Moving Out For The First Time
Is it time to move out of your parents’ house?
It’s becoming more and more common for young adults to stay at home longer. According to the Pew Research Center, 15% of 25 to 35-year-olds were living at home in 2016, and that age group is living at home longer. However, with monumental events like graduation, new careers or marriage, many young adults find themselves ready to leave the nest. If you’re planning on moving out for the first time, there are a few things to do first: save money, make a plan for living alone, and figure out how to move.
Step 1: Save money before moving out on your own
Deposits, down payments, furniture and kitchen supplies are just a few of the things you’ll need to spend money on, so start saving now! Here are a few expenses to budget for, and some tips for reducing costs:
- An apartment. You may need to put down a deposit and the first (and/or last) month’s rent to sign a lease. That adds up quickly! Consider finding a roommate to split these fees with.
- Moving. Whether it’s a DIY move or hiring a company to do all the work, moving is an inevitable cost. Get a moving quote to estimate rates and make sure you’re choosing the best option.
- Utilities. Depending on your credit, companies may require a deposit in order to get services set up at the new place. If you haven’t established credit yet, you may consider asking a roommate to be the name on the bill (as long as they have acceptable credit).
- Furniture. While furniture can be purchased slowly, it’s a cost that can add up fast. Consider searching for items on sale or second-hand to cut costs, or find a furnished apartment.
- Insurance. Renter’s insurance, car insurance (if applicable) and health insurance are all costs to plan for. Talk to an insurance agent about bundling policies for savings.
- Transportation. Do you have a personal vehicle? Is it paid off? If not, there’ll be payments to cover, along with fuel and maintenance costs. If you don’t own a vehicle, make sure to account for public transportation costs.
- Communication. While not necessities, most people like to plan for a cell phone, internet service and television. Again, depending on your credit, these services may require a deposit up-front.
Step 2: Plan to live on your own
While these tips may seem like no-brainers, these are often the areas where people struggle the most. According to the Financial Educators Council, more than half of millennials say debt is their biggest financial concern, and 39% worry about their financial future weekly. So make a plan for living on a budget and stick to it.
- Line up employment. The wisest choice is to wait until there’s a job lined out before moving out of your parents’ house. Create a resume, attend job fairs, look for job postings online, ace the interview and get the job. Then make your plans for leaving. This way you’ll know income plans, hopefully have healthcare coverage, and be more prepared for life alone.
- Save for emergencies. Once the paychecks start coming, it can be tempting to fill the new apartment, take trips and buy new things. But don’t forget about savings. According to the Federal Reserve, 44% of adults couldn’t cover a $400 emergency expense! Don’t get yourself in a bind. Instead, open a savings account and have part of each paycheck deposited into it directly so you don’t have to make the choice to save.
- Make a budget. Write out a month of typical expenses and make sure your paycheck covers them (if not, rethink your expenses or find a second job). Once all of the bills are paid, make a plan for categories like entertainment and eating out. Having a budget and sticking to it can be two different things, so work hard to find a method that works for you.
- Consider a roommate. While you’re looking forward to living independently, having a roommate means splitting most costs. Ask friends and coworkers for connections to find a roommate. If searching for a roommate online, make sure to meet in person and do a thorough background check on anyone you don’t have personal references for.
Step 3: Make a plan for moving
Once you have the money saved up to move and an apartment lined up, it’s time to plan the big move. Since most people moving out for the first time are headed to an apartment, our Ultimate Guide to Apartment Moving is a great resource. It walks you through everything from getting parking permissions for moving equipment to connecting utilities.
To stick to the budget, explore several different moving options from truck rental to portable storage. While comparing rates, if you’re moving long distance, take a look at U-Pack®. U-Pack is a self-moving service where you pack and load, but don’t have to drive. Prices are often comparable to truck rental, especially for long-distance moves. You may be surprised at how affordable it is to move without having to do all the work.
Step 4: Know that you’ll need help (and don’t be afraid to ask!)
Talk to your parents and friends to find out what it was like for them to move out at 18, or after college. At some point in their journey, most people need help. Whether it’s a medical emergency, a financial crisis or being let go at a job, scenarios may arise when you need support. Don’t be afraid to ask parents, friends or family for assistance — no one has it together all the time. Even though you’re planning this move to find independence, you likely have people who will be there during a crisis.
And if you need help planning the moving portion of the journey, let us know. We’re here to help however we can!