So, the time has come to move out of your parents’ house? Not sure what you need to know or where to begin? Well, this post is here to give you some clarity.
The most important thing that you need to know is research is your best friend during this process. The more information and data you can gather before you move the better you can plan and budget. When the plan and budget are well thought out apartment hunting and the move itself become easier.
Have A Researched Idea Of What Your New Cost Of Living Will Be
Take the time to research and understand the new costs that you will be responsible for. Aim to have a detailed monthly cost breakdown. This cost should include the basics like rent and utilities. It should also include your personal costs to things like subscriptions, phone bills, and variable expenses like food and dining out. The more specific you can get with the cost breakdown the better idea you will have of how much money you will likely be spending each month.
If you have friends that live in the area you are moving to, use them as a base for your research. Ask them about their monthly costs, how much they spend on average for certain things like food, and what unexpected costs arose for them.
Remember the goal of this research is to develop a monthly cost of living amount for yourself. You will use this amount to build yourself a budget.
Build A Budget & 3 Months Savings Before Moving Out
Before you move out of your parents’ house, you need to have saved up three months’ costs of living based on the research you completed earlier. You can achieve this by developing a budget as if you were there already and then assigning money to that budget until it is fully funded.
This is such an integral step.
You are essentially creating a 3-month emergency fund for yourself. So if for some reason you lose your income or spend more than planned during the move, you do not have to worry about not being able to pay next month’s bills.
If your monthly cost of living ended up being $1,000 then you need to save up $3,000. Now, if you are struggling already to put money aside note that this might be a wake-up call that you are not ready to move.
However, if you must move and you are not able to adequately set aside enough money, be sure to save up three months’ rent at the least.
One tool that I suggest you add to your adulting arsenal is a budgeting software called You Need A Budget (YNAB). I’ve been using YNAB since undergrad and it has been the #1 best adulting tool. I have made it through undergrad, graduate school, and entered the workforce while avoiding debt thanks to YNAB.
So, if interested I have a referral link for a 34 day free trial of YNAB. It is single-handedly the #1 reason why my transition into adulthood has gone as well as it has.
Read More: Why YNAB Is My #1 Adulting Tool
No matter if you use YNAB or not you need to answer these questions:
Do you know your net worth?
What is your total monthly income and total monthly spending?
What is your monthly net income? This is income minus spending.
Is your monthly net income positive or negative?
Affordability Is King
Most often the biggest costs that come with moving to a new place happen in the first 30 days of the move itself. So, in order to keep things affordable, do your best to keep those first 30 days as cost-efficient as possible.
You don’t want to move out of your parents’ house just to have to move back into their house.
Remember affordability is king.
What do I mean by this?
For starters, bring what you can. Bring as much stuff with you that you already own. If you can bring it then you don’t have to buy it – that’s money saved already.
If people are asking you what they can get you to help out, tell them what you need. Your best bet for things to ask for would be for those one-time necessity purchases like pots and pans, a vacuum, and linens.
If you have no ideas for what to ask for just ask for a gift card from places like Walmart, Amazon, or Wayfair. This way you can buy whatever you need with the gift cards as needed.
Now, another way you can go about getting the help of others is actually using their employment or connections to your benefit.
For example, if someone who works at a furniture store asks what they can get you, tell them nothing. Instead, you want to be able to use their employee discount on the furniture you buy.
If you are having to completely buy new furniture for your house, getting an employee discount could save you hundreds if not thousands depending on what you have to buy.
Shop Smart Not Cheap
Once you have reached the point to where you have to spend your own money without any discounts or coupons, it is now time to truly shop smart. Depending on what you need thrift stores can be the holy grail for finding those random items that you are looking for on cheap.
Additionally, stores like IKEA are known to be pretty affordable and actually offer some excellent shipping prices to get you everything you need.
At the end of the day, it is important to remember that you want to be as costs efficient as possible in the first 30 days of your moving. Doing your best to make sure you live below your means, in the beginning, can make all the difference later.
