FIRST APARTMENT: THINGS YOU NEED TO BUY
When I was in college, I really admired my classmate. She was 23 if I can remember well. I admired her so much because she was brave. Living away from her parents in order to finish her studies in a different city. That’s brave because I have grown up in a culture wherein it is quite unusual for a child, even if she is in her legal age, to live independently. Not like in western culture.
Here, in the Philippines, living independently can only happen in circumstances like, a child was sent to a different city for education purposes, for work reasons, and the most common situation is when he or she is already married.
I remember her studio apartment and what’s inside of it. She only had a single bed, no couch, 2 plastic chairs, a small foldable square table as a dining table, a small refrigerator, a one-burner electric stove, an electric fan, cooking and kitchen utensils, and of course a closet. If I could be like her at that time, I’d like living that way.
Since then, I was looking forward to a time that I could live on my own. It was even part of my listed plan. Finish college, pass the board exam, find work on a different place and live on my own. But plans change. What I actually learned is that the only thing that is constant in this world is CHANGE. It’s just how we adapt to change. And I never regretted the change.
Anyway, the time came when I had to leave my parents house to live with my husband. And the first thing that really came to my mind back then when we were looking for a place to rent in was what are the things we should buy for our first apartment. Like any other ordinary newlywed couple, we were on a budget. So, we just bought what we think were basic and essential at that time.
Here are the lists. May this help you decide on things when you live on your own.
1. Sofa bed or a couch. This may differ from the area of your apartment. Whether it is a studio type, with a bedroom or not. It is quite expensive, so it's better to think wisely on this. Because this is an investment. You don’t want to replace your couch every now and then. So choose one that’ll last long. Quality is really important.
2. Television. I can only suggest that you should inform your landlord if you prefer to mount your television. Because some landlords have rules about drilling walls and such things.
3. Speakers or Radio set. If you are more of a music person, I suggest acquiring a speaker would do. But if you prefer to listen to the radio then buy a speaker that has a radio feature. That’ll be more practical in terms of saving space and of course in saving money, rather than buying a radio and a speaker both at the same time.
4. A dining table. Lucky for us that our landlord lends us their dining table. But if we have to purchase our own dining table. I’d prefer to buy a small folding table that could cater 2-4 persons only. Since its just my husband and me; and we also don’t host parties or dinners at home. When we would transfer to our own house, then we’d buy a more suitable and sturdy dining table. Because a real dining table costs much. Right?
5. Kitchen Appliances and Utensils. Rice Cooker, a one-burner electric stove, a microwave oven, a frying pan, cooking pot, tongs, spoons, ladles, strainer, chopping board, can opener, scissor, spoons, forks, knives, plates, bowls, glasses, mugs.
6. Refrigerator. In purchasing a refrigerator think of its durability. Because it is expensive and it is really advisable that when you buy one it’ll last long. There are tons of refrigerator nowadays, there are those with a self-defrost feature. So it depends on your preferences.
7. Bed Mattress and a bed frame. I won’t recommend an expensive mattress nor a cheap one. What I can suggest is choose the one on the mid-range price that at the same time is comfortable and will last quite long enough for you to save to buy another one.
8. A closet. Again, were really lucky that this is included in our apartment when we moved in.
9. Electric Fan or Air conditioner. Either way, it’s your choice.
10. Lighting. The very important one. Choose LED!
11. Curtains. These does not need to be expensive. Really.
12. Bed sheets. If you are a newly wed couple then you need not worry because these are the most kind of gift you would receive.
13. Clothes hangers.
For the decorations, these can be bought at a later time or if you have extra money left in your budget. What are these?
2. Extra Curtains
3. Extra bed sheets
4. Storage boxes, cabinets
5. Trash bins
6. Expensive Throw Pillows
7. Side tables
8. Art pieces (wall frames, etc)
These are based on personal experience and lifestyle. For us, these are the basic things that we need to acquire on our first apartment. And if we need to buy other things, then those might be for upgrades or decorations. Either way, we need to save money for that. It’ll take time and it’s not a priority because we already covered those that are again, a necessity for us.
And oh, a tip for those planning to get married. It is best if you opt for a gift registration. There are guests who don’t have any idea what the couple would like to receive. In this way, you are giving them ideas on what you would like to receive as a couple and it’ll lessen the possibility of receiving the same kind of gifts. Like, bed sheets from 3 different guests.
If you are from Cagayan de Oro, you could go to SM Department Store. Visit their website, call them or talk to them personally.
For those students living alone, you don’t need your parents to buy all the things listed above. Because let’s be frank. You don’t spend most of your time in your apartment, you’d be spending it on school, and going out with friends. Basically, you only need a safe place for you to sleep, eat and change clothes. So, relax and don’t demand too much from your parents. Put in mind that sending you to school away from them is demanding enough. The pain and worry of your safety that they would bear just for you to have a good education.
Have you been living on your own before? Do you remember the feeling and the things you bought and regretted after?