It’s a little weird living alone, I’ll admit. But also quite nice. I think the best thing is that it’s peaceful.
One is the easiest number
There’s no one waking me up by moving around in bed or getting up to take the dog out or taking a shower in the middle of the night. I sleep until my alarm goes off. Every. single. day.
And without another person around it’s easy to start work in the morning. I can simply wake up, put in my contacts, perform my daily ablutions, trod out to the living room, sit down and start work in peace and quiet.
There’s no one in the bathroom when I need to be in there. And most importantly, there’s no TV going in the other room, echoing through the hollow doors and off the tile floor, while I’m trying to answer emails. I don’t have to worry that I’m ignoring anyone while I try to blog, read other blogs or otherwise putz around on the Internet.
The only other being here is a cat who, admittedly, sometimes likes to settle on my chest and stomach while I’m trying to type. But I can move her a lot more easily than I could ever ask Tim to just sit around in silence until my workday was over.
And it’s just so much easier handling only one person’s life. I don’t have to worry about anyone else’s appointments — or schedule my own around them. I don’t have to shop for anyone else at the grocery store. (It’s weird not having to watch the cereal sales cycle anymore.)
It’s also easier to keep up on things like laundry when there’s just one person to account for. No more days of three to four loads of laundry to be folded. (Which usually meant it would actually just all sit on the guest bed and we’d forage through the piles, looking for what we needed.) No, I do just a single load each week, and I can easily fold everything in about five minutes.
I can also keep up on cleaning more easily. I only have to run the Roomba two or three times a week (instead of daily) now that there isn’t a second person — and a dog — adding to the dirt and dust. When I do run it, the Roomba no longer ends up with a full bin either, though it still picks up a relatively alarming amount of cat hair. I swear she should be bald.
All of this is great, but I will admit that sometimes at night it gets a little too quiet. I’m definitely burning through Netflix/Hulu at a slightly alarming rate. Then again, up until the last months we lived together, Tim and I were watching different shows in separate rooms anyway. So I suppose it’s not really all that much different than what I’d gotten accustomed to. It’s just that there’s not another person in the house to talk to. But I have my trivia group friends to message if I need to “talk” to someone for a bit.
To help forestall loneliness, I’m trying to get out to other Meetup groups every week or two. So far I’ve been to five different events.
One turned out to be almost all women my mother’s age. Nice ladies, but I had almost nothing in common with any of them.
The other four were with the same meetup group — Outgoing Introverts — which consists of people a little closer to my own age. I went to a trivia night, a dinner and two house parties. I had fun at everything except for trivia, which turns out to be a format I don’t like (multiple choice.)
The guy who throws the house parties has an amazing setup: a projection screen to play Super Smash Brothers, another for karaoke/Rock Band, an air hockey/foosball table, a pool table, an airsoft rifle range and even a friggin’ cotton candy machine. When I described it to my friend, she said, “Oh, so basically like the apartment in Big.” Yep, that about sums it up.
At any rate, the parties themselves were a lot of fun and are monthly, so they’ll definitely be something I’ll go to regularly.
Another nice thing about being single: I’m the only one spending money. That makes it easier to keep track of — and the money goes further.
My last financial week lasted eight days, which is actually considered a shorter week lately. It “only” lasted eight days because it included a $58 Victoria’s Secret card bill, $40 in prescriptions and $20 for a discounted GC for my mom’s Christmas present. That was almost half of my weekly funds right there.
Admittedly, there were also some other splurges — a sit-down meal out ($18) for the Meetup group, a fast food meal ($9) and some beverages for the house party ($9) — but otherwise my spending was pretty utilitarian: gas, groceries, etc.
Circling back to the VS card… I’m actually quite proud of that bill.
I realized about two months ago that at some point new people are going to see my underwear, which meant it behooved me to get some bras that were a little less utilitarian.
So on Black Friday, when all Victoria’s Secret bras were 40% off, I ordered 10, figuring I could just return the ones I didn’t like. Which ended up being eight of them. But for some reason when the return was processed, I was only charged for one of the two remaining bras.
Meanwhile, I got a $20 off $50 coupon with the shipment, which I used during a second sale to get two more bras in the same styles (but different colors) as the ones I kept. So in the end I got four bras for $58.06. That’s only $14.52 each.
I have one more bill coming next month because I decided to get some matching undies. There was a sale and, of course, I had coupons: $10 off any purchase, and a free panty. So I got eight pieces of fancy-schmancy underwear for $20.09.
And hopefully with that and the rest of my Black Friday spending out of the way, I can get back to not spending much money.
Finally, something that has nothing to do with my being single — except that I wouldn’t have been driving if I were still with Tim — the car is finally fixed after the accident. It took a full week longer than originally expected.
And that’s because… Well, remember how I said the damage was relatively minor? Yeah, not so much.
The hood had crumpled into the radiator which crumpled into… something else. Or the something else crumpled into the radiator but the point is that there were multiple crumples. Meanwhile, since the seat belt, as part of the airbag system, had deployed, a whole new diagnostic unit apparently had to be put in. And a new fender was needed. And paint to match it all up.*
In the end, the repairs were more than $5,000. Thank goodness for insurance. But that means my rates are definitely going to be ugly when I next re-up. Which makes me extra happy that I pay for a year at a time instead of six months at a time. It locks in the lower rate until August instead of February.
In the end, because of the delay in repairs, I had the rental car for two weeks and paid $437 for the damn thing. It’s made me rethink my stance on rental car coverage for insurance. It’s a bet against yourself, but perhaps a good one nonetheless.
So all in all, my total cost for the accident was $937, including the deductible.
It’s things like this that underscore how important it is to have savings/an emergency fund whenever humanly possible. It doesn’t feel like all that long ago that we barely had an emergency fund and had zero savings. Every mid-size to big unexpected expense was cause for a mini nervous breakdown. Now, thanks to savings, $937 is a hit that I can absorb. I don’t love it, but I can take it. It’s a huge load off my mind.
When was the last time savings got you out of a jam? Do you prefer living alone?
*Which is good and bad. Good in that they fixed the divots in the paint on the hood of the car. Bad in that they fixed the divots on the paint in the hood of the car. See, those divots made it nice and easy to tell my car apart from the multitude of other gray Civic-like cars in Arizona. And since Civics are one of the most stolen cars, I liked to think that the crappy paint job made my car less desirable of a target. Oh well.