How much should you save before moving out of your parent’s house? All of that new found freedom comes at a cost. We compiled the 7 most important tips to prepare and budget to live on your own.
Rent and Security Deposit
Before you begin your new home search, determine the max rent you can afford. Typically, you should divide your monthly income (average out your last 6 months of paystubs) by 3 and use that as your max rent budget. For example, if you make $3,000 monthly you should be looking to spend no more than $1,000 per month on rent. Once you have settled on an apartment, you will most likely need to make a down payment of 1st month’s rent, last month’s rent, and a security deposit. In most cases, this will total 3 months of rent. If we are using our max budget rent example above, you should expect to put down $3,000 towards your new apartment. Remember to budget for other often forgotten apartment search costs such as realtor fees, application fees, credit/background check fees, etc.
You will need to transfer / setup utilities (gas, electric, tv, phone, internet, water, etc.) in your name at your new home. Be sure to include these monthly charges in your budget. If you are unsure of what the monthly charges will be – reach out to your landlord or utility company. They should have historical data to help you budget. Remember utilities like gas or electric will fluctuate in the Summer/Winter.
Your stuff has to get from your parent’s house to your new place somehow! Take a look at your budget and consider whether you should plan for a DIY move (rental truck & a few strong friends) or a full service mover (Humboldt!). Weigh the pros and cons between the two, very different services. Do you have the time to pack all your items? Do you have the means to actually move your furniture? Do you have friends committed to helping? Is a full service mover out of your budget? If you choose the DIY route – don’t forget to budget for packing materials. Once you have made a decision, book your rental truck or full service mover well in advance (60-90 days). (Check out our blog “7 Ways to Save Money On Your Move” for more move money saving tips.)
Furnish Your New Home
If you are moving out for the first time, chances are there at least a few new pieces of furniture and furnishings you will need to acquire. Make a list of what you need (and a separate list of what you WANT). Cut corners where you can by using low cost solutions such as : used furniture from friends and family, IKEA, yard sales, or Craigslist. Try to plan around your move date so you don’t have to move the large items twice. Tally your list up and be sure to budget around this total.
In many cases, landlords will require you to carry renter’s insurance. This can run anywhere from $10-50 depending on your coverage. Your landlord’s insurance only covers them and their property. Renter’s insurance will cover you and your possessions. Fires, theft, harsh weather can happen – protect yourself for literally a few cents per day.
Stocking your fridge and pantry for the first time can be expensive! Make a list of your weekly shopping items and also the pantry essentials that you need to stock up on (flour, sugar, spices, etc.) Consider coupons, store apps, and reward programs to save some extra $. Eating out daily can add up so try to cook most of your meals at home.
Always Be Prepared Fund
Ideally, you want to have some $ saved up in case of emergency. You could get sick, lose your job, or have car troubles. A general rule of thumb is to have 3-6 months of living expenses saved up just in case. Often this is not feasible when you are first moving out, so start with 1 month savings and work on slowly increasing it from there.
Learning how to make a budget isn’t the most exciting thing you’ll do when first moving out and living on your own, but it can mean the difference between just getting by and making the most of your money. Re-evaluate your expenses on an ongoing basis and budget accordingly.