What you need to know about moving out of home
People tend to live at home with Mum and Dad for much longer these days. But getting out of home into your own place can be a bit of a challenge – both for yourself and your budget. Here’s a few things you need to know before you can make your big move!
Step 1. Make a realistic budget
When you step out on your own for the first time, you’ll be shocked by how much everything costs - from the price of avocados, to the monthly gas bills. Your parents will be very experienced in this area, so get them to help you make a realistic list of all the expenses you’ll have when you’re living on your own, and work out a budget for how you’ll manage your finances to cover them.
Your list should include a weekly or monthly amount for rent, utility bills like gas, electricity, phone and internet, food, clothes, travel expenses to and from work, online doctor, dental visits, health insurance and ambulance services – in fact, everything that you’ll have to cover off financially to live by yourself.
Step 2. Save up for the move
Before you move out, it is wise to get into the habit of living on a budget and saving as much as you can. You’ll also need to have plenty of funds in the bank when you make your move as there are quite a few costs involved with getting into a place of your own.
First, you’ll need a month’s rent as a bond deposit and a month’s rent in advance on your place. Next you may need money for your utilities – utility companies often require a deposit when setting up an account for the first time. Then there’s the cost of furniture, kitchenware, and the things you’ll need to set up house – like a cupboard full of food!
Last but not least is the actual cost of moving. You can save money by moving yourself, but bear in mind that if you have to use a removal company, it can be quite expensive and you’ll want to compare quotes from companies to get a good price.
Step 3. Find the right place
You may be dreaming of a slick city apartment, but in reality most people can only afford modest accommodations for their first home. It does pay to be very careful about the kind of place you rent – older homes and apartments can be costly to run in terms of heating, cooling and electricity. You can ask the utility companies for advice on this score – they may actually be able to provide you with information on the average costs of running the house you’re looking at.
You’ll also want to consider whether you want to live on your own or in share accommodation. Sharing is great fun if you shack up with friends or like-minded people your own age, but it can be a nightmare if you find yourself living with strangers who don’t understand your housekeeping habits!
You can look for share accommodation, apartments, units and houses online on most real estate search sites. Remember to stick to your budget – renting a place you really can’t afford is a sure way to cause yourself financial hardship and end up back at Mum and Dad’s place in short order.
4. Consider staying put until you’re ready to buy
This is the part where we recommend you stay with Mum and Dad until you save up enough money to get a mortgage and buy a place of your own. Saving money when you have to pay rent and cover all of your own living expenses can be very difficult. And paying rent is simply paying off someone else’s investment property when you could be spending that money on buying a place of your own.
A place that’s really your own may be closer than you think. Would it really be that hard to stay with Mum and Dad for a little while longer?