4 Problems You Face While Living Alone

By Alicia Geigel on December 28, 2018

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It’s no surprise that housing and generalized living trends have dramatically changed throughout the last four decades. With a shift in the economy, the rise of student debt, the decline in marrying early, etc. more and more people are living alone. According to data collected by the United States Census Bureau, “the percentage of one-person households has grown over the last 40 years, from 17 percent of total households in 1970 to 27 percent in 2012.” As a group, this number is approximately 32 million Americans who live alone.

alone, person, sleep, couch, blanket

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The choice to live alone is easy for some and difficult for others, with a myriad of circumstances and reasoning influencing the decision. Perhaps there’s a need for greater independence and self-sufficiency or the desire to break away from the bustle of living with other people. Whatever the reason may be, living alone opens the door for more freedom, however, there can also be greater problems as well. Are you currently living alone? Dealing with a problem that exclusively relates to being alone? Unsure of how to fix it? These four solutions will make you feel better about living by yourself and help you in the long run!

1. Balancing Expenses: Living alone means that there’s no one to split the expenses of living with you, such as rent, water, electric, groceries, cable/internet, etc. Because of this, some people who live alone may have a difficult time effectively balancing their budget. The solution? Get a binder, notebook, or use a Word doc on your computer to create a list of everything you spend and what needs to be paid each month, along with your monthly income. Include things like a phone bill, a car payment, insurance payment, gas, groceries, student loans, electric, water, etc. Add up the total amount that you either currently pay or estimate that you will pay, then deduct this from your monthly income. Do you have enough cushion room to relax or are you cutting it too close?

2. More Responsibility: Because there is no one around to wake you up if you sleep through your alarm or cook you dinner if you’re having a tough day, you ultimately have more responsibility, which means relying on yourself to get the job done (whatever the “job” is). Part of this responsibility is about time-management and the other is about having a backup plan. The solution? Practice better time management for certain areas that you’re having difficulty with. Perhaps you aren’t the best about eating proper meals every day because you’re busy with work and school. Instead of skipping a meal or opting for another box of hot pockets, try meal prepping your meals on a day when your workload isn’t as heavy! Make your breakfasts, lunches and dinners for the week using similar, simple ingredients to ensure that you have a full belly and good energy to take over the world!

man, sky, hands, victory, beach

Image via Pexels

3. Loneliness: Everyone can experience feelings of isolation and loneliness in their lifetime, especially if you are living alone. Sometimes having close friends you hang out with regularly or family that visits frequently just isn’t enough. Sometimes you want someone to be able to rant to in the room right next to you or to binge watch some Netflix on a Friday night. The solution? Find fun ways to get yourself out of your apartment or dorm to help combat the feelings of loneliness. Dabney Frake of Apartment Therapy suggests, “Create structured ways to leave the house and regularly interact with others — sign up for yoga classes or join a book club. Host regular dinner parties, or even low-key television watching sessions with another person who shares your love of Game of Thrones.” 

4. Fear for Safety: Without the company of someone else in your home, the fear of something dangerous happening is real. Despite the safe location you may be in, the number of locks you may have on your door, etc., the paranoia of being in danger can be tough to deal with when you don’t have someone else to help protect you. The solution? Acknowledge your fears and find ways to combat them. Maybe you’re scared that someone is still going to break into your home at night. Get an alarm system or security cameras put outside your door and in important places throughout your home! Perhaps you’re fearful that something may happen to you and no one will know for long periods of time, get a dog or establish a system with your friends or neighbors to regularly check in with each other!

Living alone can be the most freeing and rewarding decision to make, but it can also be lonely, isolating and scary. While there are specific problems you may deal with while living alone, none of them are deal-breakers or worth you living with people if you don’t want to. There’s always a solution to a problem, no matter what it may be! At the end of the day, just remember that as long as you’re happy, any problem can be conquered. As always, good luck!

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By Alicia Geigel

Uloop Writer
Temple alum | columnist at Uloop News | writer at Top5Must & KnowPhilly | photographer | food blogger

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