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Get Started: Costs of moving out of home

Moving out of home

We talk you through the costs of moving for uni or work

One of the biggest financial decisions we’ll all make in our lives is when we move out of home. Whether it’s moving to the city to start uni, moving across the country for your first graduate job or simply wanting to escape being under your parents’ watchful gaze, there are multiple reasons why you might choose to move out of home.

Before you take action, it’s important to work out the costs of making that move.

Specifically, how much it will cost you will vary but the general costs will be the same. Our spending decisions can quickly add up and when you’re working with a limited amount of money, you really need to plan out your spending first through a budget.

There are two major costs to budget for:

  • Upfront costs – these are the costs you have to pay immediately when you move
  • Ongoing costs – these will be costs you have to repeatedly pay for on a regular basis

Let’s start with the upfront costs. It’s important to plan for these costs because they are your first hurdle to moving out of home and setting up a new place to live.

Upfront costs include:

  • Moving your stuff – while you can draw on the support of family and friends, most of us will need to pay for removalists to move your personal items from your family home to the new place. When it comes to bulky items like furniture, you might be better off selling or donating these items rather than paying for them to be moved with you. When I moved across the country for my first job, I also saved money by using back loads – this is when a truck packs in lots of items going to the same location so that it cuts down on costs. Make sure you consider insuring your items so that they arrive in one piece too, particularly the more sentimental things you can’t replace.
  • Temporary accommodation – if you’re moving to a new place for the first time, it’s often difficult to secure a permanent place to life so you will likely need to budget for temporary accommodation. Whether it’s an Airbnb, a hotel or staying with a friend, you will need to secure and very likely pay for temporary accommodation before you can find your new place to live.
  • Permanent accommodation – many rentals come with a major upfront financial commitment: a bond deposit. This can be up to four weeks of rent provided to your new landlord in the one go. It covers the landlord in case you are unable to pay your rent or damage the property. It’s also a great reminder to keep the place you’re renting in good condition because while you normally get the deposit back when you end your lease, if there is damage to the property, the landlord can keep this deposit to cover the repairs.
  • Furniture – Unless you’re in furnished accommodation, you will need to budget for buying essential furniture as part of your move. If you’ve got a limited amount to spend, make a list of the essential items you need before you set foot in IKEA. IKEA is one of those places where you’re lulled into a false reality of what homes could look like and you might end up carrying out a bunch of Swedish sounding house plants or generic art when you really needed a basic bed frame. Basic items such as your bed, fridge and cutlery must come first and you can expand your list from there so that you’ve got the basics covered before you set foot in the mighty IKEA maze.
  • Mail redirect – While your parents might be willing to hold onto your mail, if you need to be able to quickly receive your mail, you will likely need to set up a mail redirect. This means that the national postal service finds any mail with your name on it and forwards it to your new address.

If you need to start saving up money now to meet these upfront costs, check out 5 ways to make some extra spending money.

Once your upfront costs are sorted, you then need to incorporate ongoing costs into your budget.

It’s important to plan for ongoing costs because if you can’t cover your everyday living costs, you will need to rethink your move and get either a job or scholarship to afford your daily spending requirements.

Ongoing costs include:

  • Food – this is one of the biggest ongoing costs but one we rarely think about. If your parents have always catered for you, your first supermarket shops will be a shock to the system. You’ll need to budget and plan ahead for the week so that food doesn’t take up all your money.
  • Living costs – if you’re about to jump into university life, you’ll know that this comes with nights out and enjoying shared experiences with friends. There are also standard living costs like transport to and from uni, phone costs and a laptop or notebook to take in what your lecturers tell you because your paying thousands for your education each semester and you may as well get your money’s worth.
  • Bills – that house you’ve leased now needs to be maintained and that means bills. Electricity, gas, water and WIFI that you may have previously taken for granted, now needs to be paid for by you. You’ll receive these bills quarterly so it’s worth saving up for them in advance so that you aren’t shocked when the bills all arrive at once.
  • Emergency fund – while you can budget for most ongoing costs, life happens. Washing machines break, cars need repairs, laptops stop working for no reason and the Apple store won’t help you unless you give them money. An emergency fund is a reserve of cash you can draw on when emergencies happen and it’s worth building an emergency fund up before you move out so that one emergency doesn’t throw your finances out of whack. Check out why you need an emergency fund and 5 steps to build an emergency fund.

Moving out of home is a major financial decision. Make sure you can afford the upfront and ongoing costs before you reach for the packing boxes.

Read more: Get Started: How to Budget in 10min

Written by Kate Crowhurst

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