Moving out of any house is stressful. Moving out as an 18-20 year old is exponentially worse. There are a lot of things you need to consider before you pack your bags and head off into the great unknown, and most young adults do so before they are even ready. There is no shame, regardless of what the general populace says in staying at home until you are mentally and financial ready to move out.
Young kids these days face a lot of pressure in this regard, as “make something of yourself” and “freeloading” are terms I hear quite often when it comes to youngsters living at home. First, lets go over some of the things you need to have in order before you move out of your home.
- A job
- A working vehicle or public transit available
- Some savings built up
- A plan
If you’re lacking any of these, it may be best to wait a bit and figure out your overall situation before you move away from home. However, if you’ve got everything in order, and you’re ready to take that step, I’ve got some tips for you here that are going to help you succeed and be happy the first time.
If you’re looking at moving out, you’re more than likely looking to rent a place. If you’re planning to live on your own, you are probably going to have to fork out $800 dollars at minimum plus utilities a month for a basement suite or apartment. Including utilities, you’re probably looking at over $900 just to maintain your residence.
However, if you had a couple friends that were also willing to move out, you may look to a $1300-$1400 a month house. Split three ways this can literally cut your monthly expenses, at least in terms of property expenses, in half. It’s not always nice living with people, but at that amount of cost savings? It’s worth it.
I did this all the time when I was younger. I often lived with 2, 3 and even sometimes 4 friends in bigger houses and although we fought sometimes, in the end we enjoyed the savings that comes with it.
One major tip with this: If you’re planning on moving in with your friends, make sure all of their names are on the lease. If you’re the only one to sign it, you may be the only one paying it in the event they decide to ditch the rental.
Account for a whole whack of new costs
If you’ve been living at home, more than likely you don’t know what most things in life cost. Which is completely reasonable. When you first move out, you’re going to be hit with a lot of expenses you didn’t even know existed. Condo fees? What the heck are those? Garbage disposal? I thought they came and picked it up for free!
When I was young, I often took long showers, left lights on, cranked the thermostat up and lived without a care in the world. When you do this on your own, it’s going to come right out of your pocket. And trust me, when the utility bills start rolling in and you’re the one paying for the luxuries and laziness you never did pony up for at home, you’ll learn quickly.
Set a budget and stick within it
Living at home comes with a reduced amount of responsibilities. It’s up to your parents to pay the mortgage, and more importantly make sure they have the money to do so. When you first move in to your new place, it’s absolutely imperative you tighten up for a few months and figure out what it really does cost to live on your own. Keep track of the gas you’re using, the power and heating bill, your rent, your food. Make a list and come up with a monthly total after 3 months of how much you’re spending on average.
After that, you’ve got a pretty solid idea of how much you need to allocate towards essential spending per month. From there, you can craft a budget around it. There is nothing worse than moving out on your own, spending money like you’re still living at home and coming up short for rent or missing a credit card bill. It’s not a situation you ever want to be in, because it can have severe effects on your financial life.
Take care of your property
As a renter, you have the responsibility to take care of the premises you’re living in. Cut the grass, fix the leaky shower head and generally take care of the place. For one, if you want any hope of getting your damage deposit returned, the place has to be in tip top shape when you leave. Even worse, if you completely destroy the place, there is the potential you could get slapped with a lawsuit.
Taking care of the first rental you occupy when you move away from home teaches you a lot about respect and pride. Although it’s not your house, you’d like to own one one day I would imagine. Treat it like it’s your own, develop good maintenance habits and this will help you in a few ways. For one, you’re more than likely to get a glowing reference from a landlord if you decide to move on to a second rental. And secondly, the habits you have developed in your rental will help you take care of a home you own one day.
Overall, make sure you’re ready
It’s scary as hell moving out when you’re young. Most of the time you think you know how the world works, but you don’t. However, you’ll grow accustomed to it sooner or later and you’ll really feel the freedom that having your own place delivers.
However, it’s crucial that you figure out if you’re ready. Like I mentioned at the top of the article, there is no shame in waiting. If you really feel like you’re becoming a burden (which you’re probably not) start asking your parents to chip in for rent or utilities. They will more than likely be glad to take it from you, as it shows signs of responsibility and education of how the world works. And, if they deny it, you can at least say you tried, and instead put that money towards your savings for something like furniture, damage deposit or an emergency fund for when it is time to move out.