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:
KNOW THE COSTS OF MOVING OUT
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.)
CREATE A BUDGET
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).