Whatsup guys, its Lucas back again, for another semi-unprofessional but hopefully entertaining/useful(?) post. Anyways, today I want to talk about “Living Alone” and the seemed “perception” that comes with it. I know this isn’t related to Japanese nor programming but I figured as a way to get myself to start posting more and maintain motivation to work on the site, it would be a good idea to talk about some other things in my life other than Japanese and programming. So yeah, that’s why we’re here so let’s just get started.
My story/ My background
So if you read the sidebar or the “about me” section, you will know that I’m just a wee lad, (17 years old) there for technically speaking, this is my first time ever really “living alone”. Supporting myself, being an *adult*, which I’m sure I’ll discuss more about later, but, I don’t necessarily think the way I’m living now is somehow that “different” than before, or really, for most of my life. I guess I should start off by clearing up the elephant in the room, Yes, it is weird for me to be living alone at 17. No, it is not normal, I don’t live in some 3rd world country were providing for yourself is basically a given at the age of like *12*. I don’t really feel like it’s appropriate to to in depth to “why” or “how” or any of that. I will say it is mostly family related so I’m sure you can put together the puzzle pieces. Anyways, that’s not the point, I don’t want to pitied or felt bad for or any of that nonsense, the point of this post is to talk about how my life has “changed”, how I have “changed” now that I’m living alone, now that I am an “adult”. And before anyone out there thinks it, Just because I’m not 18 yet does not mean I’m not an “adult”, I could make a whole rant on just that topic alone because I think it’s dumb. ANYWAY, I’ve been “living alone” now for almost a month now, well I moved into my OWN place on the 1st of this month (November). Hm, I guess instead of just saying “this place”, it would be smarter to actually give some context and show you my man cave.
MY Dojo/ The lair/ My place/ The Man cave/ where I reside.
Before I moved in:
How it looks now
So what do you think? not too bad ay? I don’t know, I think it’s pretty cozy. Obviously I wanna add more stuff, maybe some cool posters, maybe put the kanji rep notes or something I have and put them up on the walls to make it look a little cooler, oh, maybe get a kotatsu (Japanese heated table)
and put that in the middle of the room. Idk, anyways, the best part about it, is that It’s MINE, this is MY place, heck, I even got my own keys and everything and like a LEASE. It’s crazy, like super, legit. Anywho, enough about my dojo, let’s just get into the meat and bones of what I wanna talk about.
What everyone says living on your own is like vs how it actually is
So this is the main topic that I wanted to talk about. You know, it’s so funny because pretty much all my life I’ve heard the same regurgitated bs, “living on your own sucks! Too many responsibilities!” “Being an adult blows bro, you gotta pay all your own bills and shit” “I wish I was a kid again” yada yada yada. It’s these same complaints I here all the time that I never fully understood. Maybe it’s because of the life I’ve lived or what I consider “normal”, i don’t know, but this idea that everyone is going to want to be a kid again, and just completely hate growing up and having responsibilities. In my honest opinion, it’s a joke. In-fact! If anything, I’m 20 thousand times happier being on my own, having responsibilities, bills, rent, having to take care of myself and worry, and stress, and face the problems that every *adult* faces. Because guess what, I am FREE!! you know what feels worse than having responsibilities? Being strong armed, threatened, manipulated. And I’m sure most people probably didn’t have to go through this too much if at all growing up and maybe that’s why, perhaps I was more of an *adult* my entire life. I mean, from probably as early as age 11, I was pretty much used to being independent, making my own breakfast, lunch, dinner, doing chores, etc. by the time I was 15 I got my first job washing dishes at this family owned almost “cult” like christian get together place near my house. (I know it sounds weird lol), starting paying my own bills at 15, then by the time I was 16 I was paying for pretty much everything. It’s hard to really describe what that looks like without actually my dad, or the shitty excuse of one that Is mine. Let’s just say he didn’t do much of anything for me, AND he was a manipulative asshole. Point being, he not only wouldn’t support me, but would constantly strong arm me. You know, the typical, but also fucked up shit. But yeah, the best part about it for me, is the freedom. That’s not to say I’m not stressed or filled with worry and anxiety at times, oh no, I am. But It’s my own shit that I’m worrying about, not someone else’s, and that to me, is very important.
