Moving out for the first time? It can feel both exciting and daunting. That’s normal.
Here are some things to think about first of all:
- Can you afford to cover all expenses? Rent per week, groceries, petrol, insurance (if applicable), vehicle registration, bond, credit card/personal debt, saving for a nest egg and so on.
- Access to public transport — for work, social commitments, sport etc.
- Car parking space.
- Distance from school or university.
- Healthcare access — if you are going to attend a new clinic, or if you already have health conditions.
- Roommates? Yay or nay?
If you’ve been living at home, you may have been spending a larger portion of your salary on entertainment or other non-essential spends. Once you move out on your own, you may have to cut back in this area. — Miriam Caldwell, Are You Ready To Move Out?
Miriam is a personal finance and budgeting writer. The above factors are important to think about before moving out of home. I share more about this later in the article.
Moving out of home is a big step, so it’s important to reflect on this decision. Research will also help to learn about different tips on making this transition as smooth as possible. You have Google at your fingertips, online forums or you can simply ask friends or relatives how they did it!
The Amount of Money You Need To Save
In all honesty, the amount you need to save will vary for each circumstance. You may already have savings or you could be starting from zero. You might have assistance from your family, friends or the government. You may be flying solo. No matter what the circumstance, know that a bunch of numbers are only part of the answer.
In South Australia, bond is calculated depending on the weekly rent.
Where the rent does not exceed $250 per week, the maximum bond is four weeks rent. However, where the weekly rent is more than $250, the maximum bond is the equivalent of six weeks rent. — Residential Tenancies Act 1995 (SA).
A ballpark figure that could accomodate for expenses and more would be around $2,000-$5,000 AUD. This would factor in the bond fee (in this case, $1,000) as well as furniture and other household items if needed.
When I moved out for the first time, I was fortunate enough to move into a relative’s granny flat. I didn’t have to worry about bond or contracts.
Years down the road, I did save over $3000 AUD to cover bond and other miscellaneous expenses (furniture, household appliances). This rental property required a signed contract as well as landlord references.
Moving out for the first time is a big change, but if you break down the steps to ease the stress.
4 Ways to Cut Down On Expenses
- Don’t shop for non-essentials and cut down on eating out. Although the “sale” signs may seem alluring, don’t fall for it! Shopping malls will always be around.
- If you don’t need your vehicle, sell it. Depending on your age and requirements, vehicles can be a money-pit. If it is not required and won’t be for a year or two down the track, sell it to save for moving expenses.
- Get a part-time job and save at least 50% if you aren’t currently paying for board/rent. This is the biggest regret I have when I first moved out. Although I moved out into a relatives home, having extra savings would have been good at 18 years old.
- Learn to cook simple food that you enjoy. Although scattered, I became interested in cooking and trying new food. This interest continued once I moved out. Cooking can seem like a chore, but it is an essential skill to surviving physically and financially on your own.
Organise Yourself and Your Items
Now you have money saved and you’ve signed your rental contract, it’s time to pack your things and start a new adventure.
Around 1–3 months before moving out, start boxing up items you don’t use often or items that may be out of season. For instance, snow gear can be packed away during the summer months and if it’s winter, store away your summer clothes.
Ask your family members or close friends to help shift your items in advance. If you know when you’ll be moving, giving them advanced notice as a sign of courtesy and respect makes for a much smoother transition.
Luckily enough for me, my boyfriend is great at packing. He helped me out countless times a year of absolute address-changing chaos.
Sometimes moving has to be done quickly for safety reasons. If this is the case, you can hire a moving company to drive a truck and move your items for you. Or you can enlist the help of trusted friends or colleagues.
Time To Move Out
The day has finally come.
Once you’re feeling settled in your new home, you’ll feel at ease knowing you had saved the amount necessary to begin this new chapter.
Learning small financial strategies to save and spend wisely will serve you well on this thing called “adult hood”.
You don’t have to break the bank to move out of home but it is really helpful to have extra savings in case you find yourself in an emergency or if you need new/secondhand essentials.
When moving, always consider the expenses, distance from work/school, healthcare access and whether or not your new abode will be a liveable space.
Enjoy your new home!