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Today I have a great post by Elle Hall from Girlfriend’s, Budget! Read more about her at the end of the post.
So you’ve come to the place in life where you feel it’s time to strike out on your own and to that I say, go for it, I’m all for independence!
However, before you take that momentous leap, take some time to ask yourself these 5 crucial questions just to make sure you’ve covered all your bases:
1. Do you have money saved?
This may be a silly question, but very much so valid. Many individuals move out on their own with no plan whatsoever, but it is imperative to have at least enough money saved to cover any deposits, down payments, and 1st month’s rent or mortgage. If you already got that covered, then way to go! If not… better get to saving.
For more tips on how to save money, check out 25 Smart Tips to Save Money Without Compromising Your Lifestyle and our complete guide to saving money.
2. Do you make enough to cover all the household expenses?
Now that you’ve saved up enough money to cover initial expenses, it’s time to assess whether or not you will be able to maintain your household on your own.
Take into account necessary expenses like monthly rent, electricity, food and also think about other expenses like your car note, insurance, gas, etc. Once you get a good estimate of what these things may actually cost, subtract it from how much you bring home on a monthly basis. If there is money left over after all expenses are paid, then you are well on your way!
Additionally, a savings safety net of at least three months of household expenses will definitely be beneficial to you in the event something happens with your employment or some catastrophic incident takes place (it happens… that’s life!).
3. Can you afford to furnish your place?
Who wants an empty place?
You’re probably going to need something to sleep on (a hard floor just doesn’t seem appealing) and possibly something to plop your butt on after a long, hard day of work, right? Starting out on your own can be hard, but maybe a friend or family member would be gracious enough to give you some of their gently used furniture.
Thrift stores and selling apps such as OfferUp or 5Mile also provide cheaper options for furniture. But, if you choose not to go that route, then save up enough money to buy the big ticket items you need prior to moving.
You really don’t want any extra, unnecessary expenses after you have already moved… if you can avoid them.
4. Should you consider a roomie?
Some people are completely opposed to having a roommate, usually due to prior experiences, but finding a responsible roommate does have its financial benefits.
Rent and utilities can be reduced significantly since it will be split two (or maybe three) ways.
Ask a friend or family member who is interested in striking out on their own if they will join you in this journey toward independence. Just make sure they are as fiscally responsible as you are in order to avoid any unnecessary hardships and even worse… a broken friendship.
5. Are you in significant debt?
Last but certainly not least, consider any debt you will have to pay on a monthly basis.
Debt takes away from your future income and it can really be a downer when the debt monsters are sucking your pockets dry.
Try paying down as much debt as possible before taking that leap of independence, so you can stay focused on the recurring bills you will have to pay once you are finally on your own. And check out our complete guide to getting out of debt.
Let me know how this works for you. Happy Moving!
About the Author:
Elle Hall is a Personal Finance Coach and Financial Blogger. Her passion is to help young adults, particularly young women, understand the importance of money management and financial freedom. For more tips, check out her site, Girlfriend’s, Budget!