The idea of moving out of your parents’ home and into your own house or apartment is both fascinating and daunting.
Whether it is your first house, apartment, or dorm room, it means taking on new responsibilities, including budgeting and managing your finances.
If you are getting anxious about the responsibility of living alone and you’re looking for tips to consider before leaving your parents’ house, here are a few that will help you start “adulting” like a pro.
No Need to Buy Every Gadget and Appliance
It is okay not to reconstruct your living space immediately. Those stacks of pans and pots you are seeing in your parents’ house were likely accumulated over the years. The same goes for the other appliances and gadgets you have been used to.
Concentrate on what you need at the moment. These are the things you need to keep yourself happy and healthy. It is smart to live in your new home before you make those big purchases that you might later regret.
Budget Before and After You Move
Before you move to your new digs, it is essential to make a budget that reflects your current income and future expenditures. Some of the expenses you already know, such as insurance, car payments, and the phone bill, whereas heating and electric bills might be new to you, and you’ll have to guess the budget.
This initial budget should help you plan your spending after moving into your new house. After a while, check your bills and revaluate your budget accordingly. There are several online budgeting tools that automatically categorize and import expenses, such as how much you spend on concerts, food, and so much more. This gives you a view of your financial standing within seconds.
Commit to Paying Bills on Time
Living alone means you will have to take care of bills, on top of what you have already had to pay. It is quite easy to lose track of your bills if you don’t have a system in place. Failing to settle your bills on time is such an easy mistake to make but costly in the long run.
Immediately after you are paid, set a time to pay all your bills for the month. You can also set reminders, either by text or email, to ensure you never miss a payment. Just a single missed payment can affect your credit score for years.
Pay Yourself First
Saving should always be your number one priority. Even keeping $10 per week is better than no savings at all. Your goal should be to have savings that can cover up to six months’ worth of living expenses.
Even if you do not have millions chilling in your bank account, having some money saved is better than nothing. There are several ways you can build an emergency savings account. Visit your nearest bank and find out which option suits your interest.
Set Priorities First
Before you move out of your parents’ house, first show them that you are moving out smartly by coming up with a monthly budget and ensuring you stick to it.
Here are a few items to include: rent, utilities (gas, electricity, water, Internet, cable TV), meals, transport (this should consist of fuel, flights, and auto insurance for the month), entertainment, medical, clothing, memberships and subscriptions, pet care, gifts, savings, and many others.
Learning how to budget is not exciting, especially after you have just moved out and settled on your own. However, if you follow the above financial tips, it will mean the difference between making the most out of your money and just getting by.
Save and learn the habits of saving; this will get you into habits that will last a lifetime.