I recently wrote a piece on rules to follow to maximise the financial opportunity of living with your parents – one of which was start budgeting early for all the costs associated with moving out. Today, I want to unpack what those costs might look like for you, by rounding up all the annoying stuff you’ll forget you need to pay for when you move out.
It’s been one decade and nine houses since I first moved out of home aged 18, and lemme tell ya, the costs of moving are always WAY more than you expect. Now of course, some of those homes were during my time at uni where the properties were furnished with the basics, but in more recent years, I’ve cycled through the process of buying everything you need to move out over and over again.
So I’ve rounded up, as best as I can recall from my personal experiences, all the costs of moving out of home. Once you get clear on everything you’ll need to fly the nest, you’ll be better prepared to fund it all!
For argument’s sake, let’s say you’re moving out of home into an unfurnished property. Whether you’re renting it or buying it doesn’t really matter.
1. Bond or deposit
Okay, the most obvious. If you’re renting, you’ll need a bond (known in some countries as a rental deposit). It’s usually about 4-8 weeks worth or rent, and you’ll generally need to pay the first month of rent up front, too. When it comes to saving up to move out, this can eat into your savings quite substantially, so be prepared.
If you’re buying, of course, you’ll need a deposit of 5-20% of the property price, and a mortgage. Read everything that happens when you apply for a mortgage here.
Hear me out. I know you’re probably thinking you’ll load up your Suzuki Swift with your worldly possessions and be on your way, but please consider hiring movers. I didn’t use movers until my 8th move, and I honestly wish I could go back in time and use them every single time. When you don’t have much stuff, they can literally move all your boxes from your place, into the van, and into your new place within a couple of hours. I think when we moved out of our apartment we paid about $220 – and it was the best $220 I’ve ever spent. No lifting, no stairs, no sweating, no broken boxes, and no arguments. Just box everything up, tell them what goes where, and they’ll put everything exactly where you want it.
It sounds obvious, but break down exactly what you’ll need and research how much it will all cost you.
Sofa, table, chairs and a bed seems basic, but think bigger picture. Will you want an ottoman? What about any shelves, coffee tables, TV units, bedside tables, drawers, extra cupboards or wardrobes. Break it down so you have a solid budget in place before you buy.
4. Kitchen equipment
Buying kitchen equipment is one of the most annoying expenses of moving out, because you’ve got to start from literally nothing. Filling a kitchen with plates, pots, pans, jugs, cups, cutlery, serving spoons, ladles and all that stuff you’ve taken for granted your whole life is harder than you think – unless you’re into bankrupting yourself.
If you can, investing in good quality stuff from the get go will save you a lot of waste (and money) in the long run. Living in share houses, we often just got the cheapest pans we could find, and got rid of them at the end of the tenancy because they were so crappy by then, they weren’t worth anyone keeping. But, since we’ve lived in our current place, we’ve made it our mission to invest in better quality ones that’ll last for years. Shop the Boxing Day or mid-season sales for better prices!
5. Kitchen staples
This has to be my least favourite expense – filling your kitchen with the staples you’ve got used to just ‘being there’. Salt, pepper, Vegemite, sugar, butter, ketchup, spices, stock, soy sauce…buying all that stuff at once is a surprisingly high expense, so make sure you budget for it!
6. Cleaning equipment
Again, moving into a baron property means you can’t just throw some bleach down the loo or give your surfaces a quick wipe. You need to go out and buy all that stuff, including cloths, sponges, and brushes. Start with the basics (toilet cleaner, bathroom cleaner and multi-purpose), and then build any other things you need as you go. Oh, and don’t forget a toilet brush and rubber gloves!
Fridge, washing machine, dryer, vacuum, iron, microwave, toaster, kettle, perhaps a blender… all these things add up real fast, so make sure you’re prepared. Shop second hand or even grab freebies from people trying to get rid quick if you’re trying to minimise costs. Sometimes it pays to furnish with low cost second hand items first, and gradually replace and redonate when you get the things you want on a good deal. It’s incredibly unlikely you’ll get the best price on everything you need right away, so to minimise waste, start cheap and replace as you go.
If you’re living at home with your parents pre-move and they’ve got space, consider shopping ahead of time for your home stuff. You’ll be able to take advantage of sales, and spread the cost before the big move.
Moving into a completely empty space will leave you without annoying shit like extension cables, light bulbs, clothes horse, pegs, washing baskets, duvets, bedding, and lamps. Remember to factor in a miscellaneous category in your moving out budget so you’re not met with unexpected costs.
Connecting your electricity, setting up your internet, and signing up to any TV services you want (like Foxtel, Sky, etc) also needs to be factored into your budget. Shop around for internet providers that service your area, and get an estimate on electricity costs for the place you’re moving to. Factoring these costs into your moving out budget helps to avoid surprises.
How to set a moving out budget
How do you condense down exactly what you need as a first priority? Good question. I’d recommend making a conscious effort to take note of everything you use on a daily basis at home. When you wake up, do you switch on your bedside lamp? Might you need an extension cable for that? How often do you use the microwave? Where do you hang your laundry? Will you need one washing basket or two?
Getting granular on these tiny things will make it so much easier to establish which things you need to prioritise, and which can come later. As an example, we went without a microwave for years because our apartments didn’t have them. We only recently bought one from FB marketplace!
Want to get your finances in order ahead of flying the nest? Grab the “Be Better With Money” eBook now.
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