In this series, our digital content producer Maxine Fourie shares her inside tips to living your best life—on a budget.
Flying the coop can be a scary thing, but preparing yourself before the move will have you set up for success and help with a smooth transition from the nest to the big, wide world.
Whether you’re moving into a flat-share, an apartment or first home, leaving home (whether you think you’re ready or not) can create waves of change and shock you with newfound independence. It’s an exciting time to learn, grow and start laying down foundation blocks for your future ahead but it can also give you a financial blow you may not have experienced before.
In order to have a smoother transition financially, banking some tried and tested moving out tips up your sleeve will have you cutting costs prior to your move and will set you up to save those precious pennies here and there. After all, the less financial pressure, the better.
Read on for our top tips on how to move out of home on a budget:
Talk to your parents and develop a ‘moving out plan’
The first step to your journey is best placed in having a conversation with your parents and letting them know your thoughts and goals around moving out of home. Communicating with them allows them to aid you, support you and steer you in the right direction – and more often than not, they know a few crucial things about owning or renting a property that can help you in your own search.
In your discussion, it’s good to develop a moving out plan; this is a great opportunity to lay all your cards out and structure a guideline to get you ready; this can include setting a move out deadline, dividing household chores and having a financial plan ready.
Start saving for your down payment and make a budget
Moving out doesn’t come cheap whether you’re renting, or buying your first home. In all cases, a down payment is required to secure your new abode and having this deposit ready allows you to get going. There can also be letting fees to pay if you have found a rental through an agent, and most property managers or landlords will ask for rent in advance as part of your first payment. However, even when you’ve got this ready, there are still other associated costs that come with moving out – some optional, such as movers, professional cleaning services or storage; and others, not-so-optional, such as power, gas and internet set-up fees, home and contents insurance and cleaning products. Not forgetting that your new regular outgoings means you need to adjust to a financial change too.
Making a budget and sticking to it is step one- and this involves sacrifice and differentiating the need from the greed. Don’t worry, you can still brunch on a Saturday and online shop within reason, but prioritising your spending and keeping your savings topped up will allow you to have money for the things you may really need within your new home.
Establish what you’ll keep, toss and need to purchase
One of the joys of moving is reminiscing on the memories you’ve made and the things you’ve collected over the years, but this also means re-evaluating the worth of the items you’ve hoarded away, that may not belong in the next part of your journey. Form a list of items to keep and the items to give away or sell.
Doing this at once is effective as it prompts you to sell items you don’t need, which generates funds to purchase the items you do. If you’re wanting to donate to an op-shop instead, you can hit the charity store that same day and kill two birds with one stone.
In terms of furniture and other household items, put the word out to friends and family that you are moving out of home and you’ll be surprised at how generous people can be at offering hand-me-down items to get you started and on your way. Don’t forget to scour second-hand stores, markets and TradeMe for bargains and if you are a dab hand at DIY, you might even be able to find some freebies and fix them up to feel new and uniquely yours!
Shop around and compare costs
Power, water, insurance and internet are all things that we use daily, but are often the things we forget about because our parents have probably covered us until now (thanks guys!). When moving into your new place, don’t just stick with the company that’s been recommended by your parents or others – although definitely get as many recommendations as you can. When you shop around and compare prices, there are often great deals that newbies get, whether it’s a discounted rate or a voucher. It pays to keep your options open!