I live alone.
Well, except for my cat. But basically, I live alone. I have lived alone for the past 5 years, and in that time I’ve come to believe that living alone is a very, very important life experience. There’s something indescribably gratifying about knowing that I can keep a household running all by myself. Every piece of furniture in my apartment is where it is because I put it there – and I also picked each of those pieces out and paid for them myself. There’s food in the fridge because I bought it. I alone pay the rent every month, plus all the other monthly bills. I’ve learned how to hang pictures, how to paint walls, how to unclog drains.
In short, living alone has taught me – in very concrete terms – that I can successfully lead an independent home life, and I really believe that this experience has been priceless.
But that doesn’t mean that it has come free – or even cheap. I’m currently paying $1,007 per month for the privilege of living by myself, and at 38% of my take-home pay, I know that this is way too expensive. Living alone is an ostensibly bad financial decision, especially when you’re in your 20’s and living with roommates is still socially acceptable. But even when I had my financial “awakening” a few years ago, I refused to give up living by myself. In fact, I never even seriously considered it as an option.
In short, I chose a good life decision over a good financial decision. I think even the most ardently frugal among us have done the same at some point in their lives, whether it was the decision to get divorced, have a child, move cross-country, or quit a toxic job. These decisions are sometimes deeply painful and, again, costly, but most of us end up better off as a result of forging ahead with them.
What about you? When have you made a good life decision over a good financial decision? Tell me your story!