Living on your own is freeing, but you also need to be aware of expenses to consider when moving out. You can find organizations that cater to this issue with websites, apps, and online tools to make managing your finances feel less like a chore. Create a reasonable budget and think about everything you’ll need to start paying for yourself now.
1. Rental fees and deposits
Be prepared to put down a security deposit on your first apartment. This is typically one month’s rent. You might also pay the last month’s rent in advance. Put aside a nominal application fee.
Your monthly rent will likely be the most expensive item on your budget. A good guideline is to look for rent amounts that are less than 30% of your monthly income. You might also consider roommates and/or signing a 1- to 2-year lease to lower costs.
Be sure to budget for:
- Trash removal
Sometimes an apartment complex will include trash removal or water with their monthly rent. Most new renters spend around $50 to $100 on these expenses, depending on where they live.
Food costs include grocery bills, takeout, and restaurant dining. You can always save money by clipping coupons, buying generic name brands, and making your meals rather than dining out.
If there isn’t reliable public transportation in your area, you’ll need to factor in car payments, insurance, gas, and periodic repairs. If you have access to public transportation, find out how much a monthly or yearly pass for the bus or subway might cost. Also, consider ride-sharing and cabs.
6. Emergency funds
Set aside money you might need in an emergency. This fund is used for unexpected events such as medical issues or car repairs. Sometimes you cannot avoid this type of expense, and having some cash on hand will save you from needing to obtain a loan.
7. Renter’s insurance
When you’re renting your first home, do yourself a favor and protect your belongings. Renter’s insurance covers anything in your rental that someone might steal. Often this is the only way to protect what you have since it’s typically not protected in a rental agreement.
If your parents allow you to leave with your bedroom furniture, those are items you won’t need to purchase. However, you will probably still need some living room and kitchen furniture. Consider splitting this expense with roommates or buying used furniture to save some money.
If you have a lot of personal debt, it might be wise to stay at home until you can pay most or all of it off. However, if that’s not possible, make sure you include minimum payments in your budget. This includes credit card debt and any student loans that must be repaid.
10. Medical costs
If you are insured through your employer or another health management organization, make sure you understand all the details. Do you have a flexible or health spending account? Factor in any contributions from your employer as well. If not, set aside some money for copays, premiums, and anything you might need that isn’t covered.
For a while, you might have to sacrifice extra fun for the freedom you now have living on your own. However, you can still budget for some less expensive but enjoyable activities.
12. Personal items
Be sure to include shoes, clothes, and toiletries in your budget. You can save money in this area by visiting consignment shops, repairing some clothes rather than throwing them out, and visiting shoe repair shops.
Take a good look at your subscriptions for streaming services, magazines, or satellite radio. Do you really need these? If yes, include them in your budget. Do the same with any gym, gaming, or sports programs that require membership fees.
Every once in a while, you’ll want to purchase gifts for loved ones. This includes birthdays, weddings, and other celebrations.
15. Pet care
Last but certainly not least of expenses to consider when moving out are the furry friends you take with you. Be sure to budget for their food, vet visits, and medical costs.