Every time I think of rent, I am reminded of this skit from Rocky and Bullwinkle. And because this is the last month that I am paying full rent on my own, I have been thinking of rent a lot (I also start thinking about the Broadway play and this song gets in my head too).
For the last 4 years, I have been paying my own way to live without a roommate. I have made a lot of sacrifices in order to keep a roof over my head and learned a lot about myself, finances and priorities in the process. I have learned to make do with the things I already own as my budget was already being squeezed with rent, utilities and that pesky thing called groceries. I have become a pro at mixing and matching items in my wardrobe so that I can use what I own without feeling like I have nothing to wear. My favorite game in the kitchen is playing "Chopped" so that nothing goes to waste and that I shop in my cupboards first before hitting the grocery store. I gave up cable and started reading more. I invited friends over and stopped going out as much. I also had a part time job for a bit to make sure everything was covered.
It has been a tough 4 years, but it has also been worth it. Living on my own has taught me greater independence and the ability to rely on myself. Not having roommates meant I am responsible for all of the messes that are made. It meant that if I wanted to sit in my living room painting until 4 a.m. while watching streamed episodes of The Hills or Jersey Shore, no one was there to judge me. I actually think that most people should spend a few months or a year living on his or her own. The growth one has when in this situation is amazing. And I feel fully prepared to have an actual room mate again.
My last month paying full rent, full utilities, full groceries. I am excited for the extra income I am about to have and tackling the last bit of my debt. I am excited to share chores with someone. I am excited to cook for someone. And even having the option of cable again.