my apartment and the first round of groceries that included all basic must-haves such as a broom, a trashcan, a new lamp, etc.

Now….what are the pros to living alone? 

living alone tips

Your own space, all the time

Not only can you decorative however you want, but it’s always going to be your space. Feel free to walk around in a towel for an hour or so, blast music, have complete silence when you need it, cook and get every pan dirty at once, and maybe even have yourself a Snapchat vent session when it’s been a long day. (No one will think you’re crazy.)

living alone tips You can have people over whenever you want and for as long as you want

My roommates previous were really nice and never minded when I had a friend or Cameron over. However, I still didn’t want to bring 5 girlfriends over and have a movie night because I wanted to be considerate of their space and quiet. You never know when your roommate may need to take a nap or get some studying done, so trying to have people over can just make you feel a little uncomfortable and you may avoid it.

Now, my sister comes over almost once a week for dinner and we can cook, talk loudly, and watch Parks and Rec together for however long we want at whatever volume. And when Cameron visits, he can stay the night, use my bathroom, eat in my kitchen, etc. Definitely a huge perk!

  living alone in your 20s

You can get a lot done.

I’m definitely at the peak of my productivity this year. I can get five assignments, two loads of laundry, one dish cycle, and a little reading done all in one day and still find time to workout, clean my apartment, and watch 2 episodes of Mad Men before bed.

When I had roommates, I always got distracted talking to them (although it was really nice to have someone to talk to about school and stuff) and sometimes I would even want to just stop and paint my nails instead of work because it seemed like a lot more fun. (And…it is.)

living alone tips

You learn more about yourself

You learn about what you can do as opposed to what you can’t do. Never would I ever have thought that I could balance a monthly budget, kill cockroaches, and take care of an herb garden all on my own. (Not to mention I was nervous I’d forget to pay my bills on time.) But now I know that I can do these things, and I get to thinking, “If I can do that, then I can do this assignment or do well on this test…” It’s a great confidence booster!

living alone tips

You grow up faster

My dad said something to me when I decided to transfer that really stuck. “You’re going to have to grow up really fast.”

He didn’t mean that I was immature or wasn’t ready to take this on, but he meant that living in a major city and living all on my own would really add some wisdom to my years. And he was totally right. (As he usually is.)

I feel as if the skills I’ve learned over just the past month are something they won’t teach you in school. You often aren’t taught how to research different electricity companies and find the best plan for you. You certainly aren’t told how to negotiate your rent with your apartment complex after they move your unit twice and forget to inform you that they’ve canceled their contract with the on-site washer and dryer company. There’s no class in “How To Function Alone for more than 24 Hours 101” and no one ever tells you how much you might miss home even if you only leave 45 minutes away.

It’s tough some moments, but it’s a great adventure.

Someone told me recently that you should try going to a restaurant alone. Go to a nice place, ask for a table for one, eat slowly, and soak it all up. Being alone scares most people, but it’s something that you should really try and do more often.

I thought this resonated with living alone. You spend a lot of time getting to do the number one thing that scares most people and that is being by yourself and figuring things out for yourself.

It’s totally not impossible and it’s totally worth it.

Would you ever consider living alone? If you live alone now, what advice would you give to people who are considering it?