After graduating college, many students take the leap of faith and decide to live on their own. Often used to their freedom from living on campus, and not wanting to be confined to a room under their parents’ supervision, they make the decision to move out. Unfortunately, many overlook the hidden costs associated with moving and end up right back at mom and dads in just a few months. If you want to make sure this doesn’t happen to you, you’ll need to make sure you’ve properly reviewed your finances and prepared to cover the costs of living on your own.
How much is it going to cost you to move? Depending on how much you have and how far you’re going, this can be hundreds or thousands of dollars upfront. Below is a breakdown of common moving costs and what you can do to afford them:
Moving services – You’ll need to pay for moving services to help you get your things from your dorm room and/or parent’s house and relocate them to your place. To save money on costs, if you have friends and family members who can help with packing, loading, and unloading, you don’t need to hire movers and can instead just rent a van or truck. Other ways to save on moving costs would be to find free moving boxes, wrap fragile items in linens, and scheduling your move for mid-week during an off-peak season to get better rates.
Car Shipping – If you’re making a cross-country move, driving your own car would mean that you’re paying for fuel twice (your car and the moving van). It also means putting a lot of miles, wear, and tear on the vehicle which you may not want to do. To cut down on the cost of driving your own car across the country, you might look for services like Ship A Car Direct.
Even if you’re able to save money on moving expenses, once you’ve arrived in your new place, you’ll need to know how to survive financially. Here are some of the living costs you’ll need to account for and ways to afford them.
Rent – Where you choose to live will have a grave impact on how much you’ll pay for rent. If you don’t want to spend your entire paycheck on rent every month, try to steer clear of metropolitan areas as they tend to cost a lot more. Instead, look to rent in a nearby city with lower cost of living averages.
Food – Groceries are something you can’t get around. You’ll need to minimize the number of times you eat out and instead learn how to prepare the perfect meals at home. You can save on the cost of groceries by building a stockpile, buying in bulk, and using coupons.
Utilities – You need clean water, gas, and electricity, but these bills don’t come cheap. To keep the costs of such services to a minimum it is recommended that you practice conserving them. For instance, taking 5-minute showers instead of 15 or 20 minutes can conserve water and cutting off lights and devices when they’re not in use or installing LED bulbs around the house would save energy. Another option would be to periodically shop around for different service providers in the area offering better rates.
Other Bills – Groceries and utilities aren’t the only expenses you’ll need to cover. From transportation costs to entertainment, there are a lot of other things your money will go to. There are also a lot of ways to save. For instance, instead of hooking up cable, you can pay for internet and online streaming services for half the price. If the cost of gas is too much, park the car during the week and take the bus to work or walk. If you need a cell phone but can’t afford high monthly payments, skip the unlimited data plan or consider sharing the bill with someone else like a friend or family member.
There comes a point in everyone’s life when they leave the nest and venture out into the world on their own. Though a liberating experience, if you’re not financially prepared to move out of your parent’s house, you’ll only find yourself right back there in a few years. Your best bet is to review all the costs of moving and living in a particular area, and budgeting to ensure you can afford it.