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The time has finally come for you to move into your own apartment or home for the first time. It’s not like living in a dorm room. This time, you’re on your own. Few things really compare to moving into an open, empty apartment that’s all yours. All this space belongs to you, as does the responsibility. In this post, we’ll look into some of the things you need to know and do before moving out on your own.
Moving out on your own means that you’re officially an adult. There’s no more going home for spring break or winter break. You’re on your own now, and would be until you find a significant other and have kids, if that’s on your agenda. Of course, you’ll still visit your parents, but their house is no longer your home.
Get a bill in your name while you live at home
It is important to start early – while you’re still living with your parents. That way, you can make a few payments on that bill to see that you can manage. It also shows the banks and your creditors that you’re responsible.
Great options of bills to put in your own name include your:
- Cell phone bill
- Car loan
- Car insurance
These loans must be specific to you, and not to the entire household. It’s important to pay these bills in full and on time every month.
Build a credit record
A credit history can stand you in good stead for years to come. Use a low-interests credit card to purchase your regular expenses. This will help you prove that you have the ability to meet your minimum obligations. If at all possible, pay the full credit balance. This will improve your credit score and make it easier to obtain credit in the long term.
Don’t trust yourself with a credit card? No problem. You could always get a gas station card. This enables you to build your credit score. Since you can only use this card for fuel, you’re less likely to run into trouble.
Create a budget – and stick to it!
Most people have no control over their money until they embrace a budget. You should do this before moving out on your own. Yes, it may seem restrictive. But look at it as your friend who tells you what you can do when, rather than an enemy that tells you what you can’t do.
Be prepared for additional bills when you move out
One shock for which most people are unprepared is the fact that there are many hidden bills that we’re not aware of until we have to pay them. Once you move out on your own, all the bills are your responsibility, and that includes electricity, heat and hot water.
Some of the new bills you will face when moving out on your own are not housing related, and include:
- Student loans
It is important to keep some flexibility in there for savings and investing as well.
Moving Out On Your Own: You CAN Make it Work
Yes, it sounds expensive to move out on your own, and it is. However, it is still possible to make it happen. Perhaps the first thing to do would be to consider your reasons for wanting to move out.
- Do you need to move closer to work or college?
- Have all your friends moved out and you are the only one still living at home?
- Do you need to move out on your own because you are having family trouble?
Some reasons for moving out on your own might be valid, but you might also be allowing things to stress you out unnecessarily. Most parents can be hard to live with if you’re seeking independence, but remember, they love you and want you to be safe. A good way to convince yourself (and them) that you’re ready to move out, is to:
- go over your daily expenses to see if you can afford to move out.
- practice paying rent, either to your parents, or if they’re kind enough, keep it in a savings account for a rainy day.
- start buying essentials long before you move out, and gladly accept any hand-me-downs given to you.
- learn some basic DIY.
- cook basic meals for your family at least once a week so that you can get used to cooking for yourself.
If, for whatever reason you have to move out on your own, consider the following options:
- Research a variety of apartment complexes and rentals for information on what to expect.
- Consider moving into shared living spaces, such as shared apartments, or a compound instead of moving out on your own.
- Consider renting a room or basement in someone’s house.
- Cut back on unnecessary expenses such as a premium phone service.
- Avoid getting pets right now. Many rentals are not pet-friendly.
- Consider working overtime or getting a second job.
Moving out on your own for the first time is a big step. Don’t be afraid to do your research and ask people for their experiences. Moving out on your own can be fun and exciting, especially if you are prepared to put in the time first.
Be sure to download our relocation checklist with everything you need to know to move out for the first time.