Remember when you were moving out of your parent's house or a shared residence with nothing but a mattress, blanket, 2 basins, 4 sufurias and a meko? Never mind the plates, cups and spoons. Those would come later. After all, you only need a cup, plate and maybe 4 spoons that you can buy on the way, at the supermarket or at Kamukunji.
This was me 10 years ago, straight out of college - permanently employed and owning a few side-hustles to make ends meet. Armed with a university degree, I quickly discovered that there was a lot to learn. The education I attained had taught me less about money, investing, employment and more about academic success.
So I started my research on how to save, how to invest, insurance, retirement policies, moving out and buying home appliances and these are the few things I have learnt along the way:
1. Know How Long Your Appliance Should Last
Washers, refrigerators, dryers, and dishwashers last 10-13 years while microwaves last 9-10 years. Knowing how long they last, where to clean and when to repair saved me a lot of money in the long run.
2. Protect Your Home Appliances
So, shortly after I moved into my own place, I got robbed. All the things that I had put together were gone in the blink of an eye. I was left with my handbag, a few clothes and my phone. All home appliances, my laptop, TV and blender. So much for smoothies.
Being robbed hurts. It hurts more if you were not prepared, has no emergency fund and/or any kind of home insurance. It hurts even when you were 'prepared.' Fortunately, a few months after I signed up for life insurance, my insurance person also convinced me into insuring my home.
I signed up simply because I could not imagine losing my expensive laptop and my main source of livelihood. That decision ended up saving more than my laptop as I received full compensation for all the losses incurred.
3. Have a Home Fund
You never know when you need to repair something or an appliance breaks down when you least expect it. Most home appliances have a one year warranty at least, but nothing ever breaks in the first year. After the robbery, I created a home fund after all, once bitten, twice shy. It doesn't have a lot of cash, but it has enough to cover home repairs and the occasional new shower head.
4. Change The Locks and Don't Show Off Your Valuables
You never know what the old tenants were up to. Maybe they gave a key to their friends or relatives and they still retain a key to your new home. We all give a key to someone we trust in the event we lose our keys. When you move out, do your due diligence.
I learned this the hard way. When I was robbed, there was no forced entry. If your doors require padlocks, you don't have to worry about this but if your doors have locks, inquire with the caretaker about the policies in place in as far as locks are concerned.
Keep curtains and window blinds drawn when leaving the house, especially if you have high-value contents and appliances. That big-screen TV might attract some unwanted attention.
Moving out from Campus or your parents' house into the working life of adults will require you to learn some lessons. Always do your research and take every hurdle as a lesson. It won't be easy but it will be worth it and soon you'll be helping your peers find their bearing where adulting is concerned.