When I graduated from college, I made the same decision that, according to the Pew Research Center, 34 percent of Millenials make: to move back home and live with my parents. While it wasn’t the glamorous life I always imagined would be waiting for me upon my introduction to the real world, it was probably the most responsible decision I could make. After nearly two years and saving money whenever I could, I was finally able to find my own place and move out (insert happy dance here).
I’ve learned a lot during the moving process and I would love to share with you the knowledge that buying couches and paying rent can bring. Below is a list of four things to keep in mind when you’re moving out for the first time.
1) Begin budgeting better - One of my favorite parts about living at home was the lack of bills and rent I had to pay. That carefree life went out the window as soon I planted my John Hancock on the lease for my apartment, so the first thing I did was create a new budget to handle the new ways my finances were being distributed. Creating a realistic budget you know can stick to will make it less overwhelming when staying on top of bills and the new ways your money is being used.
2) Establish a routine - Now that you’ve gotten a taste of sweet sweet freedom, you might be tempted to do things you would have never gotten away with under your parents’ roof. As fun as all-night parties and eating nachos every night for dinner might sound, it might not be the best way to settle into your new place. Coming up with a new routine, such as exercising a few times a week or establishing a (somewhat) consistent bedtime can help you stay on top your physical and emotional health.
3) Shop smart - Everyone has their vision of the perfect apartment furnished with pillows from that fancy store in the mall, but those purchases can add up quickly when you’re decorating a whole new place from scratch. Take the time to compare prices at different stores to see what works best for that new budget of yours. And don’t count out searching online for used furniture or exploring yard sales. You can find exactly what you need for a great price.
4) Enjoy! You did it! - Take the time to stop and smell the moving boxes because this is a momentous occasion. A lot of work and determination got you here so you should remember to pat yourself on the back and enjoy. Next thing you know, you might actually start using something in the kitchen besides the microwave. Or not. Baby steps.
Do you have any helpful tips for people gearing up to move out on their own? Let us know below!