In the past, it was normal for kids to move out of their parents as soon as they turned 18 and went off to college. Now, due to increases in student loan debt and higher mortgages, it’s not unheard of to prolong getting a place of your own. In fact, roughly 30% of people between the ages of 18 and 34 are still living with their parents. That number has likely increased due to the economic impact of COVID-19. Regardless of why you’re still stuck in the nest, there comes a time when enough is enough. If you’re ready to take back your independence and get a place of your own, there are a few things you need to do to succeed. To help you along your journey, here’s how to finally move out of your parent’s house.
The Importance of Saving
Before you even consider finding a place of your own, you need to start saving. This will give you the financial stability to maintain your own place and reduce the risk of having to return to your parents. Aim to save about three to six months of living expenses to create a good safety net. To calculate this, look at the average cost of rent in prospective living areas and add in utilities, insurance, any cell phone or cable bills, Internet cost, groceries, gas, and some spending money. On average, this could be about $1,500 – $2,500 depending on where you live. Add a small buffer and that’s one month’s worth of living expenses. If you want to make sure that you have enough while you get settled, make a more detailed budget by reviewing your past spending habits or downloading a budgeting app.
Building and maintaining good credit will also help you on your house or apartment hunt. Tenants are much more likely to rent out their space to someone who has a history of good financial decisions. If you’re planning on purchasing a home, having a low credit score, or no score at all, will severely limit your options for obtaining a loan.
Preparing for Your Move
Now, start going through your things to take inventory. You’d be surprised at how much you need to live in an apartment. In addition to a bed, couch, and other large-scale furniture, you’ll need small kitchen appliances, dinnerware, cups, cleaning supplies, cookware, pillows, towels, and so much more. If you don’t already have these things, the price can add up. See if your parents have anything that they wouldn’t mind giving you as a housewarming gift. If not, try to find some budget options and work on slowly purchasing the non-essentials while you’re living in your place.
Gathering everything you’ll need to furnish your home is only one part of the preparation process. You’ll also need to adhere to your budget, find a realtor if you’re planning to purchase, scope out new locations, get moving supplies, pack up your things, and emotionally prepare yourself for a major life change.
Determine a Budget
We mentioned the importance of saving, but if you really want to set yourself up for success you need to determine a budget and stick to it. Be realistic when you do this, otherwise it’s unlikely that you’ll end up adhering to it. For the best budgeting, spend a few weeks analyzing your spending. Look back on your bank statements and get an idea of what you spent your money on along with how much you usually spend during the week vs. a weekday. If you’re a frivolous spender and often don’t give purchases a second thought, try to be more mindful.
Once you’ve set a budget for yourself, use a budgeting app to keep track of your spending. While it might seem like a lot of work, it’s essential if you want to move out of your parents and avoid pinching pennies later on. There are plenty of great, free apps for both iOS and Android operating systems.
Solidify a Job
If you don’t already have a job, it’s time to get one. There’s absolutely no way that you’ll be able to move out of your parent’s house if you don’t have a job. Even if you save as much money as possible, a reliable income is essential for emergencies and financial stability. If you’re currently working in something part-time and are ready to make a change, put together your resume and start your career search.
Find a Realtor
If you plan on buying a home, take the time to find a realtor that you enjoy working with and that you trust. Realtors have insider access to the housing market and can significantly shorten the time it takes you to find something that fits your budget, location requirements, and more. While you will need to pay your realtor, the cost is usually worth it. If you’re going to be renting, you don’t need a realtor.
Scope Out New Locations
Even with a realtor, you’ll still want to explore your options regarding where you want to move. Are you planning on staying within the same state? The same city? If so, this step is easier. You can drive to different areas or neighborhoods and see how you like them. If you’re thinking about moving out of state, plan a few weekend trips so you can go to the prospective towns and get a feel for the area. While you’re there, try visiting a few different apartment complexes or drive around neighborhoods. It’s oftentimes easier to find a place to live while you’re physically there as many rentals aren’t listed online. Remember, location plays a big role on how your life will be, so take your time with this research.
If you have a friend that’s also ready to move out of their parent’s home, consider being roommates. Having a roommate can significantly decrease your costs when compared to living alone. It’s also a nice transition. Living by yourself can get lonely, especially if you’re moving out of your family home where someone was always around. The only stipulation to roommates is that you should make sure that you live with someone you get along with. Living with a roommate who constantly disagrees with you or shares differing opinions is exhausting and might not be worth the money saved.
Plan Your Move
After you’ve found a place and made all of the final decisions, it’s time to plan your move. Figure out if you’re going to rent your own moving truck and drive it, if you’re going to hire movers, or if you’re going to ship your things once you’ve arrived. Make plans for unloading your things and if your friends or family help, offer to buy them some food and drinks as a thanks.
Find a Reliable Self Storage Unit
Finally, take the time to find a reliable self storage unit near you. Your first place outside of your parent’s house is likely going to be smaller than you’re used to, and you’ll want to take advantage of every square inch. A self storage unit gives you an adequate amount of space to keep the things you’re not currently using. It’s also a great way to make sure that your home doesn’t turn into a cluttered mess within the first week of living alone. Search for a unit that’s in close proximity to your home to make the commute easier.
If you’re reading over this list and feel a little overwhelmed, that’s okay. Moving out of your parent’s house is a huge change and it’s natural to feel apprehensive at first. Most people experience some degree of anxiety. However, having your own place will allow you to take back your independence and become the person you want to be. For those moving into a small apartment, having a self storage unit nearby is a great way to avoid taking lengthy trips home to get your winter clothes or sporting equipment. A self storage unit also allows you to keep all of your childhood mementos close to home but out of the way. When choosing a self storage unit, make sure that you find something that’s nearby and offers a variety of features to support all of your needs. The Lock Up Self Storage has storage options for everyone. Our units start at small as 5’ x 5’ and go up to 10’ x 25’. Certain facilities also offer opportunities for parking and wine storage. All of our units, regardless of size, are temperature controlled to keep your things in the best condition possible during storage. Our facilities are also equipped with varying security features such as 24/7 video monitoring, individual access codes, and perimeter alarms. To learn more about storage options that fit your budget, call The Lock Up Self Storage today at (866) 327-LOCK.