Know the lingo
So, throughout the moving process, you might come across terms where you are not sure what they mean, especially if this is your first time moving. Below is a list of the most common terms and their definitions related to moving.
|Security Deposit||Insurance payment for the landlord or leasing agency just in case you skip a payment or damage the place|
|Co-signer||A co-signer is a third party who agrees to cover your rent costs if you fail to pay rent.|
|Renter’s Insurance||A type of insurance that covers your personal property in the apartment if it is damaged or stolen usually in something like a burglary.|
|Utilities||Water, gas, and electricity (sometimes trash/disposal and internet)|
|Jr 1-bed Vs 1-bed||A Jr bedroom usually means there is no actual door between the bedroom and the rest of the apartment.|
Know the Basic Amenities
After deciding whether to have roommates, you then need to decide what kind of amenities you want in your apartment. The amenities offered differ from place to place, which makes it difficult to provide an exhaustive list. However, this list will cover the most basic amenities, which will help you start to figure out your criteria:
Determining how far away you’re willing to live from your job/school will really help you figure out which area you want to live in.
Most places come with a refrigerator and an oven, but many places don’t come with a microwave or a dishwasher. While purchasing a microwave tends to be cheap, buying a dishwasher can be a much larger investment. Additionally, you’ll have to check to be sure that the apartment even has a hookup for your dishwasher before buying one.
Some places include in-unit washers and dryers, some include hookups for you to bring your own machines, some have laundry in a common building outside of your apartment, and some don’t have any laundry services at all. Basically, you’ll just have to decide whether you’re willing to leave your apartment to wash your clothes every week.
You’d be surprised at how many apartment buildings do not have A/C, especially real central A/C, not a fan that pulls in air from the window unit. So, if A/C is a must for you, make sure to check to see if the apartment buildings you look at offer it.
If you plan on living with a furry friend, make sure to read the pet policies of the apartments you look at. Some places don’t allow any pets, some only allow cats, and some only allow certain breeds of dogs. Additionally, some pet policies require that you pay a few hundred extra dollars a month as a “pet rent.”
Some places can be tricky with their package delivery system, so be sure to ask about how it works.
If you plan on bringing a car, be sure to check to see if the places you’re looking at offer designated street parking, parking deck parking, or no reserved parking at all.
Many apartments do not come furnished, which means you’ll have to buy your own furniture. Bigger pieces of furniture like couches, bed frames, mattresses, and dressers can be pricey. It helps to account for the cost of furniture upfront by making a list of everything you’ll need to buy along with approximate prices.
Some great places to buy furniture include IKEA, Wayfair, Target, Amazon, and more! Depending on where you buy furniture, it will probably end up costing you several thousand dollars.
Don’t forget to check for extra, more luxurious amenities that the apartment building might offer. These kinds of flashy amenities can include things like a pool, a gym, a movie room, a game room, and elevators.
While these kinds of amenities might be essential for you, do bear in mind most places won’t have all of these available.
Additionally, these extra amenities can increase rent by hundreds of dollars, so, depending on your budget, you might want to go without some of these amenities.
If you have no idea what amenities are important to you, take stock of what you appliances you use most before you move out of your parents’ house.
Putting It All Together
Despite all of the work that goes into it, apartment hunting can be really fun! Those whole process of preparing to move out of your parents’ house can be fun!
Getting to select your own home is a really exciting step to take as an adult! With helpful internet websites, apartment hunting has never been easier—especially if you live far away from your city. Remember that your budget will probably be your largest determining factor, so calculate it wisely.
Additionally, it may be helpful to look at apartment hunting sites first before setting your budget. That way, you have an idea of how much your desired kind of apartment will cost in your city. Be patient with the process, and give yourself plenty of time to find a place!
If interested, I have detailed posts talking about how to move to a new city, how to move with no job, and what information is needed for an apartment application linked here. So be sure to check those out to gain even greater insight into each process.
What are your thoughts? Do have any tips to share to help people move out of your parents’ house? Let us know in the comments below!
Best of luck adulting!
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