Leaving home for the first time can be exciting and scary (and home includes your student accommodation paid for by your parents). You’re excited to gain some independence but scared for the world of responsibility and adulting that awaits you. Here are a few things you’re going to need to know before moving out.
Money doesn’t grow on trees
It’s time to find a steady job. Make sure you find a position that pays you well enough to survive and cover your living expenses. It’s also a good idea to start getting into the habit of putting money away into a savings account every month. Not one of those transferable savings accounts but one that is bolted shut and inaccessible without going through an official process. You need to start saving for the inevitable so that you can be prepared for any possible emergency or life event.
To ingrain the concept of “money doesn’t grow on trees”, create a monthly, if not weekly, budget plan and stick to it. Factor in your debit orders, rent, petrol, groceries and savings money and see what is left to “play” with. Don’t spend more than what your budget allows because then you’ll be compromising your ability to pay your dues.
You’ll need a place
An obvious necessity to have figured out before you move out is where you’re going to live. You need to find a place that is preferably close to work and in a safe area. You need to consider parking space, pet tolerance and if any safety features are provided.
You need to consider renting or buying, furnished or unfurnished and a roommate or no roommate? There are benefits to having a roommate that go beyond shared rent and house responsibilities. Before finding a roommate, which should be a very specific process, analyse where you are in your life and what you want this experience of moving out to be like.
Car trouble is your trouble
Servicing your car, changing flat tyres, remembering to check your oil and water and washing your car is now your responsibility. Take good care of your used Ford and you won’t need to worry about scratching into your savings for major replacements. Make sure you understand the terms of your car insurance and financing as you’re going to need to take over that responsibility.
Do some life-shadowing
Before you move out, be sure to do some life-shadowing. This entails following your mom or dad around and asking all the possible housekeeping questions you have and may ever have.
Make a list of household chores that go beyond sweeping the floor and washing the dishes. Find out which products you need to clean which surfaces and when it’s not okay to use bleach. Perfect the art of colour combinations that go together in the laundry without creating a new wardrobe with every wash. Find out what all the buttons on your new washing machine mean, the secret to ironing jeans and how to fold the ironing board when you’re done – because seriously, does anyone really know how to fold an ironing board?!
Go with your mom to the store and learn how to buy groceries for the week. Find out how much groceries for the week will cost you and rethink the brand of toiletries you used to use at home. Smelling amazing is expensive and smelling good is good enough.
Buy a notebook and start writing out your favourite home-cooked meal recipes. Start building your own recipe book and look out for quick and easy meals that are affordable to make and you can keep in the fridge to carry over to the next day. Ask your parents what their secret is to whipping dinner together and saving the family from starvation.
Bring family over
Once you have moved out and settled in, invite the family over. Not only will they bring food and treats but they’ll bring back a sense of sanity that you’re used to.
As adamant as you are to be completely independent once moved out, it’s good to keep in mind (even if it’s just right at the back corner of your mind) that family doesn’t disappear when you leave home and you can always call for help.