It's almost been four years now since I moved out for the first time into an apartment with my boyfriend. It was the one of the most scary and exciting moment of my life but definitely one of the best decisions I ever made! I moved out the day I turned 21 but it took a year to prepare myself for the big step. I wanted a safe place of my own and the freedom to do what I please. I didn't have any help from parents or my boyfriend. I remember telling my boyfriend I have to move out and his response being we won't be able to. My response... watch me.
To this day I never did go back to my parents to live or ask for help. I prepared myself and made sure that wouldn't happen. Now 4 years later my younger sister who will be 21 January 31st is struggling with the decision of moving out. We have spent a lot of time discussing it and I realized how much there is to do to prepare yourself to successfully move out. So I want to take the time to share some major things that helped me get where I wanted to go.
1. Decide and Be 100% sure of it: Deciding to move out felt like it took forever for me to figure out but one night it just hit me and I knew it was time. My life really wasn't that great at the time living with my mom so making that decision was simple enough.
2. Make a Plan: I wrote down lists/ notes over and over again of things that needed to be done in order to move out. I made a plan of how much I was going to save every month and how long it would take me to get to that point. I took the time to see where I could cut back to save more.
3. Rent or Own?: This is obviously a major decision that has to be considered. For me it was rent because I wasn't married and I could not come up with the amount of money needed to buy plus I wasn't ready for such a solid commitment. For my younger cousin her decision was to buy, she had a lot more time to save a good chunk and where she lives made it cheaper for her to make a house payment rather than a rent payment. She knew she could depend on her boyfriend.
4. Bills, Bills, Bills: The next thing you need to realize are your current bills. They need to be on paper. How much is coming in (round down) and how much is going out (round up). Then you need to consider your bills with renting or owning. Things like electric, water, groceries, and rent. You may not be able to figure out these costs but if you look in your paper and call some apartments you will start to see numbers. As for groceries I spend on 2 one hundred dollars a week.
5. Stuff: This is the fun part! Getting all the things you need for your place. The best thing is to do this slowly. Buy things you need when they are on sale or a really good deal. Don't forget to thrift and think outside of the box with items. Doing this slowly will save you money and motivate you towards your saving goal to move out. Be sure to make a list and keep your items stored away nicely so that when you do move out you will be excited to open forgotten treasures. It's like christmas!
6. Start looking: This is also a fun part. I remember looking at our first apartment and thinking this is it! Then my boyfriend said lets keep looking. We called and made appointment's to look at duplex's, renting homes, really crappy apartments and really nice apartments. I didn't find the one until the very end and "the one" was nothing I expected it to be but it was our best option for our budget at the time.
7. Crunch some Numbers: Remember writing out your bills earlier and then estimating your future bills? It's time to start putting those together to see what you can afford with a good chunk of money left over. Don't think that a 650 rent payment can be made if that is all the money you have to pay it every month. In a way it makes sense but in reality it doesn't work.
8. Have A Cushion: This is where your cushion that you have and plan for will save your tush and keep you from crawling back to your parents. A cushion or emergency fund is extra cash you have every month or a big chunk you have saved in case something happens and trust me everything happens. Someone loses their job or all the sudden they cut your hours at work or your car breaks down. Without a cushion you cut into rent money which in turns sets you back.
9. Compromise and Prepare for a New Life: You are not going to get everything you want in your first place unless auntie ethel left you a major load of cash in her will. You are going to enjoy that though because growing and progress are why we live. It's fun to see the next step, without it we don't have anything to strive for. Life is going to be different now. In a sense this is when you become an adult.
10. Make the Move: Time to make your decision and do your thing. It's so much fun and within a year you will have learned more about life than you did your first year of college. Times will be good and times will be bad but that's what makes it interesting! Feel confident in your choice and be prepared to roll with the punches. You can do this!
I hope this helps any of you struggling with how to go about moving out. If this does I would love to hear and if any of you have anymore helpful advice please leave it below.