Freedom! Unfortunately, not quite. You may feel emotionally ready to move out on your own, but are you financially prepared? Living independently means much more than not having a curfew; it comes with a great deal of financial responsibilities. Before
you go, know how much the big move will cost you.
There are many costs to prepare for just to walk in the door of your first home. You may need to save for at least a few of these big ticket items:
- Moving expenses. If your friends won’t do it for the price of a couple of pizzas, you may be looking at hiring some help and renting a moving van.
- Rent for the first and last month. Paying two month’s rent protects the landlord financially, but it can be quite a lot of money for a first-time renter to come up with.
- Deposits. Most landlords require a security and cleaning deposits, which are held as protection against damages to the premises or unpaid rent.
- Utilities. Before you ever turn on the heat or make a phone call, you may have to put down some money to activate these necessities.
- Furniture and appliances. Most rentals don’t come furnished. Depending on the room, you may have to buy a few key items to be somewhat comfortable:
- Bedroom – bed, mattress, linens, pillows, dresser, rugs, lamps
- Living room – sofa, chairs, coffee table, television, stereo, lamps, rugs, pictures
- Kitchen – table, utensils, dishes, cookware, microwave, cleaning supplies
- Bathroom – hair dryer, shower curtain, bath mat
Once you are in your own place, the costs continue. It is extremely important to pay all bills on time. If you don’t, you’ll be charged late payment fees, and if left unpaid, they will go into a collection agency.
- Rent: If the rent is due by the first, don’t pay late. Being a good tenant today will help you rent another place in the future.
- Utilities: Utilities include cable, Internet access, garbage, gas, electric, and water. You don’t want any one of those being shut down due to unpaid bills.
- Telephone: Whether you have a landline, cell phone, or both, know that all that chatting can cost you big money unless you have an unlimited plan. Be careful with your minutes!
- Car: Payments, insurance, gas. These add up. If you need the wheels to get to work or school, the last thing you want is to have your car towed or impounded.
Moving out and living independently for the first time can be a thrilling experience. You can make it even better by being financially prepared and responsible from the beginning.
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BALANCE is an amazing resource for all our members to utilize when taking on life's milestones. With trusted guidance available for free, they are ready to help everyone on the path to financial wellness. This article and many more can be found on their website: balancepro.org.