Regardless of when you decide to do it, moving out of home for the first time is and always will be a difficult and nerve-wracking experience. You can do yourself a favour though by making sure that you have all your bases covered, or at least as many as possible.
- Evaluate why you’ve decided to move out. Think about it long and hard, and make sure that you’re moving out for the right reasons. Otherwise you could end up moving back in after a short period, which will just be a waste of time and money – and might annoy your parents!
- Think about where you want to, and can afford to live. You might want to live in an inner-city flat, but you might only be able to afford a tiny house in the suburbs. It’s important to know this, and to be able to reach a compromise.
- Budget your expenses. The most common difficulties post-move are financial, and this is usually due to poor budgeting or none at all. Make a list of ALL your expenses, not just the main ones. Include your morning coffees and your semi-regular eBay sprees, as this will help you to develop a comprehensive budget that will in turn help to make sure that you’re financially sustainable. Also remember that you’ll have to pay bond, which is usually four weeks rent. Think about non-essential services like Wi-Fi and cable television. Do you need services like these? Can you afford to pay for them? Try CANSTAR’s Budget Planner Calculator to get you started.
- Are you going to share accommodation with anyone else? If so, think carefully about whose name(s) will be on the lease and utilities bills. Be aware that if your name is on a rental agreement and/or a utilities account, all you can be jointly and severally liable for any debts. There is some good general information available on the Citizens Advice Bureau website.
- When it comes to the actual move itself consider the following:
- Will you hire people to help you move, or just ask your mates?
- Is the property furnished? If not, you’ll have to buy your own furniture, which can be hard on the wallet.
- Make a comprehensive list of everything you want to take with you. You’ll be less than pleased if you finish moving in, want to sit down and relax, and realise you’ve forgotten your CD player.
- Sort out things like home and contents insurance and utilities before you move in. Otherwise you risk starting this exciting new period of your life with an ice-cold shower.
- Don’t waste time and money by taking things you don’t want with you. See if you can sell them off, and if you can’t, just throw them out. The fewer things you take, the easier your move will be, and if you’re hiring movers, it’ll cost less.
- Make sure to notify all important institutions like your bank or your university of your change of address, or go to your post office and set up a mail redirect.
Once you’ve moved in, even if things went off without a hitch, be careful for the first few months. Keep a tight rein over your expenses, just so you can get a feel for your new lifestyle without having an added financial worry.