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Parents are great. But there comes a time when you’re ready to spread your wings and … well, not exactly fly, but get the heck out from under their roof.
Moving out of your parents’ house is one of the biggest milestones of becoming an adult. There’s so much to be excited about, like living with your friends and furnishing the place to your liking. Even mundane things like getting a coupon book in the mail are exciting, because look — there’s your name in print, right above your very own address!
The sense of freedom and accomplishment that comes with moving into your own place is awesome. Still, it’s important to make this move at the right time, not only for affordability’s sake, but to ensure you’re ready to be out on your own.
Answer these three questions before deciding to move out so everything goes smoothly.
Before you move out of your parents’ house, make sure you have enough money to clear the two main financial hurdles. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself back in your childhood bedroom before your first lease runs out.
The first hurdle is to have enough income to pay your monthly expenses. Begin by calculating your net monthly income (how much you make after taxes). That amount will have to cover the following monthly expenses:
These costs vary by region, so do some research or ask around to get a ballpark estimate for each of these items.
Still, these are far from the only things tugging at your paychecks every month. Don’t forget about student loan payments — for new graduates, most payments start six months after graduation — plus any of your memberships or subscriptions. And don’t lose sight of the cost of health insurance, especially for those nearing age 26, when that expense gets handed off to you.
Once you have these expenses gathered, add them all up and subtract that from your net monthly income. If there’s still money left over for having fun and saving, congrats — you’ve cleared the first financial hurdle.
The second financial hurdle isn’t as widely known. Most renters require first and last months’ rent when you sign a lease. Plus, there’s usually a security deposit and rental application fee, among other costs.
Then, once you’re approved for the place and pay the upfront costs, you’ll still need to physically move your stuff to the new spot. That could mean renting a U-Haul or hiring movers. Then there are foundational supplies every house needs, like furniture, dishes, cleaning supplies, trash and recycling bins, and other essentials. You and your roommates can split these expenses.
All these expenses add up before you and your friends can even agree on a Wi-Fi password. If your savings can cover these costs, congratulations, you’ve cleared the second financial hurdle toward successfully moving out.
It’s hard to know what you can afford until you’ve seen, firsthand, how far you can stretch your paycheck. If you’ve just graduated college and landed your first job, don’t rush it. It’s OK to take a few months or even a year to get accustomed to your new lifestyle and income. Going from college life to the working world is a radical change on its own — adding a move to the mix could be a tad overwhelming.
Besides, living at home rent-free or at a discount can give you a jumpstart on saving, which will come in handy later when you’re better prepared to move out, buy a new car, and all the other fun things you’ve got planned.
These questions aren’t meant to scare you, or take the wind out of your sails. However, it’s better to move out of your parents’ house at the right time — whatever that means to you — instead of impulsively jumping at the first chance you get.
Living on your own is a thrill, but not if you’re stressing over every bill. See how your net monthly income stacks up against the bills you can expect, check in on your savings, and wait for the right time to make the move. You’ll be happy you did.
Moving out is a big decision. Our dedicated colleagues can help you assess how this life change could fit into your financial picture. To learn more, schedule a Citizens Checkup at your nearest Citizens Bank branch.
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