Depending on the size of your first place you may need a variety of items you don’t already have. Don’t worry about getting every thing you may possibly need all at once, start with the basics and then build your collection as space and budget allows. Here are some tips by room:
- Kitchen: Cutting board, knives, silverware, dishes, glasses, pots and pans, can opener, wine opener, cooking spoon and spatula, dishsoap, and a toaster!
- Living Room: TV and something to hang or put it on. A couch and/or chairs, coffee table, and a lamp.
- Bedroom: If you don’t already have a bedroom set, you’ll definitely at least need a mattress and boxspring, a shoe rack, shelving and a bunch of hangers.
- Bathroom: Towels, toiletries, toilet paper and drawer organization. You may want to check out our bathroom Storage and organization series for tips.
*Tip: Tell everyone you know (friends, family, Facebook friends and church members) that you are moving out and taking donations. They may be planning on getting rid of things that you need!
This is probably the least exciting part of moving out on your own… the cost! The first thing you need to know is what expenses you will incur during the first year, so you make sure you have enough saved. Here are some tips on how to organize your budget and cut down on your expenses.
- Moving Out: Depending on how much stuff you have you might need to rent a truck or trailer to transport your belongings. If you live close, consider renting a trailer, as you can make a couple trips if necessary and without being charged for mileage. If you don’t already have a hitch installed on your vehicle, and don’t want to invest in one for future hauling, then opt for renting a small moving truck.
*Tip: You can sometimes get reduced rental rates if you move during the week or in the middle of the month as these are the less popular times to move.
- Supplies and Furniture: If you have to purchase all the supplies and furniture listed above, then you probably need to start bargain hunting! Here are some tips on How to Find Furniture Deals for Your New Home.
*Tip: Start your search early for bargains. Thrift stores and garage sales are a great option to find cooking supplies and small appliances for cheap. If you are ordering or buying furniture new, look for places that offer free delivery and then have it shipped directly to your new place.
- Utilities and other Deposits: Moving in can be expensive, many companies will require deposits for first time customers. A standard deposit for renting an apartment or home is first and last months rent along with a cleaning deposit. You may also have deposits for Water, Trash, Gas, Electricity, Cable and telephone. Something you need to consider is that each company you put a deposit in with is a separate bill. Some utility companies will reduce your monthly rate and deposit if you set up an autopay account.
*Tip: Consider looking for renting a place that includes some or all of your utilities, this will help you keep your monthly bills consistent and reduce your deposits.
- The First Year: The first year on your own usually shocks your budget. No matter how well you plan, little things will come up that you didn’t expect. It’s important to make sure you have enough saved to cover these unexpected expenses. A good rule of thumb for your first year is to always have two months of expenses in your savings account. If your starting out with less, make a plan to get there soon.
*Tip: Keep your utility bills down, turn off lights and turn down the air or heat when you are not home. Cook your own meals and bring leftovers for lunch, you’ll be surprised on how much money you’ll save!
Besides your budget, you need to consider 4 things when choosing the location of your new home.
- Close to work or school: If you are like the majority of people you spend most of your time at work or in school. Choosing a location close to these activities will save you time driving and help you save on gas if you are driving.
- Close to play: If your after work hangouts or family is not near where you work, think carefully about moving close to where you play. Taking a cab once or twice a month to get home, may still be cheaper than the added gas costs of driving the extra miles everyday.
- Transportation: If you don’t have a reliable vehicle or not one at all, you need to look into all possible transportation options to get to your work and play. Check the bus schedule, light rail,shuttle, car pool options and even car sharing. Determine how much time you can reasonably tolerate for your daily commute and then check to see if your transportation options can get you there.
- Safety: I definitely saved the most important to last. The most important factor to choosing your location is safety. Know the neighborhood you are moving in to. Drive through it during the day, on the weekends and at night. You need to know the security features of your building and neighborhood. Does it have security paroling the complex and or locked gates? Is it well lit at night?
*Tip: Look into recent criminal activity in your area. Tools like SpotCrime can give you an idea of how frequent and severe the crime is at your location.
I know I’ve given you a lot to think about, but moving out on your own is a big decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Consider all of these things before you make any decisions and your move should go much smoother.
Have you moved out on your own and have tips to share? Tell us below!