moving, people, repair and real estate concept - happy couple with big cardboard boxes on sofa at new home

An increasing number of young people are deciding to live at home well into their twenties, and even their thirties. There’s no denying that living at home is super convenient and carefree (ah the joys of having mum do your washing and buying all your food), but c’mon guys, we’re old and wise enough to do it ourselves, even if our parents may say otherwise.

I moved out this year at 20-years-of age. Becoming entirely independent is incredibly exhilarating and life changing, but it takes a lot of organisation and determination. Here are 11 quick tips to help you move out before you turn 21.

1. Get your savings sorted

You’ll need money to move out, that’s a no-brainer. While at times you might find that you’re living paycheck to paycheck, as long as you’ve got savings behind you, you’ll know that you always have money to fall back on. Also know that there are big payments you’ve got to make as soon as you move out (furniture, property bond, food, etc), so have enough money for those things too.

2. Find the right person to live with

This could be a friend, a sibling, a boyfriend or girlfriend, or even a random person. Whoever it is, make sure you get it right. Find someone you can tolerate, someone you know who can pay their portion of the bills, someone who has similar cleaning standards as you. It’s really important that you’re compatible housemates, otherwise your living situation just won’t work.

3. Live in an area you’re comfortable with

Moving out of home is a big step; it’s overwhelming and a massive lifestyle change. To make this a little easier, it’s not a bad idea to move out in an area that’s close to where your parents live. That way you’re still close by to your friends and family, and you’re familiar with the area you live in (you also won’t have to re-familiarise yourself with a new Coles or Woolworths).

4. Bills aren’t that expensive, but do your research

Bills are really affordable, particularly if there are only a couple of people living in the house, but these services can be complicated to set up. You’ve got to set up gas, energy, water and Wi-Fi, and there are numerous different providers for each. Ask your parents what providers they prefer, Google things, call up companies and ask them to explain things. You’ll figure it out eventually.

5. Gumtree is your best friend

Furniture is expensive, particularly if you’ve got to buy everything from scratch. The main items you’ll need are a couch, TV, fridge, dining table and washing machine. Don’t be afraid to buy second hand. Search websites like Gumtree and eBay, there are even some Facebook pages dedicated to selling cheap, used furniture. It doesn’t matter how ugly your couch is, all that matters is that you have something to sit on while you watch Game of Thrones.

6. Learn to cook

Food isn’t cheap. In fact, it’s probably what you’ll spend most of your money on. However, the good thing is that you get to buy whatever food you like, and cook whatever meals you like. Buy a cookbook, because there are only so many lasagnas you can make before you need to change up the menu. Watch YouTube tutorials. Get some help from your parents before you move out. Get them to teach you how to cook a chicken, or to give you extra tips that you wouldn’t know otherwise.

7. Live within your means

Reality is you’re young; your financial situation probably isn’t as good as your parents. Spend your money wisely. If your house is super cold, put another jumper on and snuggle up on the couch before you put on the heater. Make more meals at home rather than buying takeaway food and going out for meals. You will need to make some financial sacrifices, but it’s well worth it in the end.

8. Keep saving money

No one wants to rent forever. One day you’ll want to buy your own house, or even an investment property, so make sure you’re not investing all of your money into this rental property. Try put some money aside every week, no matter how small it is, so that you feel good about preparing for the future.

9. Respect the property

Chances are you’ll have property inspections, so make sure you keep the house clean and in order. If you’re told not to hang things on the wall, don’t do it, or make sure you patch the holes up when you move out. If you’re told you’re not allowed pets, don’t buy a pet. You want to have a good rental history, so it’s really important you stay on good terms with your landlord and real estate agent.

10. Know your rights

You definitely have rights as a renter, and it’s important that you read them and understand them before you move into a property. It’s really beneficial to know exactly what you can and can’t do. Make sure you stay in contact with your real estate agent. If you have any issues with the house, the landlord is obliged to fix them.

11. Make the most of it

Invite your friends over for dinner parties, throw (respectful) parties, listen to your music as loud as you want, stay up as late as you want. Lap up the advantages of living out of home, after all, this is exactly why you’d do it.

Joely Mitchell

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