It’s time to find your own place! Moving out after living with parents or the dorms is an exciting and stress-inducing experience. There is a lot to know, and plenty of mistakes to avoid. Done right, your move can be affordable and a smooth experience that will help you get started with that new job in a new location.
But how much money is enough to move out? The last thing you want to do is go into debt to get your own place unless you’re buying a home and putting down a large down payment. Buying a house is the exception for most people’s first place. Also, where you live is going to have a huge impact on how much money you’ll need. In general, you should have enough money to cover the deposit and a few months of rent to cover your expenses.
Let’s take a look at what you can expect in terms of cost when moving into your first place. Again, it’s location-specific. For example, in large cities, you might need to hire an agent to find a place to rent while in smaller cities and the suburbs, finding an apartment on your own isn’t too much of a challenge.
Here’s some helpful information on moving costs and what you can expect to pay.
Costs of the Actual Move
At some point, you’ll be ready to ditch the borrowed mattress on cinder blocks in a house split with six of your friends and find a place of your own. When that happens, you need to be ready to spend on the move itself. Yes, you’re going to need to pay to find and rent a new place, but getting out of your current place won’t be free. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Packing Paper (for fragile items)
- Tools for taking things apart
You may be able to shove everything into a couple of suitcases and move everything else into the backseat of your car, but some people pick up things like TVs and some basic furniture while they are at home or living with friends. Additionally, your parents may offer to help set you up with plates or a couch. You’re going to need to make sure you pack it in a way that it isn’t damaged during the move.
A lot of people will also need to hire a moving truck for larger items. At this stage of your life, it’s unlikely you’ll need help from a moving company. You can just rent the truck for larger items and return it the same day or the next day.
All of the supplies that you will need for moving will probably cost you, at most, a few hundred dollars. You’ll be surprised at how much places charge for cardboard boxes, so if you can find any used or at a bargain somewhere, that will help you save.
Using a Storage Unit to Bridge the Move
A lot of people have a hard time syncing up schedules. Your dorm might have a move-out deadline that doesn’t sync with your move-in date. It’s no big deal for people who are going to school next to their families. They can just move back home until the apartment is ready. However, that’s not always the case, so a storage unit might be your best option.
Storage units are everywhere. They are in large cities and rural towns. You’ll find that you can find something short-term and affordable that’s in your budget. Storage facilities in college areas know that students often need them on a month-to-month basis, so they aren’t going to require long-term leases. You can put your things in the storage unit, go visit the family, take a road trip, or fly overseas for a well-deserved vacation after school finishes without worrying about asking someone to watch your things. For around the cost of the cable bill or a month of internet, you can get a storage unit and some peace of mind.
Moving Into Your New Place
The biggest thing when you move out is making sure that you have enough money to cover costs until you’re well on your feet. A lot of people move out prematurely and end up needing help from parents or using credit cards to pay for things. Do whatever you can to avoid going into debt buying household goods or paying for utilities. The desire to be on your own and show yourself that you can make it is strong, just make sure you’re ready before you leap.
Most apartments are going to require a security deposit and the first and last month’s rent to sign a lease. That’s a lot of money for a brand new grad, so start saving well in advance. The housing market is hot right now across the United States, and it’s impacting the rental market as well. People are looking for nice spots, and rentals can be quite competitive. You should know that it may take you a longer time than you expect to find a good place.
As you get ready to move in, you may also need to sign up for services like internet, cable, etc. Some places will require that you change the utilities into your name, and when that happens, the company might need a deposit.
Moving into a new place will typically cost you a few thousand dollars.
The Supplies You’ll Need
Of course, you’re probably going to need to spend a bit of money getting your new apartment ready to live in. If you’re coming from a dorm, there aren’t going to be any maintenance people to come and change lightbulbs or change the toilet paper, for example. You’re on your own, and you have to shoulder the costs now. Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to get started.
Kitchen Supplies – You’ll need plates, silverware, cups, pans, and any appliances you will cook with. People who move out tend to way overspend on eating out. You can save a lot of money by cooking meals at home.
Electronics – If you were sharing a place with friends, there were probably a lot of communal goods. You may have to buy your own TV, stereo, video console, and whatever else you’re used to for your new apartment.
Cleaning Stuff – Things like a broom, mop, vacuum, towels, cleaning solutions, and other cleaning supplies will keep your place spotless and comfortable to live in. You’ll also need things like garbage bags, paper towels, toilet paper, and detergent.
This is just some of the stuff that you’ll need, and other items will depend on who you are, where you live, and how much time you spend at home.
Buy Things in Stages
You don’t need everything on the day you move on. Space out purchases and buy things as you notice that you’ll need them. That way you avoid overspending and cluttering up your new place with things you don’t necessarily need. When you’re first starting, weigh each purchase carefully and opt for higher-quality items to help you avoid having to buy them over and over again if they break. Buying nicer stuff can follow you as you move through life.
Congrats on reaching this stage of life. It’s exciting! Don’t let the stress of moving out get the best of you. Make plans and realize that not everything has to be perfect. Avoid overspending as much as possible so you don’t have to worry about money, and everything else will work itself out.