Moving out. Ahhh. How amazing. No one telling you what to do, waking up whenever you want, eating ice-cream for breakfast…
Until bills come piling in and real, adulting comes into play.
Worry not! Here are 5 things you must know when moving out!
Know Your Budget
This is extremely important. Moving out is expensive. Moving in is even more expensive!
We’re talking about expenses for:
- Apartment deposit
- Apartment up-front fees & monthly, recurring fees (rent, utilities, electric)
- Moving trucks (if needed)
- Gas, food & lodging (if driving long-distance)
- Groceries once moved in
- Furniture & household necessities (toilet paper, paper towels, kitchen utensils, mattress, couch, TV, etc. etc!!)
One thing I’m very happy my boyfriend and I did is that we put all of our earnings from the past three-four months before moving straight into our savings. We had enough to last us our first three-four months. Our mentality was that we were moving cross-country on our own and we needed to make sure we had enough money to land on our feet. With my boyfriend looking for work and us taking care of any daily/weekly expenses, we needed to make sure we were in good hands. And we were!
If you can, save at least $5,000 or enough to pay your deposit (most of the time it’s first & last month’s rent), fees, and your first month of rent. This way, you’re in good hands for about two and a half months.
Living Within Your Means Is OK!!!
We had many trips to Walmart for furniture and groceries for our first couple of months. We even made the drive to Ikea only to buy a frother because we couldn’t afford the luxury of Ikea furniture until we were more settled in. We bought our couch from Big Lots (comfy AF – Ashley’s Furniture brand $250 BTW!) and financed our mattress, which was paid off within five months to avoid any crazy APR rates.
We were totally okay with cooking dinners and staying in. When you’re in a new town, not knowing anyone, PLUS it’s winter, you find creative ways to stay in. Also, discovering your new town doesn’t need to be expensive! Living in the PNW, we have the luxury to travel ten-twenty minutes and find ourselves by the water or by mountains. Wherever you live, go to nature and sight-seeing for some fun (and free!) activities.
Look at Different Towns Outside the City
When I was looking at apartments, I was trying everything in my power to live in the city. Walking to coffee shops and enjoying city living sounded AMAZING. Being a girl from the suburbs, I wanted some hip, city environment to be in.
What they don’t mention in all the amazing house tours is that city-living is EXPENSIVE! To live in Seattle, we would be looking at paying anywhere between $1,400-$1,600/mo for a 1/1 whereas, living 15-20 minutes outside of the city, we are looking at ~$1,200/mo (including fees, utilities, and electricity).
Definitely, do your research and be prepared to do a little give and take. As much as a nice apartment with big windows, modern kitchen, and wooden floors sounds *amazing* it wasn’t worth it to us to break our backs trying to make ends meet each month and not be able to enjoy our surroundings. Plus, parking is expensive. So if you have a car, maybe second think the whole city vibe.
Create a To-Do/Things to Purchase List
I mentioned this in my last post, but I overthink EVERYTHING so you better bet that I made a 3-month plan. This plan included:
Things I need to pay for ASAP (deposit, up-front apartment fees)
Things I needed to buy ASAP (mattress, TV, couch, kitchen & bathroom stuffs)
Misc. spending (groceries, gas, etc – a little cushion doesn’t hurt!)
Things to buy that I couldn’t buy in month 1
Things that I want/realized I now need
Although I wasn’t exactly sure what would fall under things to buy or misc. spending, I made a list of things I thought I would need in those first three months such as:
- Bathroom stuffs (plunger, shower curtain, toothbrush, toothpaste, towels, etc.)
- Kitchen stuffs (pots, pans, silverware, basic ingredients, etc.)
- Desk & chair
- TV stand
- Coffee table
- Bar stools
I had a basic idea of things we’d need and was watching as many videos/reading as many blogs to get a better idea. With this list and three-month plan, I knew exactly how much money we needed to have each month and also gave me a list of things we’d need to buy once moved in.
Making a list like this also helped me break down three different rent options based on my salary and my boyfriend’s savings. I had something along the lines of, If our rent is $1,200 we would need to make at least $600 to pay for rent. I also included basic expenses like misc. spending, phone bills, car bills, insurance, etc. into this list so I had an extremely clear picture of what our options were based on our budget and expenses.
Although this may seem a bit extensive, we were traveling cross-country and moving away from our family for the first time. I wanted to make sure I got it right – and even then we still had our hiccups.
Also, keep in mind if you’re moving to a different state to change your license plates and drivers license!
Take Every Mistake/Barrier as a Lesson!
Like I said, I prepared a ton and we still had a few bumps along the way because you can’t prepare for life! Things happen that you can’t prepare for. Rather than being burdened by mistakes or regretting decisions, learn from them and use it as a way to be better!
We are young and trying to live our best lives and be our best selves. Don’t beat yourself up – use any and every mistake as a learning lesson and move forward from it as a better person.
Hope these tips helped! If there’s anything you’d like for me to expand on, let me know! I’d be more than happy to make this into a video for you guys. 🙂
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Let me know in the comments if you’re moving out for the first time and what your plans are!