A year in February I moved in with Josh, which considering we'd only been together for just over a year, was a pretty big jump. I guess people always assume that we hadn't been together long enough, or that we were settling down too early. The truth is, none of the above really mattered. Since living together in such a teeny place we've literally learned everything there is to know about each other, I won't go into the horrible details, but we're monsters, sometimes It's pretty disgusting how comfortable we are with each other. Of course, We've had ups and downs, but it's unavoidable when you're in a relationship and in such a small house. Most importantly, we've had lovely times and I can't ever imagine going backwards and living separately. I love our little house, even if it is unbearably hot in the summer and very small. Despite renting, we've managed to, i hope, put our own stamp on the place.
I thought I'd put together a list of things that I've learned since moving out of my parents house and the struggles I've found. I hope my unbelievably cheesy intro hasn't put you off. I've included some pictures of our home too so you can see the updates:
1. I am such a disgusting and undeveloped human being - I honour Josh for living with me, because I am a mess. I like to think this is just a phase that I haven't yet left behind, because I'm still a student. My problem is I have times where I am so clean, for instance today, despite being ill I have done three loads of washing, tidied the house and blogged, talk about a modern day house girlfriend. The truth is, in our relationship at the moment Josh is the modern day house boyfriend. When you live together you really get to learn the good and bad things about your other half, you'll also naturally do tasks that you like. I do the hoovering and making things look pretty, Josh does the horrible chores like washing up as I have a fear of food floating in the washing up.
2. You will never be able to move back home - Yes, home will always be your true home, there's nothing like having to do very little, very cheaply and getting a lovely homely meal cooked for you every night, as well as having your mum to take care of you when you're ill or weepy. But with all these positives come negatives that you don't really notice until you move out (I hope my parents aren't reading this *gulp*). I know that I'd really struggle to move back home now, It's just so nice having my own space and being able to lounge around in very little clothing. Sometimes you just need to be naked. I think my relationship with my parents has definitely grown stronger since I've moved out, I love the days out I have with my mum and I love that I'm still a daddy's girl.
3. Budgeting is so important - I'm guilty of not doing this and falling into a really horrible emotional place when I have financial worries. There really is nothing worse than feeling you have no financial security, it's scary. There is always a time in the summer where I financially struggle, last summer I wasn't able to do any over time in work and ended up setting up a small business selling prints just to bring in some money. It's nice having the security of your student loan, but when it goes, that's it. When I get my next student payment I will be budgeting, I can't face another summer like the last one. My tip would be to put aside things that come out of your bank as a direct debit into a savings account, that way you know how much money you have left for things that you need. When I get my loan I will be putting aside rent money, phone bill payments and gym membership. It's not worth getting charged by the bank and ruining your chances of a good credit score. How very grown up of me.
4. You can never have too many cushions or interior 'pretties' - Maybe this isn't the best to follow after a financial grilling but it's inevitable, if you like interior design like me and have a coffee table full of Style at home magazines then you're going to end up buying lots of cushions. It's really nice to live in a place that makes you happy, and little quirks make the place your own. We have a summery mixture of colours around our house, teals, yellows, oranges, and it just makes me so happy and energized. We can't really do a lot because we rent, so I like to spend lots of money buying things for the house, usually from Asda or Wilkinsons because their home sections are on point.
5. You will appreciate flowers - I never understood why my mum had so many vases, or liked a house smelling of flowers. I still don't really understand the scent of flowers, but I like them aesthetically! Even if I'm struggling for money I'll always pop to Asda to see if they have any reduced flowers, failing that Josh is normally a pretty good egg and surprises me with them. Looking after them is another problem though, I am not having children until I can keep a flower alive for longer than a day.
6. You can get drunk at home too - Sometimes you'll feel like you're missing out on that student experience everybody bangs on about, and then you'll realize 'Oh, I'm an art student, I don't get that anyway.' or alternatively, you'll get home to your cosy bed and just be happy to sleep, like me, the boring old soul. On exciting days you might even get drunk alone or with your significant other, in the comfort of your own home where making a fool out of yourself doesn't matter, or you host a party and make a massive fool of yourself, falling asleep at a mere 1am.
7. Mundane tasks don't become any less mundane - PAYING FOR A TV LICENSE IS SO HEART BREAKING. I'm going to try and not turn this into a TV license rant at the BBC, but basically I really disagree with them. We barely even watch TV and paying £140 a year just for Doctor Who and the occasional Question Time really isn't on. You also have to spend your hard earned cash on boring things like washing up liquid, OXO cubes and the most boring but vital one of all - toilet rolls! While I'm at this adulty and ranty stage of my blog post, I'd just like to add as well that the 5% tax on sanitary products really doesn't effect me financially, but it's not right - booooo government.
8. Don't get a pet - Seriously, don't get a pet, unless you can really afford one and have the time for one, or a bigger house. As excited as I was to get a hedgehog, the excitement has kind of worn off. Our house is small, and in the summer it gets very hot. Smelly animal and heat = flies, bad smells and sadness. I love Luna, I would definitely miss her, but just think it through if you're going to get an animal. It's also quite expensive and sometimes there are bills that you could just do without. I would get an animal again but it would probably be a cat because we do the same amount of work for Luna as we do a cat, maybe even more. AND CATS ARE SO LOVING.
9. Ikea trips become more productive and not just for meatballs, but mainly for meatballs - You can actually go to Ikea and buy house things, like an electric whisk (which is probably Josh's favourite impulse buy from Ikea). There's also a fabulous range of vegetable soft toys to remind you that you're not 100% a grown up. Ikea furniture is also ridiculously cheap and you can easily turn it into something that doesn't look so generic, as we're hoping to do with our coffee table once I buy some planks of wood. The meatballs are also really good, but you can probably pick up a table for the same price.
10. Personal space is important - The hardest thing in this house has been that with only three separate spaces, one being a bathroom - it's very hard to have personal space. Luckily, I get quite a lot being a student not in full time work, but sometimes it's a struggle to live under eachother's feet. The hardest part for me being an arty person is finding the space to do artwork, Ideally I need an extra room where I can do work and also not worry about cutting the sofa with my scalpel or covering the floor in drawing ink (already happened).
I hope this has given you a little insight into the past year in our home and of the ups and the downs. I could say it's all fabulous, but I like blogging truthfully.
Thanks for reading