If you’re a twenty-something student, apprentice or young professional you might have noticed that you’re still living with your parents.
Don’t panic! You’re not alone. In fact, millennials are setting records for not flying the nest. The average age that parents expect their adult offspring to leave the family home is 25.
Whether buying or renting, chances are you’ll need as many financial tips and tricks as possible to get you on your way. Of course, there are a ton of ways to save money on your day-to-day (and you should be contemplating any you can incorporate into your lifestyle), but here we’ve compiled six fundamental pieces of advice that will have you moving out on your own in no time!
Considering your options
So, where you gonna go? Well, the first – and most important – thing to remember is this: no rash decisions! You’ll need to be patient and crunch the numbers. Sadly, there’s no moving out of home without some basic adulting.
Going it alone is not the cheapest option. If you’ve got a friend or partner who is ready to move out too then you’ll be sure to save money. Ensure that it’s someone you trust, and even then, make sure you understand all your contractual obligations (and the potential legal implications you face) if they stop paying rent for whatever reason.
If you’re moving someplace new, there are websites such as SpareRoom that are dedicated to finding you housemates in your target area. Want to maximise your options? Check out this list of the top five roomie-finding websites to get you started. Good luck!
Managing your budget
Not only are you breaking away from the bank of mum and dad, you’ll no longer be able to rely on them to organise your day-to-day life, either. Welcome to the world of grocery shopping, utility bill-paying, tax return-filing and more. Still sound like fun?
To begin with, there’s no harm sitting down and grouping your expenses into broad categories, such as rent, bills, food, transport and subscriptions (to name a few examples). Estimate how much you have, how much you’ll earn and how much you’ll spend. Get those main elements down and you’ll be well on your way. We love the idea of apps like Mint, which can take a lot of the hard work out of tracking your incomings and outgoings!
If money is feeling tight, your best bet is to ditch the world of fine dining and dig out your chef’s hat. Learning how to cook will save you money but learning how to shop is equally (if not more) important.
One of our favourite tips is to use MySupermarket to compare the cost of your shopping trolley and find out where you could be saving. It’s an independent price-checking website that compares the cost between supermarkets and can save you up to 30% on your basket.
Although it’s great for the big high street retailers, MySupermarket doesn’t compare the prices of independent groceries, butchers and other small shops – which can often be cheaper. If you find that you regularly overspend on your food, checking out what’s available at your local stores could save you money in the future.
Finally, if it’s a viable choice for you then cutting down on meat is one of the many tips on this Buzzfeed list that can save you money on your supermarket shop. You don’t need to go full veggie but if pennies are tight, it’s worth considering!
Looking after the crib
Home expenses (such as utility bills, insurance and repairs) will be a big slice of your budget. Treat your home well!
While switching lights off when you leave doesn’t save as much as you’d think, there are plenty of ways to save on electricity bills. Wash your clothes on the cold setting, ensure your lights are all CFLs or LEDs, and avoid tumble drying when you can! Once you’ve saved a bit with those tips, explore this more comprehensive list of ways to lower your energy usage.
Let’s face it – finding the best provider for your gas, water and electricity is a slog. But the earlier you find time to do it, the more you’ll save. MoneySupermarket should be your first port of call, and according to industry rules, providers can’t charge less than the prices you’ll find on the website, so you can rest assured you’re getting the best deal possible!
How to save, save, save
Saving money is a habit. Just like buying your medium cappuccino from Costa every day, once you start committing to it you won’t even notice you’re doing it. Although hold that cappuccino – they add up!
Of course, you could make a pledge to move a certain amount of your savings between accounts every payday – but these days, there’s an app for that! We love the idea of Plum, which is linked to your bank account and works through Facebook Messenger. It monitors your balance and spending, depositing small amounts into a virtual savings pot every few days.
Another smart-cookie to utilise Messenger is Cleo, a similar app to Plum. What do we love about this one? The fact that you can simply open your messages and ask “Cleo – can I afford pizza tonight?” How cool is that?
One of the most important things to consider when moving out is that you’ll (probably) have nobody to fall back on should the unexpected occur. It’s sod’s law that once you’ve got your budget under control, something will come along and ruin it. Whether it’s the boiler breaking, the ceiling falling through or the car getting written off, moving out means taking responsibility to be prepared for your own disasters!
That’s why it’s a good idea to have some kind of emergency fund in place – a lump sum of savings, maybe in a different account, for when something goes wrong. It’s best to be prepared for the unexpected.
In the case of a burglary in a rented property, the landlord’s insurance will protect them from damage to the property, but you need renter’s insurance for your possessions. If you’re buying your first home, it is probably worth changing the locks once you arrive.
This list from MyMove is a pretty comprehensive guide to get you started, especially with maintenance issues. Remember, prevention is always better than cure!
Now go take it easy…
Remember, despite the stress that comes baked into adult life, moving out is an exciting time. Treat it as such! Express yourself in your new home, enjoy learning to cook and make the most of the freedom. Long may it last – good luck!
Got at any top tips for moving out without leaving your finances in disarray? Share in the comments!
Article by Sammy Brichard