How to Budget for Moving Out of Home for the First Time
For many young people, moving out of home for the first time is an equally exciting and nervous experience. On one hand, you now have the independence and freedom you’ve always dreamed of. On the other hand, with this independence and freedom come bills and responsibility.
But if you have prepared a budget clearly identifying your anticipated income and expenses before moving out, you will be able to plan for and ride out any hard times so you can enjoy the good times.
Choosing the Right Rental Property
Before you start packing up your things and saying your tearful goodbyes to Mum and Dad, you will need to think about what is the right rental property for you at this point in your life.
Points to consider:
- Can you afford to live alone, or will you need to share a place with another person or persons?
- Which suburbs would you like to live in?
- Which suburbs can you afford to live in? Use realestate.com.au and/or domain.com.au to compare the rental prices in different areas.
- Will you be moving relatively close to your parents?
Once you have spent some time answering these questions, and once you have a general idea on which suburbs you can afford to live in, it is time to move on to budgeting.
Budgeting For Your Big Move
Too many young Australian’s suffer because they underestimated the cost of moving out of home. In fact, Many are forced to go without food to survive. Don’t be carried away by the excitement of moving out; it’s expensive, especially in the big metropolitan cities such as Sydney and Melbourne.
The only way to avoid the burden of financial hardship is to budget carefully and thoughtfully for your big move. In your budget, be sure to include these costs:
When calculating the cost of your weekly rent, you need to know how long you intend to stay in your new home. Longer leases are more secure, and therefore you can plan longer-term with greater comfort. With shorter leases, you should budget a little more on the safe side just in case you have to relocate unexpectedly.
On the subject of leases, be aware that you are entering into a legal contract when you sign a lease. By signing the lease, you agree that there are certain things you can and cannot do as a tenant. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to thoroughly read the agreement or have someone who understands contracts review it for you.
Also remember to check with your landlord or real estate agent if there will be any increases in the cost of rent. Rental prices are usually reviewed on a yearly basis.
You’ll need to pay a bond before moving into most rental properties. Usually, the bond is a month’s rent in advance. This bond is held by the landlord or real estate agent until you move out of the property. If the property is left undamaged, you will receive your bond back in full.
Utilities (Electricity, Gas, Internet, Mobile Plan)
Internet and mobile bills usually arrive on a monthly basis, whereas electricity and gas bills arrive on a quarterly basis (every three months). Be prepared for these bills so they don’t take you by surprise by including them as a recurring cost in your budget.
Visit comparethemarket.com.au/energy to compare the deals offered by electricity and gas providers.
Include the insurance premium for insuring your possessions- Your contents, as that insurance is your responsibility.
This one appears to be a no-brainer, but beware – this is the one cost that is most often underestimated by first-time renters. Budget a little more conservatively for your groceries so you don’t go hungry.
Also include in your budget travel expenses such as fuel and public transport costs. Many first-time renters ignore these little expenses, but they add up to quite a significant amount at the end of each month.
Even with the most perfectly prepared budget, there will be some items that take you by surprise. Even worse, life can sometimes throw a monkey wrench into your well-oiled budget, in the form of an illness or an accident. This is why it’s important to have some emergency money available to deal with these issues should they arise.
With these tips in mind, you will be able to enjoy your new independence in comfort and security, knowing that you are financially prepared for this exciting new phase in your life.
If you’d like to know how Holiday Coast Credit Union can help first-time renters, call 1300 365 724 or drop into a Holiday Coast branch near you.
This article provides general information only and should not be relied upon as financial product advice.