Picture yourself in your own house or apartment. You can sleep in as late as you want, hang out with all your friends, choose when to do (or not to do) chores, and be the king or queen of the TV remote. Sounds like the perfect setup!
Now, picture yourself having to move back into your parents’ place because you ran out of money. Not so pretty, is it?
For all of you who want to permanently enjoy the freedom of living on your own, we'd like to help you avoid an undesirable return to the nest.
Don’t get us wrong. We’re not trying to knock cohabitation with your mom and/or dad. It can be pretty nice, when you are trying to save money for a future goal or simply like having family around.
But for all of you who want to permanently enjoy the freedom of living on your own, we’d like to help you avoid an undesirable return to the nest.
Here are some practical tips for preparing for the costs of moving out:
Know the Costs
It isn’t just rent. There are many additional expenses (check out 19 of them here) associated with moving into your own place, and you need a plan and the income to pay for them.
You need something to sit, eat, and sleep on. And you need to be able to pay all of the bills and fees associated with having your own place. Plus, there are stipulations in your lease that might end up costing you money, too—be sure to ask the landlord of about them (especially these 10 questions).
Create a Budget
Calculate your current and future income and expenses. This will help you figure out how much you need to save up before moving out, and how much you’ll need to make to keep up with the costs once you move out. Then, take it one step further and create a plan for managing your money each week and month.
Shop smart and find ways to trim expenses:
Try bundling. Some companies offer deals on combined services such as cable, Internet, and phone. Ask for a new customer discount, such as a reduced rate for the first six months of service.
Slash costs for furniture. Shop at consignment shops and yard sales for deals on used items. Ask for hand-me-down furniture from family and friends.
Get a roommate. Consider living with someone else to cut expenses like rent, utilities, and food.
Avoid peak times. Try not to move out when everyone else is going back to school or visiting your area for vacation. That’s when costs at big-box stores and rents on apartments skyrocket.
Increase hours at work or take on a second job. Use the extra income to build the savings you need to move out, and keep on saving so you can deal with unexpected expenses and emergencies.
Reality check: If you’ve done everything you can to plan and save up cash for moving out but you’re still coming up short, the best idea is to wait.