Look, there’s nothing wrong with living with your parents. In fact, you should probably stay with them as long as your sense of independence can bear it for. Let’s face it, life is a lot cheaper when you’re not paying rent, buying all your food or spending money on appliances.
But maybe you’re done using your folks to save money and you’re ready to spread your wings and move out. Maybe you want more privacy, need more space or you’re sick of being treated like you’re 5 years old (translation: you have a curfew). Whatever your reason for wanting to make the big move, we’ve got you. Follow closely and it could be a painless transition for you.
1. Make a budget
Before you declare your intention to move, decide how much you can afford to pay as rent (plus the usual agency and legal fees), an ideal location (not your parents’ BQ, please) and how much you will need to survive on your own while you’re settling in at your new place. This is called being responsible and having a plan.
Don’t underestimate how much living alone will cost you. A good way to calculate the minimum you’ll spend when you move is to estimate how much you’re not spending monthly by staying with your parents and adding that to your current monthly expenses. Let’s turn that into a formula:
(How much you save monthly by living with your parents) + (Your current monthly expenses) = (Your minimum new living expenses)
With a budget, you’ll have a clear picture of how much you need to save (or raise) before you can make the move.
2. Raise the money
This is easily the toughest part. If your parents are not funding your move (or you don’t want their money), you’re pretty much on your own.
Help! How do I proceed?
From your budget, you already know how much you need to pull off the move, so you can create a fixed goal on ALAT and save toward the amount. It really is the simplest way to put money away and you’ll get paid up to 10% of whatever you save as interest. A pretty sweet deal, if we do say so ourselves.
There’s also the rotating savings option, a faster way to raise money. Round up a few of your dependable friends who can afford to save regularly, start a rotating savings group and cash out when it’s your turn. Doesn’t get easier than that.
A third option is getting a flatmate or a roommate. Living with someone else (again?!) isn’t the easiest thing, but that’s a sacrifice you may have to make if you can’t afford a place alone.
If you can, share with someone you’re familiar with. Split the rent and other costs halfway, set ground rules and pray everything goes well.
3. Pay the rent
You’re going to have to find a place first, obviously. We’ll leave that part to you, but remember to consider proximity (the distance to places you’ll need to go regularly), security (how safe the area is, if it’s in an estate, that sort of thing) and livability (if you’ll need to renovate, which means extra costs).
Before you pay the rent, inspect the place and ask about other charges.
Agency and legal fees are pretty standard now, and they usually come to about 10% of your rent each. You may also need to pay a service charge and a caution fee. You should be able to negotiate to pay your service charge at least two times a year instead of all at once.
Also, if you can speak and pay to the house owner directly, go for it. Things can be easier when you skip the middleman.
4. Know your needs
Now that you’re ready to move, define the most important things you’ll need to be comfortable in your new place and get them immediately. There’s a difference between living simply and sleeping on the bare floor because you didn’t plan to buy a bed. Don’t be that person.
Essentials typically include a bed (of course), other furniture, a fridge (you’ll need one if you’re going to follow a meal plan), toiletries, food and water. But since one person’s essentials could be another person’s luxuries, we’ll let you decide what you absolutely cannot do without.
5. Be responsible
So you’ve moved and you’re now fully independent. Congratulations, but your freedom isn’t a license to be irresponsible. Spend carefully otherwise you’ll be back at your parents’ house faster than you moved out. Save as much as you can. Look out for discounts, there’s no shame in getting a good bargain.
And finally, please, check on your parents. They’re going to miss you, one way or the other. Don’t be a stranger.