Sooo, I’m pretty much a 引き籠もり(hikikomori), if you don’t know what that is, it’s basically just a person who stays in their room all day. Yup, that’s me. Honestly if it weren’t for having a day time job at the golden arches I’d probably be in my room *literally* 24/7. I think I forgot to mention this but, I do “online school”, or basically I do all my classes and curriculum for high school online. I’ve been doing online school since I started high school, so basically right after I graduated from middle school. It’s a somewhat long story, and maybe I’ll talk more about it in a different post but to sum it up I wanted to do online school so I could have more time and get away with going super hardcore with AJATT, ya know, grinding Japanese for multiple hours a day. So yeah, I am definitely a hikikomori. But to be honest, I’ve pretty much always been this way. I’ve always just been a “hermit” so to say, so I’m used to it and I’m pretty introverted too so this is the lifestyle I prefer, at least for now.
Finances, Bills yo
sorry, I’ve been watching too much breaking bad recently)
So, I thought about talking about this and whether or not it would be appropriate and I figured it’s fine. To be honest, I could care less if people know how much I make or how much I pay to live here or on bills etc. If anything, I’ve always thought it was interesting to know how much other people pay and how their financial situation is going so I figured maybe this would be “interesting” to someone.
Rent + Utilities (a.k.a cost of living here)
- Rent= $500
- Electricity= $100
- Water= $100
- Other amenities included
I split it up right now just to give you an idea of what it might look like but in reality the rent covers everything. All the utilities are covered in the rent so water, electric, even wifi (I was planning on using my own but due to some circumstances that didn’t work out), basically where I live it’s this duplex meaning that the house is split in two, so on the other side their are people living there, but don’t get mistaken, it’s not like a room, they can’t just come and go whenever they want. There is a door but it basically never gets opened. It’s a family of 3, a wife a husband and a daughter, they are nice people as far as I can tell. They let me use their kitchen and the landlord has given me loads of free stuff like a hot plate, box fan, the mini fridge that came with the place. So yeah, in order to live here I have to pay 700 dollars every month by the 3rd.
So as far as other bills go, there really isn’t that much. I’m pretty minimalistic and so I basically just need the bare minimum to survive and that’s about it. This is a small list of some of the other bills that I pay monthly.
- Phone bill = $83
- Netflix = $14
- Youtube Premium = $7
- Amazon prime = $13
And yeah, I mean, I think that pretty much covers it. As you can see, it’s mostly just subscriptions, the main killer would be the phone bill. My phone bill is pretty expensive because it’s just a single line and I’m leasing the phone as well so it’s 83 dollars a month (;-;).
Recreational purchases/ All the other stuff.
So like I mentioned earlier, I don’t really spend to much money on my self if at all to be honest. The most I might ever spend is really negligible stuff like drinks. Occasionally I do buy books though but even then, that’s not really that expensive because I normally opt out for the kindle version of just about any book that I want, and the kindle version is considerably cheaper than the paper one even BEFORE shipping (I’m buying Japanese books). I would do the bullet points like I did earlier but honestly for recreational purchases there’s just not that much stuff so I don’t feel like it’s even worth doing. So yeah, books, and like tea, and stuff.
To sum up my financial situation.
Sooooo, how should I put this. Let’s just say my financial situation isn’t BAD, especially not for a 17 year old living on his own paying all his own bills. That being said, it’s also not that good. I’ll talk about this later but there’s this sort of “underlying challenge” so to say, that I’m currently facing with money, and that is the main thing keeping myself from being even close to “content” with my situation. But as far as just “living” and not like, I don’t know, starving or whatever, I’m fine. Anyways let’s move on.
Food | My grub
So now that I’m “officially” living on my own and what now, I feel like now is probably the best time for me to actually start learning how to cook and eat healthier (not that I’m fat or anything), but as you might’ve noticed with the pictures there’s no kitchen. Which, I mean, to be entirely honest, isn’t that big of a deal to me, I’ve basically “lived out of my room” for ages now so I’m kind of used to the whole ordeal. That being said though, I am planning on creating my own little somewhat “functional” kitchen. In-fact, I already have a little “kitchen” if you can even call it that haha. Here’s some pics of how it looks right now.
My humble kitchen (as of now)
List of stuff I got now
- Big size mini fridge
- super little mini fridge
- burner (hot plate) x1
- Rice cooker (all in one, hotpot)
So yeah, I mean, cmon, Not too bad right? Heck I got some rice to last me a while and like some ingredients for cooking and what not. I know it’s small and I definitely have to improvise a fair bit but still, it’s a work in progress so what can you expect lol.
