Moving out of your parents’ house can be very exciting. Whether you came back after graduating from college or have never lived anywhere else, it’s nice to have your own place and the freedom that comes with it. While you may be mentally ready to live on your own, it’s important to make sure you’re also financially ready. Create a budget to determine the type of place you can afford.
Write down and add up all your monthly expenses to see how much money is going out each month and where. This list should include food, gasoline, your daily coffee fix, everything. Then round up your pay stubs and figure out what's coming in. That number should be significantly higher than the first one. Set money aside for expenses associated with living on your own, including renter’s insurance, utilities and groceries. Curb your spending habits if too many frivolous expenses are keeping you from having enough money to live on your own.
Start saving as much as 30 percent of your paycheck a few months before moving out. That's the amount you should put toward rent. Saving in advance will help you get used to the expense while storing up funds for a security deposit and rent. While you're at it, put an additional 10 percent aside to provide for unexpected expenses, so you always have enough money to be covered. Planning ahead now means you won't have to scramble later.
Research the area where you'd like to move into and find the average rent costs. Rental sites like Rent.com can help in this regard. This will help you figure out whether you can afford living there on your own or need a roommate.
Assess your apartment furnishings. Maybe your parents will give you some furniture and kitchen supplies to help you get set up. The cost of any other essentials you need must be added to your budget.
Last but certainly not least, decide how you plan to move into your new apartment. If you rent a van or truck, pay movers or buy boxes and packing supplies you’ll have to add those expenses to your moving budget.
Laura Woods is a Los Angeles-based writer with more than six years of marketing experience. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Robert Morris University.