Renting in Singapore at 21 Year Old

For the past four years I have been living on my own with Clinton. No parents no friends or housemate. Moving out at the age of 21 was not the easiest thing to do. Well, heck, the easiest part was deciding to do it. Looking back it was the young, fearless mind that made me take the plunge. I was jobless then, yes jobless and Clinton was in the army. Crazy? Hell yes. I had no idea why my parents agreed to it back then, but I am glad they did.

So how did a jobless twenty one year old survive on renting? Well, I was very blessed that my equally insane parents lent me the money for down payment. I quickly got myself a job with a fresh grad pay which was at the lower two thousand and make do with an unfurnished apartment. The apartment was a hdb 3 room with the spare room close (the owner used it as his store). Imagine how excited I was to move in and get to experience the life of being independent. We took our savings and with the help of Clinton’s parents, we bought ourself a couch and other “grown up” gadget.

The first few months were tough. My dear parents gave me a $200 allowance for the first 8 months. Which became my utility bills and a portion of the month grocery. We survive without internet but there were other bills like our mobile, cable and dogs.

After three months I got confirmed and that’s when things got better with my new pay increment. We had more money to survive on and within a year. Clinton finished the army and started working. Things were looking up. We still could not spent like how our friends could or shop, however we wanted, but the thought of coming home to the apartment with our two dogs were the best feeling ever.

After being able to fully stand on our two feet and not depend on our parents, we truly understand the word independent much more. It took us about a year, but we made it.

Two and a half year went by and it was time to move to another location, the owner was selling the apartment and it was our cue to move. House hunting was a pain, with a new budget of maximum 2.3k we started to narrow down what is available. We decided to move to a studio apartment. I had a hard time adjusting. My biggest worry was how are we going to fit everything into a tiny studio?! I was so used to the luxury of having so much space and being able to dump things everywhere. That is went we started to be creative. Using boxes as vanity table, store room as my wardrobe and basically tossing out anything I could let go of. Living in a studio have it’s perks I have to admit. The upkeep was super easy compare to the 3 room hdb, we could use the air condition and the house place would be cooling and the most important lesson I learn from staying in a studio, not to buy items we do not need. Everything has to have its place and if there’s is no spot for it, we ain’t buying it.

Through the 4 years of living together we learn a lot about one another. Our habits, strengths and weaknesses. We got through everything together, even at times where we thought we had to move back to our parents. I never help out at home before I move out. Never with the dishes, laundry or even simply sweeping. My mom had to nag me to it. Now I’m proud to say after numerous tried, we are able to clean and solve household issues. Many times we would google and search for a solution on how to clean certain material and stains. I finally realize how amazing mothers are. How much work and love they have to take in order to hold the family and home together. One thing I have yet to learn is cooking. The good thing was, Clinton is great at it. So he balances out what I was lacking. We now have chores that are split between us. If we get lazy, we help one another out.

We are now starting our journey to our next chapter. Last week we just bid for a balance flat, hopefully we were lucky enough to get it and by end of the year we can spend Christmas at our home with our family and friends. Nothing excites me more that then thought of finally owning my own house.

Clinton and I have been together seven years, eight this November. Four years of living together, five years raising our two annoying yet adorable dogs and two years of working in the same company. It wasn’t an easy journey. Every day is a work in progress in a relationship, but I’m glad we are taking the next step together. This is the first of the series of my diary of our journey home. A place that will be ours.

About the author
Digital Influencer, creative, stylist and instagrammer, Nicole Wong aka ncwong is based in Singapore.

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