Transportation | My batmobile
So here she is, yes, It’s a bike. A self converted electric bike, but still not a car. Don’t get me wrong, she is very reliable, It’s been over a year since I converted my mountain bike to electric and I’ve easily put over 5,000 miles on it, probably way more. I ride it literally everywhere, pretty much everyday if not everyday. Ever watch Golden Boy? (if you haven’t definitely go watch it, its hilarious), well I’m like Kintaro Oe, always on my bike. I mean, to be honest it feels more like a moped since I have it going as fast as 35-40mph with a 1500w motor slapped on the rear wheel but still, it’s pretty much just a fast bike. Look, I will admit, it’s nowhere near “ideal” to be living alone and not have a car, but there a few reasons why I choose not to get a car, (and I could get a car, and could’ve if I wanted to) . Obviously the biggest and most substantial reason, is money. I can’t even describe to you how much money I save by not having a car, in-fact, if I DID have a car I probably wouldn’t be able to live on my own, not with all the other bills I have at the moment. I mean, you gotta think, used car price, insurance (even more expensive because I am a young driver), registration, gas, oil changes, maintenance etc. That stuff adds up, real quick. Not to mention, I don’t even plan on living in the states for that much longer, my plan is to move to Japan as soon as the borders open up which is in April 2021. (hopefully), obviously if I were planning on staying here for longer it would be a investment that I would be furthered compelled to, but for now, it’s not. Besides, I like my bike, I’m appreciative of her, she’s always gotten me from point A to point B and without leaving me stranded (…well, other than a few flats lol). As far as living alone goes and not having a car, to be honest, not much has changed. There is one somewhat annoying issue that I’ve been facing recently, and that’s having to go do my laundry at the laundry matt and hauling 40 pounds worth of clothes on my back, it sucks.
Other than that, I mean, shopping and stuff. I don’t ever really go shopping. Some times after work, I’ll stop by the Walmart right next to the beach and grab some stuff and put it in my backpack but that’s about it, again, I only have my bike so I can’t just go shopping, I have to make my decisions very wisely and make sure anything I buy is small enough to fit in my backpack.
The Challenge | The struggle I Face
So let’s talk the Challenge. I’ve already briefly covered my finances and bills and whatnot and I hinted this topic. So here it is, The Challenge is to save up AT LEAST $5,000 plus the money I have saved up now (around 3k), within the next 5 ish months. This of course being for when I move to Japan in April (god I hope). You see, Idealistctly really even if I were to save up TEN thousand dollars, that wouldn’t be enough, It’s never enough. You gotta think, the plane ticket is gonna cost at least 1200, but probably being safe, maybe even getting some good insurance just in case could be up to 2000, I mean my living situation and accommodation would be settled of course because I’d be living with my girlfriends mom and my girlfriend so that’s not a problem so to say but still, you gotta think living costs, I want to be able to pay for all my own stuff AND be able to pay for dates with my gf and fun stuff and gifts and all that. And you also got to take into consideration, my PLAN is to get married to my girlfriend and then perhaps work on a spousal visa when I’m there, but this is going to be at least 3-4 months after moving there, which means I’m going to need quite a heep of money to last that long. So yeah, I’ve thought about it and what is “reasonable” and yet still something I’d have to push for but could work out in the end, well that would be around $5,000. See, right now I make (on a normal month) around $1,400, which is pretty dog shit to be honest, I mean it works out because my finances aren’t much, and I’m pretty minimalistic but really it’s not ideal at all. Here’s what I’m thinking, this also a number that is kinda “vague” but I’ve considered the options and if I can just make $2000 a month, that’s only an extra 4-6 hundred a month (it’s actually a lot but whatever), if I can just make 2k a month that would solve pretty much all of my issues. I’d be able to save at least 5-8 hundred a month which is 4k a month, plus what I have right now, would be sufficient. The problem is, I could make that money now, IF I work like 50-60 hours a week. But I obviously don’t want to work 50 hours a week at my day time job at McDonalds, Fuck that. I already don’t like working part time there yet alone 50-60 hours a week, I mean, that’s basically all my time. No, what I want, what I am trying to do is maybe 30-40 hours a week, freelance work. Meaning, I want to work pretty much entirely if not entirely from home, web designer, translation work, ad revenue, patreon, youtube, you name it. Of course that’s not the main reason for doing anything but if I’m going to put all this time into it I want to at least be able to make some money off of it, just enough to pay my bills. But yeah, that’s the “challenge” so to speak. How to make enough money to pay all my bills, not starve, be happy, and also save up enough money to have at least 5k in the next 5 months. If I can do that, I will be a happy man.