So, you’ve decided it’s time to move out of your parent’s place? Moving out can be both exciting and scary – you’ve finally got the freedom you’ve always wanted, but you’re now financially in charge of everything from your food to your electricity supply to the roof over your head.
Those cost of living has never been higher and it’s only going up. Before moving out, as desperate as you may be, it’s important to financially plan everything. Here are some tips for financially surviving moving out.
If possible, don’t live alone
In some cities, you’ll barely be able to rent a bedsit by yourself. Moving out and in with somebody else allows you to rent somewhere bigger and a little more luxurious. Not only that, but you can split all other costs too including energy bills, furnishings and even food costs if you want. This can save both of you a lot of money.
Of course, it’s important to trust the person you move in with, which is why you should think twice before moving in with just anyone. Ideally, they need to be someone who you know will be able to keep their side of the bargain – you don’t want to be having to bail them out financially and essentially pay for you both. A partner, close friend or a family member are the most common options. You could also consider moving into a shared home – in such situations make sure that you meet your fellow tenants first so that you can gage whether you’ll get on with them.
Give yourself time to save up and shop around
Moving out is an expensive process, so spend a few months beforehand saving up some money. This should cover the deposit, the cost of buying furniture and the cost of moving as well as your first month’s rent. This way you’re not entering independent adulthood in debt. If you’re hoping to move straight from living with your parents to owning a place, you may have to stay put for a few years and save up extra hard as down payments can be very high.
You should also give yourself ample time to shop around for property. This will allow you to truly explore your options rather than having to grab what’s available whilst you can. Certain types of property are cheaper than others. HDB rental price for example is often cheaper than private rental pricing. You can also save money by going through an independent landlord rather than through an agency – this is because agencies generally charge a commission fee on top. That said, agencies are generally more trustworthy and reliable.
Read the contract
Before signing up to any rental agreement, always take a long read over the contract so that you know exactly what costs are covered. Firstly, check that the monthly rent is what you agreed to. You should then check as to what extras are included in the rent. Some landlords will pay rent and bills and others will furnish the property for you, however in most cases you’ll get none of this. Most landlords should pay for repairs, unless it was damage directly caused by you. If the cost of wear and tear isn’t included in the contract, you may want to think twice about moving in as it could mean that you are being made legally responsible for any general upkeep from plumbing repairs to a possible roof replacement.
Check your deposit is protected
Every deposit by law should be protected so that you can always get it back when your tenancy has ended, however some unscrupulous landlords won’t protect it. If you don’t get a certificate to say that your deposit is protected, or it’s not included in the contract, bring it up with your landlord before agreeing to any tenancy so that you know you’re getting your deposit back.
Get cheap help moving your stuff
Hiring a removals company is expensive – if you’re moving out for the first time, you likely won’t need this service. Hiring a van and getting some friends/family members to help could be cheaper. You should probably pay them afterwards for their help, whether it’s cooking them a meal or simply getting them a round of drinks.
Accept hand-me-down furniture and utensils
When it comes to furnishing your new home, you can save a lot of money by accepting hand-me-downs from friends and family members. People you know may have spare furniture and kitchen utensils and all manner of other household items gathering dust in their attic that could be a great help to you. Don’t be afraid to ask the people around you if they don’t offer themselves – most people will be happy to part with these items if they’ve been cluttering up their home.
Shop second hand
You can also save money on furnishing your home by shopping second hand. Many sites such as Gumtree allow you to buy second hand items locally – these can be ideal for finding great deals. Always check the condition of items first in person so that you know exactly what you’re getting.
Hit the sales
Don’t forget to also check what’s on sale. Furniture stores aren’t always the best place to find good deals, as they may deliberately price things high before lowering them to average price simply to make it look like a bargain. That said, you can sometimes find genuine bargains. Coupon sites can be great for getting extra discounts and auctions can also be great for getting a good deal.
Consider furniture delivery costs
If you’re getting furniture delivered to your home, make sure to factor in delivery costs as these can sometimes make up half the costs, especially if you’re moving into an upper level flat with no lift. If you know someone with a big enough vehicle, you may be able to collect these items and save costs. Alternatively, you could look into flatpack furniture which is easier to transport as well as being generally cheap.
Plan your meals
Budgeting for food and drink is very important. By always planning meals ahead, you can usually save costs. It’s too easy to run out of food in your cupboards and resort to a takeaway. By planning the whole week out, you may even be able to plan ways of reusing leftover and making ingredients last.
Secure your property
Rental property can have poor security and you may be a greater target for thieves. Property insurance if often worth taking out to cover the potential cost of theft, however you should take measures to prevent it if possible such as locking all your windows and doors whenever you’re out and not leaving a spare key in an obvious place. Dummy deterrents like a fake CCTV camera and ‘beware of the dog sign’ even if you don’t have a dog, can help to scare burglars off. You could also get motion sensing lighting installed outside your home – burglars are more likely to target you if they can go undetected.
Don’t lose touch with your parents
Whatever you think of your parents, you don’t want to lose touch just because you’ve moved out. If life independently doesn’t work out, which could be your own doing or not your own doing, it’s good to still have their support if you need it. This could be financial and emotional support if you end up splitting up with a partner or being conned by a dodgy landlord or having unplanned costs put you in arrears.