Moving out of your parent’s house is a big step for a young person to make. No longer will you have to follow the rules of their house but on the flip side you are now responsible for taking care of yourself. Living on your own can be scary for some and a fantastic experience for others but either way it takes lots of planning and preparation to make a smooth transition into the life of an independent adult. If you rush things you will in all likelihood end up back into your parents house worse off financially or be altogether homeless. If you want to move out of your parent’s house carefully consider all of the steps you need to take and the loose ends you need to tie up before doing so.
Obviously the first thing that you need to have before moving out is some money to rent an apartment or a house. What is your current source of income? If you currently have a job that is a good start but consider if that job pays enough, if you will need to work more hours, or upgrade from your current employer entirely. Think about if it is worth for you to make a move if you have to work two jobs just to survive. It may not sound that bad but trust me working all day is not fun and if you have the option of staying with your parents in exchange for more free time I say take it.
If you’re still absolutely insistent on moving out then you will need to calculate your budget. If you have a car then you will probably need to make monthly payments, buy gas, and insurance. Then you will have to estimate what your rent will be and whether or not utilities are included. If you are not sure about how much utilities will be then ask people you know that live in apartments or call up different apartment complexes for some basic estimates.
Beyond just rent and transportation you will also need to provide yourself with food, furniture, entertainment, and any other miscellaneous costs that will pop up each month. Furniture can be had for cheap if you’re willing to buy from second hand stores or perhaps even get some items from your parents. You will need or want to have a bed, sofa, pots, pans, a desk, chairs, tables, etc. Some apartments may have some furnishings but I wouldn’t depend on most of the cheaper places having that kind of stuff provided for you.
If after estimating all your monthly expenses and you exceed or come very close to equaling your monthly income then you should probably not move out on your own. Living paycheck to paycheck is not easy to do and there will be times where you have to make a decision on something important to cut from your budget because you don’t make ends meet or an emergency happens and you have to spend a few hundred dollars. You should have ample income each month to pay for all of your necessities and it is a very good idea to set aside an emergency fund of $1,000 or so before you consider moving out. Also, a credit card is not apart of your budget. Putting yourself in debt just to have your first apartment is a dumb move and it will find a way to bite you in the ass at some point in your future so don’t do it.
Okay so you now have enough money to begin looking for your own place it is time to do some research. The first thing you can do is to go online and search for apartments in the city you plan on living in. Since you have an estimated budget you should be able to now tell what apartments or rentals are in your price range. Make a list of all the places that are in your price range and spend your time reading reviews from tenants, looking at photographs of the apartments, and seeing what type of amenities each place offers.
Once you have gathered your list of targets it’s time to actually go and look at them. If you have talked to your parents about moving out and have a good relationship with them then you should definitely bring them along to look at apartments with you. You really want someone with you that have been through the process before and can spot troubling signs with how the apartment complex operates or with problems inside the actual unit.
Also, you will want to know what kind of neighborhood you are moving in to. An apartment may be cheap and the neighborhood might seem nice and safe but it could very well be a high crime area and it would definitely be worth the extra money each month to live in a better part of town. You should also want to choose a place that is close to where you work or go to school so that you don’t have to make a long commute each day. I know a lot of places around here that are nice and cheap but so far out in the sticks to not even make it worth it.
Maybe you do want to live on your own but found it too expensive or perhaps you have a friend that you would like to move in with. Having a roommate or two can allow you to live in a nicer place then you otherwise would be able to afford for a single bedroom. Choosing the right roommate is key for moving out on your own. You want somebody that you know shares a similar lifestyle as you and is responsible enough to take care of their share of the rent and buy their own food. If you’re quiet and like to stay home at night you won’t want to move in with a partier that gets drunk every single night. Make sure this person is a close friend that you respect or if you end up with a stranger make sure that you clearly define the rules and boundaries about each other’s space and belongings. It really helps to draw up a contract about living arrangements so that if your roommate doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain you don’t get stuck with having to pay their share.
Moving in for one person isn’t really all that difficult but you are going to need some helping hands to get all your stuff inside in one piece. You can either hire movers which can be pretty expensive, use your roommate, or recruit some friends to help you and bribe them with some kind of reward like buying them dinner. Make sure that you have all of your utilities set up in your name and have anything that wasn’t included in your rent taken care of. Call the cable company to set up your TV and get your internet set up the day you move in so that you don’t have to worry about it later.
When you feel it’s time to move out of your parent’s house don’t ever rush things. You don’t want to end up in a lease that you cannot afford or that you no longer desire to be in once you lived there for a bit. You are going to have to plan it out carefully and consider every possible expense, how you are going to pay for it, and where and who you want to live with. Living on your own can be a great experience if you remember to keep things in focus and realize that moving out of your parents house isn’t always easy.