Whether you are a senior, newly-divorced single or college student on your own for the first time, there are several ways to assess your independent living skills. Using several key factors, you can determine your rate of success in the areas of finance, organisation and general living.
- Skill level:
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Establish a six-month probationary period to monitor and review purchase patterns, debt management and savings. Record all purchases and then divide among several broad categories. Calculate a value for each category to determine a purchase pattern. (A strong purchase pattern will indicate a consistent flow of income for rent, transportation, food, entertainment and education.)
Next, record serial purchases and lines of credit to determine a propensity for payment. Use the information to track how well you can maintain a steady and consistent financial standing, while managing to reduce debt and add to a savings plan.
Evaluate the state of your property. Are you able to maintain an appropriate living environment without the assistance of a second party? For example, can you dispose of waste, maintain a clean and safe environment, maintain proper lighting and heating, or make necessary improvements to the property, if necessary? If not, can you contract a professional to perform these duties on a regular basis, without fail? If you are physically unable to perform these fundamental responsibilities, consider alternative methods to achieve these goals.
Evaluate your medical condition. Do you have a medical condition or illness that prevents you from performing specific activities, prevents you from lifting or handling heavy objects or leaves you weak and vulnerable for a long period of time? In order to live independently, it is important that you are able to move quickly in the event of a fire, take medication without the help of a second party, and call for emergency if an intruder enters your home.
Evaluate eating and hygiene habits. Are you able to prepare meals that are appropriate and complimentary to your dietary needs? Are you able to bath your body and wash your hair? Would a fall immobilise you or would you require assistance? All of these factors contribute to a person's ability to live independently. Consider what plan of action you would be able to take in the event of an emergency, accident or injury. If you believe you would not be able to act with a reasonable amount of speed, function and utility, you might be putting yourself and possibly the lives of others at risk.
Understand the responsibility. Be sure you not only have the money necessary for daily expenses, but that you are able to order and structure your life in a way that meets your most basic needs. For example, store coupons in a convenient location, maintain a reasonable supply of toilet paper, toothpaste and light bulbs. Take out the garbage one specific day per week and remove all trash bins before the sanitation department arrives.