In terms of milestones, moving out of home is right up there with buying your first car, graduating university and deleting your old Myspace account.
But for many, the move is made almost as quickly as the decision. Before you go off and fly the coop, remember these four things:
1. It will cost more than you expect
Having enough in the bank to cover your weekly rent and food bills is one thing, supporting yourself throughout the move is another beast entirely.
Before you make the jump, factor in your bond (this is often three or four weeks’ rent), letting fee (usually one weeks’ rent), moving costs if you’re hiring a van or mover, plus any chattels you need. This could be anything from a new fridge or microwave to a television or washing machine. Then there are all the little things that add up – a clothes horse, a dish drying rack, a set of cutlery – it all needs to be counted before you move out of home.
You are most likely old enough now to be able to get your first credit card but this really should be an emergency option for you.
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2. You’re going to need insurance
That said, you’ll be needing a back up in case anything happens to all of that stuff in your new place. You’ll quickly build up a supply of valuable items and the only thing worse than losing them to theft, accident (think smoke alarms setting off the water sprinklers over your new stereo system) or natural disaster is knowing you’ll have to cover the cost of all of it again by yourself.
On the plus side, the fact that you probably won’t have a full house of pricey items means your insurance payments will likely be smaller and more manageable. However, if you don’t think you can fork out for a small weekly payment, then maybe you’re not ready to move out just yet (see point one).
3. Flatmates can play a big role in your finances
Moving out is often flanked by the excitement of moving in with your mates – just remember to take a moment to consider that. Are your friends the type to borrow money and ‘forget’ to pay it back? Do they have a job to pitch in for bills and rent? In some cases, you’ll need to put on your best tough-love face and refuse a flatmate if they don’t shape up. There’s no quicker way to fall out with your friends than over financial problems (except perhaps travelling together, but that’s another story), so make the call to stay friends and live apart rather than live together and let that pull you apart in other ways.
Conversely, great flatmates will pay their bills on time, chip in for cleaning products, and might even be a great influence on you and your spending habits.
4. You’ll be needing those home recipes
After the first few days of freedom, take out meals and leftovers, you’ll quickly crave the tastes of home. From macaroni cheese to lasagna and Pavlova, there’s absolutely nothing like a home-cooked meal.
Before you move, spend an afternoon copying out your favourite recipes, taking notes on how they’re done or perhaps even practicing. Unless of course you want an excuse to ring home and visit regularly, because you can guarantee this will be a recurring theme to your catch ups!
What’s your best tip for someone about to move out of home?