Leaving a Legacy

The Smart Girl’s Guide to Apartment Living

By Tara Cabullo, Brighterlife.com.ph

Apartment-LivingIn a culture such as the Philippines’, it is but a common practice to live out of our parents’ homes before we get married. It may be a spawn of decades upon decades of beliefs and practices that we, Filipinas are not to exercise complete independence until Prince Charming comes to perform ‘pamamanhikan’ and promises for richer or for poorer. While I am a fan of living with my parents and being spoiled lovingly guided until I absolutely need to stand up on my own, it can be discombobulating to be facing the world of living independently when it inevitably comes. As it was in my case, I finally let go of the comfort of living in my parents’ home, and the care of a help that came with it. The experience, while proving to be fruitful and liberating, came with lessons attached.

  1. List every single thing. And here, I mean every single thing. Including the mop you use when you spill your drink, the rug you step on, to the brush you will use when you need to clean your bathroom. When I moved in, I factored in every single expense that was to come out of my pocket YET I still forgot about the little stuff. And while in my head, they were just little stuff, little stuff do GET bigger over time and can get unmanageable if not supervised.
  2. Do the math. When choosing which apartment to lease, I initially looked only at the price. And while many of the units I viewed fit the budget I set upon myself, there were many factors to consider: distance to places you always frequent aka your workplace/school, furnished versus unfurnished, developer {is the developer a good building manager}, safety, utilities, among many others. If the place is beautiful yet situated in a place that is not safe, other options may be worth considering. Here’s a useful formula too, to consider: Monthly rent x 12 divided by current value. Your answer should be less than 10% to make sure you’re not over-paying for rent. 
  3. ROI. When I considered moving to a place nearer to me, my work place wasn’t the only consideration. In my head, I took into consideration as well whether the place I was moving into afforded me the opportunity to earn through the many things I was doing {freelance writer, website design consultant, beauty blogger} so I could *queue magic word* justify the costs of living alone, with no support whatsoever.
  4. Cheaper is not always better and ‘more expensive’ doesn’t mean better quality. It’s really a matter of long thinking processes but remember that a cheaper rice cooker doesn’t mean it won’t conk out on you after two months and that an expensive pot holder will protect your hands from burning.

Got any apartment living lessons? Share with us in the comments section!

Carlos on

Number 2! 😀

I never liked math, until it started saving me money hehe. Now I’m always using a calculator or spreadsheet hehehe

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