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How to Move Out

(See Ya, Mom and Dad)

Don’t get us wrong. We’re not knocking living with your folks, especially when you’re trying to save for a future goal or you simply like living at home (hello, home-cooked meals). But if you want to move out for good, here are some practical tips:


It’s not just rent. Before you sign a lease, ask the landlord for a full rundown of utilities and fees. Some of these, like parking and trash, could be the same each month, while others (water, gas and electric) depend on usage. Ask your landlord or the utility companies for average monthly bills based on prior tenants.

Don’t forget things you might take for granted at home, like internet, cable, phone and laundry. Not to mention the hidden expenses that you won’t even think about until they come up (wait, you need renters insurance?).

Before you move out of Casa de Mom and Dad, start a list of all the household items you use in a day – from shampoo to ketchup – and consider that once you move out, you’re going to have to buy these things for yourself. (Or steal them from your parents’ house when you’re home doing laundry because you ran out of quarters.)


Get real about 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 keep up with costs. If you don’t know how much you spend on groceries, keep track of your food spending for a week (and don’t forget to count meals you eat out of your parents’ fridge as items you will have to buy).

Young woman on laptop researching how to move out of parents house and into first apartment.

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, it is best to wait until you’re more financially secure.

Make cuts. Look for savings when setting up accounts and services.

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 6 months.

Avoid peak moving times. Try not to move out when everyone else is going back to school or visiting your area for vacation. That’s when moving company costs, retail prices and rents on apartments skyrocket.

Slash costs for furniture. Do you really need new furniture, or can you scrape by with what you have? Shop used, look for freebies on community message boards, and ask for hand-me-downs.

Young couple that have moved out cooking a meal together.

Get a roommate (or 2, or 3). Living with others is a great way to cut expenses on rent, utilities and food. Make sure you have the same expectations, and you will save a ton of money.


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 saving so you can deal with unexpected expenses and emergencies.

As always, we’ve got your back. — The On Your Own Team End of article insignia

[Any reference to a specific company, commercial product, process or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation by On Your Own, the National Endowment for Financial Education or any of its affiliate programs.]