Although self-reliance is fulfilling in the long term, the expenses associated with diving headfirst into adulthood and moving out of home for the first time will often surprise you.
Because of inflation, money doesn’t buy as much as it used to. Remember, if you move out soon after high school, your parents won’t be there by your side anymore so you need to ensure that you manage your money as best as you possibly can. But although moving out of your childhood home and embracing your independence can be a daunting step, it’s important to know that you’re not as alone as you may think!
Nowadays, the ever-connected, digital world we live in offers a plethora of useful resources, such as job-hunting websites and roommate finder sites, and forums that can help you with managing your new grown-up life and financial responsibilities. By learning how to compare credit cards or search for a reasonably priced flat or house to share with a roommate or two, you can budget for the things you need today while hopefully putting some cash aside for tomorrow. In truth, learning how to save effectively is one of the most valuable lessons to learn in life, and the best way to learn it is just by living independently and trying your best.
But to help you kickstart this new phase in your life, we’ve compiled some of our favourite savings tips below. Let’s take a closer look at some of these useful tips that can help you to save money as you move out.
Create & Maintain A Budget
Budgeting is simply tracking the inflow and outflow of money. Because of this, having a budget in place can help ensure that your spending and income are at least somewhat comparable.
Once you leave the safety net that your parents provide, you need a financial management system to keep things in check so be sure to commit yourself to never spending more than you make in a month. Until you secure a reliable job that provides a decent monthly income, be sure to put a conservative spending limit in place and stick to it.
Even if you still live with your family, it’s important to start building good budgeting habits right now regardless. The sooner you get used to living within your means, the better. But for those who’ve never had to budget independently before, it can naturally be a little tricky to know where to begin. At an absolute minimum, you can start by simply making sure you’re spending less than what you’re earning over any given period. Try building a monthly budget to help manage monthly expenses like your rent and bills.
It’s reasonable to assume that, at this stage of your life, to afford to live on your own, you’ll be renting an apartment or house with one or more roommates. This allows you to pool funds and other resources together to secure somewhere to live and to be able to pay your bills comfortably.
Be mindful when choosing your roommates; a good rule of thumb is to try to find people with similar lifestyles, and perhaps even people in a similar age bracket to you so that you can feel comfortable in your new household. It’s also important to put individual financial obligations in writing to avoid misunderstandings that could harm your relationships with your roommates. Additionally, consider signing separate leases with your landlord to avoid being held liable for your roommates’ missed rent payments or other bills. Everyone living in your home should be listed on your lease agreement, just to make sure that everybody is responsible if the property or any of its fixtures becomes damaged.
Invest In Renters Insurance
Living on your own may make you feel invincible. Still, it’s essential to remember that unexpected disasters leading to costly expenses can happen at any time, even if you’re a responsible renter. This is where renter’s insurance comes in handy. This type of insurance offers protection and peace of mind by helping you to repair or replace your belongings if any damage were to befall them during unforeseen situations.
Renter’s insurance is a special policy that covers losses or damages resulting from specific events, such as theft, fires, or storms. While renter’s insurance may appear unnecessary, it’s typically quite affordable. It can also save you a significant amount of cash in the long run compared to paying for damages out of pocket after something unfortunate happens.
Buy Furniture Second-Hand
If you’re living in a large city, chances are that you’re surrounded by many other renters, some of whom may be jumping from lease to lease and from property to property every year. So chances are many of your neighbours are always looking to get rid of large pieces of furniture or perhaps even home appliances. So why not take advantage of all these second-hand items?
Aim to furnish your new place with second-hand items from op shops, yard sales, online marketplaces, current or former roommates, or even from loved ones or family members. Later, you can upgrade to newer items when you have accumulated more savings. Staying sensible when it comes to funding the furnishing of your home can help you avoid accruing debt unnecessarily in the earliest stages of your journey toward independence and self-reliance.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t go furniture shopping at all! It can be pretty fun to browse furniture galleries to look for discounts and bargains, or even just ideas about how you’d like to set up your dream home. If you do decide to go furniture shopping, just make sure that you enter these stores with a clear budget in mind and consider the practicality of each furniture item before adding any to your cart.
Learn To Cook At Home
We all have our favourite restaurants, and eating out with friends or family is convenient and fun. However, it’s also very expensive in comparison to shopping and cooking meals at home. Most restaurants have between a 100% to 300% markup on their menu items – plus the added expense of driving or taking public transportation to your favourite restaurants or pubs should be taken into consideration too.
In contrast, a weekly trip to the grocery store, with the bill shared equally amongst all of your roommates, will be more likely to help you conserve your financial resources in the long term. That, and you may find yourself eating cleaner when cooking at home as opposed to eating takeout every day. And there’s more to living independently than just managing your finances alone!
Pay Attention To Your Spending, Be Frugal And You Will Save
Trying to save money as a young person when moving out of home for the first time can be daunting, but rest assured that this transition can be comfortable. All you need is a little discipline and dedication, and perhaps some support from your network, be it from your parents or even from your fellow housemates. If you create a budget, avoid leases shorter than six months, take advantage of op shops, and generally be more frugal, you can take control of your finances and begin saving for your future goals.