Moving is an emotional rollercoaster, especially for someone moving out for the first time. There are twists and turns that leave someone feeling excited at one moment and anxiety the next.
It’s all good when you’re thinking of having no one around to tell you what to do, but then thoughts like ‘Where do I buy light bulbs’ and ‘I think these look like termites’ start to sneak in.
Moving out of your parents’ house has long been considered an important milestone in the transition to adulthood. After all, it’s a major life change. With independence comes sacrificing luxuries, budgeting for the things you need rather than the things you want and maintaining a proper living space. There are lots of steps and details to consider.
‘Adulting’ doesn’t have to be hard, and you don’t have to go it alone. Instead, we are here to alleviate some of the stress and soften the mystery of what it’s like moving out for the first time.
First things first, figure out what you can afford.
If you want to live comfortably on your own with a roof over your head and food in the fridge, you’re going to need to start budgeting.
A good rule of thumb is the 50/20/30 rule. Where 50% of your income goes towards the essentials – rent, utilities, insurances, groceries etc. Then, 20% goes towards finances like paying off debt, saving for retirement, etc. The last 30% goes towards your lifestyle, like memberships, entertainment, etc.
Something that isn’t included in the 50/20/30 rule is saving. This is important because unexpected costs like surgery, car accident, job loss, etc. might come up and it’s good to be prepared.
Place to Call Home
Finding a place to move into can take some time. There’s a lot that goes into deciding on a place to call home – location, size, amenities, price, etc.
Then, once you do decide on a place, you’re going to need things to put into the place to make it more functioning and feel like home. It’s easy to get carried away with decorations and things that you want, but start by purchasing the things that you need. You can get those other things with time.
Typical bargain stores like Ikea and Target can still make you look like you "have it together" when your guests come over without the cost. With that in mind, don't binge on things just because they're cheap.
If you plan to move into an apartment, make sure to have enough for first and last months rent as well as a security deposit. Most apartments will have additional charges. Make sure you ask the landlord what those might be ahead of time so there are no surprises later on.
… to clean. You'll feel more at ease coming home to an organized place instead of a cluttered one.
… to eat balances meals. Budgeting on food does not mean going hungry or buying what’s cheapest and a candy bar does not replace dinner. What’s resourceful is purchasing ingredients that can be used in more than one recipe.
… to go to bed at a decent hour. Just because someone isn’t around to tell you to go to bed, doesn't mean you should stay up into the wee hours of the night. You’ll feel better when you're well rested.
… to pay your bills and rent on time. While some landlords are flexible, your future landlords may not be. When the time comes for you to move, you’ll have a good track record and a reference you can use when you’re ready to move into your dream apartment someday.