I did it! I did the most adult thing every 20-something year old wants to do more than anything…to move out of their parent’s house. This has been something I have wanted to do since I graduated college, over 3 years ago. After graduation, I imagined that I would get a great entry-level job at the Public Relations firm, then move to New York and take over the world. Instead, I was unemployed for two months, was employed in temporary and part-time jobs, and then hired at my current full-time job 2 years ago.
As much as I wanted to move out, living with my parents post-college, provided me with plenty of opportunities. The main advantage to living with your parents, is money. Most of my jobs after college did not pay much or provide a transit subsidy, so this would have cut into the money for my rent. During this time, I was also able to make payments towards my credit card and student loans. What is more, I was able to earn my Master’s degree. While it was challenging at times to work full-time and take classes online, I know it would have been far more of a struggle without having my parents for support. And most importantly, living at home allowed me to save my money and learn create and stick to a budget. I want to share a couple of tips I learned, that can help you have a smooth transition from living at home to living on your own.
Have a Goal.
I knew since college that I wanted to move on my own, but that was not specific enough. If you want to move out, ask yourself the following questions. What city/neighborhood do you want to live in? How much are you willing to pay for rent? Does the rent include or exclude utilities? Are you willing to live with others to reduce your expenses? How many floors do you want in your apartment building? Is there a common laundry room or do you have your own W/D? These are things to think about. Once you have these expectations, it narrows the field of potential apartments. You also need to make a reasonable move-out goal. Unless you are making bank, you cannot realistically expect to be able to move out in 3 months.
Just do it!
Once you have your goal, you should take active steps to reach it. Once I knew when I wanted to move, I made sure to save money from each paycheck and start looking for new places. Depending on where you are looking to move (like New York), you might have to hire a broker to help you find a place. Start looking at what types of expenses you might have to pay, like cable and electricity/gas. Research those companies in your area to find the best deals. Decide what you can live with and what you cannot live without; like internet to use your parent’s Netflix account…I mean your own Netflix account.
Walk the walk.
My third tip is to live like you would on your own, while you are still living with your parents. It was not until I started my current job, that I learned about couponing. I already lived quite frugal, but couponing helped me to save more money. There are many websites that can answer your questions like The Krazy Coupon Lady and The Frugal Girls, but I can also tell you what I have learned thus far in my couponing journey. On Saturdays, I visited the Farmer’s Market to buy local produce. The produce in grocery stores are not always fresh, and you may be forced to buy more than you can eat.
Oh how I miss coming home from work to dinner ready for me to devour. Learning how to cook will be imperative for your survival when you move out. If you rely too heavily on eating out, your budget will be busted and you will be back at your parent’s house faster than you can say, “I’ll have the number 3, please.” I am not saying you cannot eat out, but budget for it and stick to it. Meal prepping can save money and time during the week.
And if you do not want to stare at the television every night, you should get out and get involved with different activities. I am still working on this one, but I have gone to the gym more since moving out. Additionally, I use Meetup to find local activities to do with others.
I’ve only been living on my own for less than one month now, but I know there are many lessons I will learn along the way. I think above all, you must not forget the reason you wanted to move out. For me, I wanted to find out if I could survive on my own. My parents have always provided for me, but I needed to take this rite of passage to prepare myself for the future. If you are moving out soon, congratulations! If you are thinking about moving out, try following my tips. Thanks for reading!