Moving out on your own is a big deal. Many people dream about living independently and have grand ideas in mind. When the time finally comes, it can be slightly overwhelming. That is why we have gathered some practical tips that make living on your own for the first time a little easier for you.Living on your own for the first time can be very rewarding if you make some important considerations early on.
Decide on the Best Living Situation for You
One of the biggest decisions you will make when moving for the first time is whether to live alone or with roommates. While having roommates will allow you to split costs and provide you with companionship, there is always the risk that one or more of your roommates may have bad habits or stop paying their share of the bills.
Make sure any roommates you choose have similar living habits to yourself and a reliable source of income.
Budget Your Money
During your search for a new residence, it is important to have a budget planned out. Ask yourself questions, such as: How much will I be making? Do I have any loans to pay off? What, if any, assistance will I be getting from family? What kind of lifestyle do I want to live? How much do I want to save?
You have likely already budgeted your money for a variety of needs, from gas and groceries to going out with friends and concert tickets. The big difference when moving into your own home for the first time is that you have to address every bill and expense that comes your way.
Mint suggested sitting down to prepare a detailed budget before you move out, so you have a clear picture of your income, expenses, and what is left over for savings and discretionary purchases. The time you spend comparing your income to your necessary spending makes it so much easier to understand what you can afford.
It is recommended that a person’s monthly housing payment should be no more than a third of their monthly net income, to allow for utility payments, living expenses, and any savings. Take all of this into consideration and come up with a price range that you can afford.
Accumulate the Necessities Early
Once you have signed on the dotted line, it is time to furnish your new place. If you are living with roommates, decide who is going to bring which items, and figure out whether you will split the cost of new items or buy them individually.
If you are living alone, ask family and friends if they have any old items that you could have or look in thrift stores. You can always replace these items later once you can afford it. However, if you obtain these necessities, try to get as many as you can before you move in so you do not have to live without them.
Keep Your Home Safe
A safe home is a happy home. Basic measures like installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can go a long way toward protecting you in the case of an emergency. You should also consider keeping a fire extinguisher inside your home, potentially near the kitchen to address a potential grease fire.
As The Kitchn pointed out, a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher can safely extinguish grease fires, which are especially dangerous. Other safety measures you should take include changing exterior locks, installing a door bolt, and using a security system.
Take Advantage of Your Kitchen
If you have relied on dining hall food for the past several years or just have not taken much interest in the kitchen, learning the basics of cooking can save you money, provide an exciting new hobby, and offer an excuse to bring your friends to your new home.
Even if you do not want to dive headfirst into cooking, some basic knowledge will help you avoid the high costs of constantly eating out and the nutritional consequences of constantly relying on packaged food.
Be Aware of the Busy Season
Another important decision to make is when to move. In urban areas, the best time to move varies, but March, April, September, and October are usually ideal. In March and April, you beat the busy summer moving season and the weather is typically moderate.
In September and October, you are still avoiding the peak moving season and getting settled in before the year-end holidays.
Start the Search Process Early
You should begin your search for an apartment or home several months in advance. This will give you time to find different options, visit the places that you are interested in, and narrow down your choices.
Once you choose a place to live, you will be left with plenty of time to obtain all your necessary documentation, sign your lease or close on a home, and plan your move.
When you visit a potential apartment or home, you should gather as much information as possible. Drive around the area to see if it is safe and if you would enjoy living there.
Locate the nearest grocery, pharmacy, gas station, and any other business that you might need. Ask the landlord or realtor plenty of questions, and ask to see the unit that you would be moving into, if possible.
Be sure to talk to neighbors and gather their opinions of the area or complex. It is also helpful to have someone with you—especially an elder—to help you ask the right questions and offer a different point of view.
Know Your Moving Options
The physical moving of your belongings can be the most stressful part of the moving process. However, hiring a professional mover can take the stress away from this process. Many professional moving companies offer an experienced team of professional movers and packing services to help make the transition easier.
It is best to do your research and start with a free moving estimate from a local moving agent in your area.
Moving out on your own for the first time is a stressful and emotional experience, but it is also an exciting time. If you are feeling overwhelmed, just think of all the positives that come with living on your own and all the opportunities that exist. Consider a professional mover to help put your mind at ease throughout the moving process.
Moving into your new home can be one of the most difficult parts of the entire process, with all of the heavy lifting and logistics involved. For assistance from expert movers and packers, get in touch with your local Atlas agent today!