How To Move Out In Your Twenties (or sooner!)
In case you thought that you were stuck in your parents house until you were married or making bank I'm here to tell you that doesn't have to be the case! I'm here to help you figure out how to move out in your twenties or even sooner! (Like I did!)
Parents are wonderful human beings, caring for us the way that they do (most of the time). But sometimes they can be a little hesitant to kick us out of the nest. Or the opposite can happen, they kick you out before you really know how to stand on your own two feet! But have no fear! I have tips and tools to help you move out as soon as possible, because after all, you can't really "adult" while sharing how much hot water you use with your parents. Am I right? ;)
I moved out when I was 19 years old into a two bedroom by myself (No roommate! hallelujah!) and was able to live there until I got married right before I turned 21. Almost two years, and I was going to school and working (obviously) for most of those two years. I assure you it was work, but nothing beats being independent and getting to eat as many donuts as you want for breakfast, (It's not as many as I thought it would be!) or walk around in your underwear if you want to! (It's more often than I thought it would be!)
How To Move Out In Your Twenties (or sooner!)
You knew it was coming and it's number one because lets be real you can't be financially independent (successfully) without having a budget and sticking to it. Read that again, you can't. So my friends learn how to budget now and it will serve you well in your adulthood. You can sign up for my free course, Budget Basics, to get a grip on your finances for good. But in order to be able to move out, you need to budget specifically for that. Most places want a security deposit, first and last months rent, and you should still have an emergency fund in your savings on top of all that!
While you are living rent free (or very low rent) at your parents' house, don't spend money if you don't have to. If you can eat at home, eat at home. Don't go out to eat, instead pack a lunch. If you have errands to run, run them all at once in order to save gas. If your friends are always bugging you to hang out find something to do for free. Saving money, a lot of money, is going to take a lot of work. Speaking of work, work extra hours at your job if you can in this season and don't spend any of the extra money you make!
2. START PLANNING WAY IN ADVANCE
When I knew I wanted to move out in a year or so I started planning right then! This meant that when people were getting rid of furniture I took it! Entertainment center, older TVs, chairs, dining room table, etc. I even let people know that I would be moving out within the next year and people held some things for me! This allowed me not only time to accumulate everything I needed, but also time to pick what I wanted and not just have to take whatever I could get the month before I moved!
I also started picking up cheap housewares at thrift stores or whenever I saw something on sale. I only bought the things that I needed, because again, I was still saving a bunch of money in order to move. Since I started early and planned ahead of time, when I did move out not only did I have money saved but I was able to move in with furniture and decor I actually liked. When you plan in advance you have the opportunity to say yes or no to things you want. It was important to me that my apartment looked nice and put together, so I made a point to plan ahead in order to accomplish that! (Click here for my post: 3 Tips to Decorating Your Home on a Budget.)
3. FIND YOUR LOOPHOLES
Your "loopholes" are your hookups, connections, or ways to cut corners and save a little money. We all have some, you might just not realize it. For me it was where I was working at the time. My job actually helped me save big time on my grocery bill. I worked in a kitchen where they offered free leftover food from the day before to employees for free (good food too!) and free oatmeal in the morning if there was some left, (there almost always was!).
I'd get there in the morning, drink the free coffee, eat my oatmeal, and then after my shift (usually about 2pm) I would stick around and eat the leftovers from yesterday's meals, aka my lunch for the day. Some nights I would go to my now-husbands house and eat dinner with his family, other times I would actually make something small at home. I worked almost every day and therefore ate there almost everyday (again, and good food!) so my grocery bill most of the time was minimal!
So, I tell you to find your loophole. Maybe it's a friend or family who lets you use their Netflix account instead of buying your own (every dollar counts) or having to buy cable (does anyone even have cable anymore?) Maybe the very apartment you are in is a deal because you know someone. Maybe now that you are moved out on your own (and you parents don't make a ton of money) you'll be able to get grants from your school. Maybe you live next to one of your friends and you guys can share internet and the bill! (In apartments it can be done!) I guarantee you have a loophole and you need to use it! Get creative in how to save your money to afford the things you really want!
4. REALIZE IT MIGHT NOT BE THE HIGH LIFE BUT IT'S STILL A PRETTY GOOD ONE
You are in your twenties. You are figuring out your life, and how to "adult". Realize that in your first apartment you aren't going to be able to afford everything you left at your parents’ house. It took them years to build all they have, and the money to pay for it. You might have to turn the heat off at night or when you leave, and you might have to have it turned down when you are home. You might not be able to go out to eat every time you don't want to cook. You might have to cook.
It may be a small space or not what you thought but there are pros to that. Choose a couple priorities for yourself and budget others less so that you can have those things. For instance, if you really want to be able to eat out more, then you might have to work to get your electric bill lower. Or, if you really want to be warm without having to bundle up in your own home, you might have to try and get a cheaper phone or internet plan. If you really want to be able to afford cable (I hear sports are the only reason these days?) you might have to get a cheaper car and not have a car payment. Budget all your bills to the minimum, and have the minimum amount of bills. Like I said, it's not going to be easy but it will be worth it! Living on your own in your twenties will teach you more about yourself, life, and money than you can learn anywhere else!
My last tip is for once you actually get to the part where you are moved out, and is just an overall philosophy of mine! ;)
5. DON'T WORK JUST TO LIVE
Or it could also be titled, don't spend all your money. I know I might sound like a broken record, but I can't help it! Don't move out on your own, just to work all the hours and spend all the money! You can't just work to live, you'll never get out of that rut and eventually find yourself stuck. Work hard, budget and build a savings. Live within your means!
Then when you get sick, you can be sick without worrying about if you are going to be able to pay rent. Then you don't have to take every single extra shift. Then you can take time to figure out what you actually want to do, whether that's going to school, building a blog, writing a novel, starting a business, or just advancing in the field you're in.
Don't move out just to get stuck, and don't move in with your partner just to get unstuck. Be independent for awhile. Move out to start your life, to build your foundation. You can do this friends! You can move out in your twenties (or younger) but do it the right way. Making decisions that will set yourself up for success! I believe in you! And if you want any other help along the way just ask! ;)
Okay now let's all have a computer hug and high five because I do believe in you! I just had to do a little tough love! It's so exciting to be able to call a space just yours, even if like me, it's only for a couple years. But it doesn't come without a few meltdowns. (Mine came the next morning!) I encourage you to make this step in your twenties and to do it right! Again, I'm rooting for you! :)
If you want more information I’ve bolded some parts of this article that link to other helpful posts. I’ll also list some other helpful ones below. Happy moving friends!
How We Spend Only $30 a Month on Household Supplies (Note I did NOT spend this much during the two years living alone. This is a marriage budget, but the post will give you some good ideas for starters. ;) )
5 Ways We Keep a $200 Grocery Budget (Again, I told you, I didn’t spend anything close to that for my single living budget, but that was my loophole so I added this article to help give you some tips.)
Sorry the printable is no longer available. :(