You are ready to make it out on your own.
You are tired of the shadow of others in your plans and on your time.
Asking people for help has gotten old.
Needing people has gotten embarrassing.
And the nagging desire of independence has left you frustrated and on the edge.
Join the Struggling Independent Club!
Yep, I said “Struggling Independent” because independence ain’t easy!
It’s hard and always surprising, even to the know it alls and naturally independent. Nothing prepares you for doing it on your own, but once you take the first few steps you won’t go back for anything!
Independence gives you a confidence boost like no other. It’s addicting. It drives you through hunger, pain, and weariness, even when you should probably ask for help. 🙄
Complete and total independence grows you up faster than the speed of life. Our twenties were made for the various mistakes of learning independence.
The quicker you learn, fail, catch up, and then perfect independence the sooner you can start really living! The steps below are invaluable in becoming and staying independent even through the struggles.
1 |Take Full Responsibility For Your Actions
This is one of the first steps in becoming an independent adult.
You have to realize that everything you do is your choice and has a consequence on you, others, and the world around you.
Taking full responsibility requires a mindset shift. Every choice you make now has to go through a mind-sifter:
- What are the consequences? Good and bad.
- Who does this effect?
- Does this benefit me or others?
- Does this match my goals?
It’s not going to be easy because you spend the first 16-18 years of your life not having to take FULL responsibility but independence requires that sacrifice.
You have to let go of the excuses about why you made bad choices and accept them as your mistake and move forward from it enlightened about yourself. You are not going to be perfect in this process. It’s a daily step in the right direction. The more consistent you are in making good choices, naturally, life makes it easier for you to keep making them.
- Evaluate your life situation. Do you like it? If not, have you been blaming something or someone else for it? Accept Responsibility. You are the only one who can change your situation. Take the first step towards those changes today!
- Take a day or week and make sure every choice you make goes through the mind-sifter questions above. Did you make the same choices you made last week?
2 | Take Charge of Your Finances
You knew this was gonna be a close second. This is usually the main reason millennials are dependent. Not only are we leaving college with $20,000+ of student loans on average, but good paying jobs are sparse and are usually held for those with 5 years of experience in their field. That line is placed in job descriptions just to antagonize.
Even with the various things against your brooding independence, are you honestly using your money to its very best?
- Do you have a budget?
- What about a personal allowance?
- An emergency fund?
A lot of the times we have the money to be independent, but we really don’t want to spend it on the right things.
If you answered all of those questions with a yes and still don’t have the funds to start your independence journey, you may need to evaluate your definition of independence.
Some people see independence as having the same lifestyle of their parents, which is a huge lie from the depths of hell. Your parents have established adults who slowly acquired the pleasant things you see around them. Some of you may have seen your parents acquire those things quickly and no doubt the money struggle they deal with now. Do not believe this glaring lie!
You are going to start off at the financial bottom and it’s not going to be fun. What’s even less fun is that your friends who may not be making the best financial decisions and possibly live with their parents, roommates, and boyfriends will look down upon you in that struggle. But don’t give up darling, the rise is around the corner!
I’m not telling you to head to the projects or to give up all your “luxuries”, but you have to give up a lot of them. I had to give up a cute picture perfect apartment, real furniture, and “amenities”. Unlocking MY apartment door, with MY key every single day is all the motivation I need to keep striving for my independence.
You can have that too! Build up your dream slowly and on a good financial foundation. This is how your independence last!
- Get some financial literacy
- Say “NO” to what you can’t afford. If you don’t have that willpower – start using cash instead of credit/debit and force yourself to say no because you literally don’t have the money.
- Pay for EVERYTHING that you use, want, have, or desire- this is a personal challenge, but it will help you realize just how expensive life really is. It will show you can actually do on your own or that you need to ease back on the lattes.
- Start saving right now! Just $20 a paycheck adds up quickly!
3 | Take Steps Towards Independence… Now!
Some people are forced into independence and a lot more people need to be pushed into it.
Take small and big steps towards independence and responsibility based on what you can handle.
- Start paying for EVERYTHING you want/need
- Learn personal finance and practice saving
- Get a part-time job
- Learn how to cook
- Learn how to do laundry
- Join 2-3 groups and commit to them for a year
- Start a garden and work it till harvest
Get into a desperate situation and then find your way out.
Why the heck would I do that?
Because you need to see how much potential you truly have and that life keeps going even when the going gets tough. Tough situations thicken your skin against life’s abrasions. You are going to have a lot of abrasions in your independence journey. So practice with something easy to make the journey a little smoother.
So practice makes the journey a little smoother.
Some desperate situations:
- Practice living on your own on a short lease and then try to extend it
- Go live somewhere away from home for month or two – for a mission trip or even with family in another state
- Hold out on full-time pay to get the job you really want
Now, I’m not saying place yourself in a desperate situation without a plan!
Wait for the job you really want? You need to have at least a $1000 emergency fund, an internship to better prepare you for the job, and part-time/ hustle income.
Taking the bus or bike to work? Make sure all the money you save is going to your debt or the car you want to buy in full.
Do you desire to live on your own? Be sure to have a budget plan and only go for housing that is 30% of your monthly income or less, and don’t even think about crediting your furniture head to Craigslist or Goodwill.
You can read more about my desperate situation here.
Evaluate the ReEducation:
- Independence shows you that you are stronger than you think you are
- Start taking steps small or big now. Practice is key!
- Learn personal finance before you become independent– A list of blogs and books I recommend.
- Keep reading the Journey With Me posts to guide you on your independence journey!