Living on your own can be scary and lonely, especially after a divorce. Author Amber Arneson provides some tips to help you get started with your safety first.
Divorce requires a lot of major life adjustments, but perhaps one of the most difficult is learning to live on your own again. Even if you lived alone for a short while after college or at another earlier point in life, it may have been 5, 10, or even more years in the past. Women today are more independent than ever, with greater employment opportunities, higher salaries, and more reproductive rights. So it’s not surprising that 90 percent of all women will spend some of their adult life on their own, according to the National Center for Women and Retirement Research.
But just because a lot of women do it, doesn’t mean it’s easy. Here are four tips to get you through the transition to solo living and reclaiming your independence:
Install a home security system
A lot more preferable (and reliable) than a husband with a baseball bat, a home security system protects your home whether you’re there or not. You don’t need to spend a small fortune on fancy security cameras and laser sensors, though it is a tempting way to spend that alimony. Instead, look for something simple and affordable like a basic package from SecurityCompanies.com. Although safety is the number one reason to install a home security system, the peace of mind you gain is often just as valuable.
Adopt a dog
Great for company and safety, a dog in the home can deter potential intruders. Small dogs can be cute and cuddly, but try aiming for a bigger, more protective breed like a Labrador Retriever or a German Shepherd. A furry companion can keep you safe for early morning/late night runs, and can even be a great icebreaker for pet-friendly new neighbors.
Meet the neighbors as soon as possible once you’re all settled. This will make it easier to detect a suspicious person in the area. Plus, you could end up quickly making some new friends! While you’re getting to know everyone, pay special attention to the cars in your neighborhood and the regular behaviors of your neighbors. For example, if the family across the street throws parties every few weeks, a little noise on a Friday night probably isn’t cause for worry.
Watch your locks
If your landlord or realtor hasn’t done so already, make sure to change all of the locks in your home to ensure that only those you authorize will have access to it. You can also install dead bolt locks on other rooms of the home like the basement, attic and office to further enhance your home security. Never hide a spare key in an obvious place around the outside of your home. Keeping it in your car is a good trick if you want to make sure it’s always safe. HotPads.com suggests having a “panic room” ready for emergencies, which includes several locks on the inside,a landline phone, GoPhone, flashlight, mace, and a secret exit route.
Perhaps the best way to gain peace of mind is to choose a home in an area with low crime rates and a well-reputed police force. But although precautions are important, it’s equally important to focus on starting a new chapter in your life and looking forward to your independence. Take this time to rediscover yourself, develop your hobbies, and build a stronger and better you.