6 Things To Know About Living Alone According To Frances Cabatuando

Living alone diaries.

Thinking of living on your own soon? Here are some tips from the mayora herself, Frances Cabatuando.

Related: 7 Truths I Learned After Moving Out of My Parents’ Home

Whether as a right to adulthood or a new chapter of your favorite fictional character, moving out of your parents’ home and living alone is seen as one of the greatest signs of independence. Owning your own house, apartment, or condo, especially at a young age, goes beyond a Pinterest board and is a real responsibility. But with how big of a change moving out of your nest, it might seem overwhelming to know where to begin, something that Frances Cabatuando knows quite well. 

Before she became the founder of Home Buddies and immersed herself in homemaking as the queen of home living, she was once a young woman who took the step to embrace her independence and live alone, and she’s here to share her tips and advice with young people who are also approaching that living alone stage. Check out what the mayora has to say below. 



It goes without saying that living alone is a big deal. It goes beyond being just an aesthetic choice but a sign of independence, not to mention big responsibility. For Frances, she yearned to be on her own after years of living in her Filipino-Chinese household. So, when it came time to move out by herself, she told her parents that she’d pay the rent for her condo herself. 

As they say, every journey begins with a simple step, and committing to that first step is a good way to start. “Once you have that commitment of having to pay a certain amount every month, you will also force yourself to reach that amount. So really commit to it and trust yourself that you will make it happen because you’ll always find a way.” Once you decide that going solo is in your cards, commit to it and make it happen, which will then flow into the other aspects of your living alone era.  



Whether it be in movies, TV shows, or social media, pop culture has sometimes portrayed living alone as this cool right of passage where people have aesthetic rooms. But living alone shouldn’t be viewed with purely rose-colored glasses. Unless you have a large budget and resources, it can get tough at the beginning. As Frances shares, she started with just a mattress. “When I started, all I had was a mattress on the floor, literally my single mattress.” She’d often buy her furniture for less at HMR. Eventually, Frances would work her way up, often buying cheap home essentials like an aircon, refrigerator, internet, and an actual bed. So, set your expectations accordingly. 



Rome wasn’t built in a day, so it’s acceptable if how you envisioned your place to look isn’t there. Don’t get discouraged if your dream space isn’t there on day one. Work your way up and use your connections to your advantage. Also, even if you have the resources to splurge, Frances advises to not front-load everything at the start. From personal experiences to utilities, it can get a lot, so stretch that budget where you can. And just because you don’t have the budget to afford luxury items doesn’t mean you should leave your place looking like a dump. 

You can still achieve an aesthetic even on a budget. That’s the mantra of Frances, who settled on a certain design because it fit her style sensibilities and didn’t cost an arm and a leg to afford. Also, keeping a certain aesthetic in mind will help make your shopping easier as you know what and what not to get. 



Just thinking about all the responsibilities needed when living alone is enough to turn off many people. But as Frances sees it, it’s those same responsibilities that make the move worth it. “Once you live alone, you’ll know and you’ll learn things about yourself and about the world.” From budget, finances, food, taxes, and more, living alone will put you on the fast track to knowing those adulting skills you’ll need as you get older. 

Also, having your own place gives you the chance to detach from the hustle and bustle of the world and even your family as you have actual quiet time for yourself to think and reflect. As she explains, “Now that I live alone I really like quiet time na talagang eerie silence. You get to pause and be in the moment and that matters.” 



Living in your own place doesn’t just mean you focus on yourself. A good homeowner also takes note of their surroundings, starting with their neighbors and facilities. “I highly suggest that you know your neighbors,” shares Frances. “If it’s a condo, look outside. Are the elevators working? Is it clean, too?” Moving into your own home entails a keen sense of your neighborhood and community you’ll immerse yourself in. Also, while you can turn to Pinterest or YouTube for inspiration, at the end of the day, it’s your home, so, trust your gut and do what you feel is best for your home. 



The debate between renting a condo or owning your own house has been waged for decades as both sides give valid arguments about why one choice is better than the other. Mayora Frances’ take? Think of where you will be and what you want to do five to ten years from now. Frances gives the example of if you see yourself constantly on the move or even moving abroad, don’t splurge on the investment of your own house. 

Take into consideration where you see yourself in the future as that will guide you on where you want to spend your hard-earned money. And as Frances points out, despite what some people may say, just because you don’t own your own home doesn’t mean you aren’t saving. There’s nothing wrong with renting. At the end of the day, make the decisions that make the most sense in your life and how you envision yourself as you get older.

Continue Reading: How This Young Creative Manages Living Alone In Her Own Apartment