Living alone can be a frightening experience for anyone. You could need medical help and be unable to receive it in time. As a single woman, you’re statistically more likely to be broke, and you could have to potentially fight off attackers.
One of my biggest personal fears living alone is that my house secretly smells (thus I secretly smell) and no one is telling me. You can stay safe, save your money, and be comfortable living alone with a few of these tips and a good friend.
Your personal safety when living as a single woman is probably one of the most pressing things in your mind. Whether you’re worried about a “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” situation or a robbery worse than your nephew coming over and stealing all your cookies. You can carry around a Life Alert and have 9-1-1 available to you at all times or make some slight adjustments to your lifestyle to make things a little easier.
Living in an urban area means a faster response time if you do have to make a call to an emergency responder and a higher chance of staying alive. Even though cities are shown on the TV as hotbeds of crime, many have fewer victims than rural areas and have all the benefits of society (people, culture, neighborhoods) without all the extra cost. Just look at Sacramento: cheap living costs, a low crime rate, and it’s close enough to wilderness that you don’t have to give it all up.
You can also carry pepper spray, which is legal in all 50 states in some form or another. There’s a lot of comfort in the tiny nozzle of “escape juice.” You could also hide a knife in a ceramic cat or get a cool taser. You’re unlikely to be attacked, but you feel way more badass walking through an alleyway at night with a taser than running through with your keys tucked in between each knuckle.
Personal safety also means staying physically well in a moment of medical emergency, which is way more likely than macing a mugger. You can learn how to give yourself the Heimlich, avoid risky behaviors around the house, and go somewhere with cheap access to medicine. What is cheap medical access? For many women without insurance, it’s proximity to Planned Parenthood (which is mostly urban) or it could mean taking advantage of medical tourism, which can save you a ton of money.
Why would you need to worry about money as a single woman? Living by yourself gives you full control of your financial future; you are the only one who has to save, instead of convincing someone else to do it too. It’s harder to save though, as institutional discrimination means that as a woman, you will have less to store away. Financial security when living alone means being more particular about starting your retirement account and stowing money like a mad-woman.
Women get paid less than men. It isn’t fair, but you have to work around the reality of the situation (and keep calling your congressmen, voting all the time, going to rallies, etc). A big part of financial security is saving for retirement, avoiding fraud, and moving forward. It’s really important to be up on tracking and maintaining your finances as a single female. Your cost of living is higher and your pay is lower.
First thing first: You are a super strong wonder woman with arms and hands built like a goddess of war and power. I am not, thus the most uncomfortable part of living alone is having to ask a neighbor or passing stranger to open larger jars for me. Luckily, there are mechanical jar openers in the world, so if I wanted to stop bothering strangers on the sidewalk, there is a solution.
Step stools, mechanical jar openers, and a loving friend who will tell you when your house smells are the three things you need to make living alone comfortable. That, and finally figuring out how to buy the amount of vegetables you’ll eat and not throw away. Comfort is one of the best parts of living alone, don’t let stress and an unopenable pickle jar stand in the way of your wonderfully weird alone time.
Living alone is great and scary at the same time. There might be a random home invader, you’re more likely to be broke, and you may wish someone was there to help you out of (or into) a jam. If you plan a little, though, it’ll be totally worth it. Don’t let nerves take your freedom away.
Guest Post: Mary A. Grace