Moving out of your parents’ house is a major decision. It is essential that you consider the impact of moving out. Your budget, career, and maturity level will all affect your first adventure into the real world where you will have many responsibilities, such as: paying for food and bills, cleaning up after yourself, and cooking for yourself. Here are some pointers to help you decide if you are ready.
Figure out your monthly income.
Add up all the income you receive in one month after taxes (most paychecks will have taxes already deducted from them). If your income fluctuates slightly, figure out a monthly average by looking at the past six months of your pay. If your income fluctuates wildly every month, moving out might not be the best option.
If you need to figure out an average of your monthly income, add up the past six months of your income, then divide by 6. This is your average income.
If you haven’t had a job for more than 6 months or if you have a temporary job, wait for a more stable time to move out.
Make yourself a budget for rent by calculating 28% of your monthly income.
Multiply your monthly income by .28 to find the largest sum of rent you can afford. Keep this number handy, and use it to find affordable housing.
Calculate your fixed expenses.
These expenses include: rent, monthly loans, car insurance and car loans, credit card(s), health insurance (if it isn’t deducted from your salary), phone, internet, utilities, cable, and any other sort of debt. You will also want to figure out how much you spend per month on food, entertainment, clothes, gas, and miscellaneous shopping.
Some expenses are only semi-annual, such as car registration; don’t forget about these.
Don’t underestimate the amount you spend on food and entertainment. You want to preserve your lifestyle when moving out.
Calculate moving costs.
You might discover additional fees when you relocate, such as:
Pet and rent deposits (these vary depending on your lease)
Utility deposits for power, heat, cable/internet
Hiring a moving team
Buying a parking permit
Buying essential items like a television or couch
Calculate your cost trade-offs.
If you live as close to school or work as you can, the cost of parking, gas, and insurance will also change. It is smart to research these trade-offs early, as they will help plan your budget.
Decide if you can afford it.
Add up all of your monthly costs. This should be 10% less than your income to account for emergency expenses. For example, if you make $2,000 a month, only plan to spend $1,800. Now, decide if you can survive month-to-month on your own. If you can, add up all your moving costs, and see if you have enough money saved to afford them.
It may be months or years before you can save up money to afford moving costs.
Be patient; moving out before you are financially ready can lead to a lifetime of debt.
Don’t feel alone if you can’t afford living on your own: around 31% of 18-34 year olds cannot afford to move out of their parents’ homes.
Decide if you want a roommate.
You aren’t completely hopeless if you can’t afford to live on your own. Now more than ever, people are living with roommates to afford rent. Consider this option carefully, however; trying to find a roommate will split the cost of rent and utilities in half, but it can add a lot of stress as well. Consider a few key issues before searching for a roommate:
Would you be comfortable sharing a room or an apartment?
Are you expecting your roommate to be your best friend?
Do you feel comfortable having someone around your personal belongings?
How clean are you? Are you loud? How clean and loud would you want your roommate to be?
Consider living with a sibling or relative.
Sharing a room with a brother, sister, or cousin is great training for life with a roommate. If you are close with one of your siblings, you may want to move out together. Make sure you trust one another to pay the bills on time.
Interview potential roommates in person.
There are many ways to find roommates, whether it is through mutual friends or social media sites, but once you found someone who wants to live in the same area as you and is financially stable, talk to them in person. Some questions you should ask are:
How clean are you?
When do you go to bed, and how often do you have company?
Do you have any pets, and will a significant other be living with you?
Can you pay all bills on time?
See if these questions influence your decision to live with the potential roommate. Your lifestyles should be mostly similar.
Deal with conflict in a healthy way.
Conflict is bound to happen when living with others. What matters is how you deal with it. Pretending to not be bothered by your roommate’s behavior will lead to frustration, but constant bickering is stressful. If you need to confront your roommate, choose your words carefully so your roommate does not feel attacked.
“I feel frustrated when you don’t wash the dishes because the room smells” is better than “You’re a slob.”
Focus on the behavior, not the person.
Confront problems as they arise, not when you are frustrated and overwhelmed.
If your roommate confronts you, remember that they are trying to improve your relationship. Listen and reflect on what your roommate tells you.
Discuss moving out with your parents.
Sometimes parents prefer their kids to be gone by the age of 18. However, there are times when it might be in your best interest, and theirs, to stay at home longer. Living at home a few extra years is a great way to save money, go to college, and build up work experience.
Start a conversation with your parents. Pick a time when none of you are busy, then ask, “How would you feel if I moved out?”
If your parents completely support you now, find out how much help they will give if you move out. This could change your budget.
If you parents are sad or upset that you want to move out, that is normal. Reassure them you will visit and keep in touch.
Share your feelings and worries.
If you are nervous about moving out, say so. Honesty about your concerns is important. Your family can offer encouragement and advice that mentally and emotionally prepares your for life outside the nest.
Ask your family for help when you need it.
Some families have a rich uncle, and other families have vacation homes. Ask your family for financial help if and when you need it. First-time renters may also need an adult with good credit to co-sign a lease with them. Be gracious for any help your family offers.
Decide if you are emotionally ready to leave your home.
Sometimes, parents cook for, clean up after, and dote on their children. If you enjoy living at home and don’t need to move for school or work, consider staying at home. However, if you dread going home, get into fights with your parents, or will be going to a school far away, moving out is the best option. Reflect on your feelings.
Find an affordable apartment
or room to rent. Remember, your rent should be no more than 28% of your monthly income. Try to rent in safer neighborhoods, and use the internet, newspaper, or word-of-mouth to find a place that fits your budget. Consider parking, amenities, and distance from work and school when searching for a new home.
or room to rent.
The list of essential items you need to live on your own can be more extensive than you thought. Items such as towels, toilet paper, laundry detergent, and toothpaste will impact how comfortably you live. A beginner’s list of items you need may include:
Bathroom supplies: toothpaste, bath towels, a bathmat and shower curtain (optional), toilet bowl and shower cleaner, plunger, and toilet brush.
Kitchen supplies: food, dish soap and sponges, cups, plates, silverware, pots and pans, cooking utensils, kitchen appliances, paper towels, spray cleaner.
Miscellaneous household items: a vacuum, trash can and bags, couch and bed, linens, broom and dustpan, first aid kit, duct tape, a computer, and a television.
Get essential items.
. Make certain that you set aside money each month for your expenses, and use a calendar to keep track of when bills are due. Any money you have left over can go into a savings account, or you can spend it, but only after bills are paid.
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Stick to a budget
Let people know at least a couple of weeks in advance when you are moving to see if they are available to help. Having 2-3 helpers can greatly speed up the moving process, especially if you have furniture and a lot of boxes.
Have friends and family help you move.