Moving out of your parents' house can be a bit scary and overwhelming but also liberating. Having your own space where you walk in and out as you please is amazing. You don't have to answer to anyone and nobody is allowed in your space unless you tell them they can be. Unfortunately, most people only think about that and don't do much research on what it's like to actually move in somewhere. I know I didn't when I first moved out. Here are some things you should know before moving out of your parents' house.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information.
1. One Month's Rent and Deposit Isn't Enough
For most places that you'll be moving into, they expect a month and a half's worth of rent for the deposit and then the first month of rent upfront. If you have exactly that, it's not enough for you to move out. Yes, you have a whole month to make rent for next time but you have to make sure you're covered in case something comes up. Life happens and you want to be prepared when it does.
Something I wish I did before I moved out was save enough for at least three month's rent and the deposit. Trust me, it's not fun to be worrying about if you'll make rent if you lose your job, a pandemic happens, or any other emergency. Thankfully, none of that had happened to me when I first moved into my apartment but I did have situations where I needed more money than what I had.
2. Take Into Account ALL of Your Bills
Make sure your job, or jobs, can pay for your apartment with at least one pay cycle. Take into account all of your bills, rent, internet, heat, electricity, garbage, car insurance, and anything else you have to pay for every month. It all adds up and can be more than you expect so make sure you do the math and see how much you'll be paying every month. When I first started living by myself, I was making close to minimum wage with one job. Needless to say, I figured out real quick that if I wanted to keep living where I was living, I needed to do something different.
3. Have Some Sort of Credit History
For many apartment buildings, they check your credit score before you get approved to live there. Make sure you have some sort of credit history that they can see before you start applying places. This doesn't just mean owning a credit card, it can mean any bills that you might have been paying like your car insurance or phone bill.
4. It Can Get Lonely
Living alone can get pretty lonely. Especially if you move more than an hour away from all of your family and friends that you see regularly. You tell them that you'll visit them all the time or vice versa but after a while, you might not be seeing them for months a time. People are busy and not everyone is going to be able to drive to see you.
Try to make new friends in the new area you live in! That can be easier said than done but go to events, join clubs, and put yourself out there. I made plenty of new friends within a year of moving from work and school.
5. Not Having Your Apartment Fully Furnished is Okay
Chances are, your room at home isn't going to have enough furniture to fill your apartment. That is completely okay! Your apartment doesn't need to be furnished right away. Some of us are lucky enough that our parents can give us some old furniture from the attic or even buy new things for us. Not everyone has that though. Furniture can be expensive and if you don't have a lot of money to be dropping on a new bookshelf or night stand, don't beat yourself up. The most important thing is to make sure you have somewhere to sleep. I've been in my apartment for over two years and it still looks a little empty. As someone who goes to college and has a full-time job, I don't have enough time for furniture shopping. Here are a few things similar to what bought when I first moved in to my apartment:
6. Buy the Things That You'll Use the Most
You have a lot of things that you'll need for cleaning, cooking, and your daily routine. There are so many things that you use before you even leave your house in the morning! Waking up in your new apartment without any toothpaste to brush your teeth with or soap for your hands can be annoying. Make sure to go through your morning and night routine and write down all the things you use that you'll need to take with you.
I'm offering a free list of everything you'll need before you are ready to sleep in your new apartment if you sign up for my email list below!
7. Make Your Own Food
I moved out at the age of 20. I had never had any regular bills to pay before then and anything that I had made, I either ate it or wore it. Eating out more than once a week can drain you financially. It's a lot cheaper to buy groceries and make your own food than it is to order out. If you don't know how to cook, there are plenty of websites and videos on the internet to help you.
8. You're Going To Have Less Money For Things You Want
Just like eating out, you'll probably have to cut down on the spending for things like clothes, accessories, and electronics. You ever buy yourself a new shirt or pair of jeans and hear your mom comment on how you're always wasting your money on new clothes? She might not be wrong. We often get caught up in having the newest electronics or trendy clothes that we forget about the older clothes we have in our closets that are still wearable. Don't spend money on clothes unless you have to. I'm not saying to not treat yourself every once in a while but start doing it a lot less because you could need that money for something else.
9. Dirt Accumulates Fast
You'd be surprised how many times a week I have to clean my apartment. Dust and dirt accumulate fairly quickly. You'll definitely be needing to clean and sweep regularly to keep your place looking nice and neat. Messes don't just go away and you won't have your parents to pick up after you anymore.
My best cleaning tool is the flat dry mop. Getting dirt and hair off the floor is a lot easier with a dry mop than a broom. Brooms don't sweep up as much dust and they get nasty after a while with all the hair that can accumulate on it. A dry mop doesn't have that problem because of it's disposable pads. The pads can come dry or wet which mean you can replace your nasty mop too!
10. Pets Can Be Expensive
Having a pet to cure the loneliness is nice but pets can get expensive sometimes. Not only do you have to worry about food, toys, and beds, there might also be medical bills. Each visit can go from $50-$150 depending on what your animal may need. Be ready to pay for unexpected vet bills and medications to pay for if anything happens to your furry (or scaly) friend.
11. Do Your Research
If you're moving to a completely new area, do your research. Search for things such as schools, malls, grocery stores, and see how far away they are from your new potential home. If you're within a reasonable driving distance, go there in person and drive around to get a feel for the area.
12. Have A Job Before You Move In
Before I first moved into my apartment, I made sure to get a job in the area. The hour and a half drive between where I lived at the time and where I wanted to live wasn't the best but I made sure to go to plenty of job interviews and get hired before I moved. The reason I did this is because it can take days or weeks to get hired. Applying, going to the interview, doing the paperwork, and finishing training might not all get done as fast as you might want it to.
13. If Something Breaks, Tell Your Landlord
My fridge broke last year and I had ice cream everywhere! I told my landlord about it and they sent someone over to fix it that day. Unfortunately, the cooling wasn't my only problem. My fridge also had mold and insulation problems. When winter came around, I found ants crawling in my fridge! Ants are not supposed to be able to get into your fridge. In most cases, your landlord is required to replace your fridge. Make sure you read about it on your lease!
14. Reading the Lease is a MUST
Make sure to read the lease before you sign it! I know it can be a pretty lengthy packed but you don't want to sign the lease and then a few months later, have a nasty surprise that you didn't know about.
Moving out can be stressful so make sure you do your research before you take the big leap into the unknown. Get the things you use the most, make sure you have enough money to last you, and factor in what you might have to do to keep yourself afloat. If you enjoyed this post, subscribe so you can see more like it! Make sure you also check out my post, "Let's Talk About Roommates". I am going to be covering topics similar to this one in future posts so you won't want to miss out! Also check me out on Pinterest and Instagram @seekyourexperience. Show me what you're up to by using the hashtag #seekyourexperience and tagging me in your Instagram post!