How To Live on Your Own

February 12, 2021 - Christian Torres

I remember growing up I was always excited about getting my own place. What I failed to realize was the amount of work it would be. Sure, I always knew it wasn’t going to be easy, like I knew I would have to pay for rent and utilities and buy my own groceries. I moved into my house around March, same time UNM was shutting down to the COVID-19 pandemic and I was totally unprepared for all the small little details I would have to worry about. I noticed my first issue was having to buy a bed for my room and some type of furniture for the rest of house so I could have somewhere to eat. At time I using the Digit app and had saved enough money to buy a bed and as time progress I was able to get more and more furniture. I was able to get a nice table to eat food for about $60 and the couches I was able to get them for free from friends, who were upgrading their couches, and the one they gave me was in very good condition. I highly recommend if you want to get furniture and don’t want to spend a ton of money, look online or ask a friend if they are giving away anything. When you begin to live on your own, one factor that I didn’t not take account was the weather. During the summer, it was extremely hot in my house and having to use the air conditioner more often had caused my electric bill to rise up way more than I had anticipated. A cheaper solution I found that worked really well for me was opening the windows during the day and at night to use a fan. When the winter season came, my house would be extremely cold. In my house, I use gas for the heater, so when it began to get really cold I began to use more heat. With an increase use of the heater, the gas bill began to increase. During the summer my average gas bill was around $25 and now it increased to an average of $91. A few things I have been doing to reduce my gas bill is wear hoodies and sweatpants inside my house and if I get really cold I just use a blanket. More blankets are beneficial, especially during the night when the temperature is at its coldest. Besides the utility’s bills, another bill that can be kind of tough to manage is your grocery bill. When I first began living on my own I would constantly eat out, with the average price of eating out being roughly around $7. If you eat out at least twice day that is an average of $14 dollars a day, $98 dollars a week and $196 every two weeks. That is a lot of money having to spend on food, so a few tricks I used was I began to meal prep and by groceries for an average cost of $80 for two weeks’ worth of food. If you need another source of getting food the Lobo Food Pantry, is great resource at UNM, where they give out a ton of free food as long as you have your UNM id and they give out every Monday 11:30 am – 1:30 pm or until supplies last on campus behind the University Advisement & Enrichment Center. The food you get from the Lobo Food Pantry can definitely last you at least two weeks.