How to Live on Your Own When the Time Comes to Leave the Family Nest

Planning to leave your parents’ home for the first time and start your solo journey is a huge milestone in any young adult’s life. While it sounds amazing to think about the complete freedom and independence you’ll have, you have to ask yourself – how to live on your own? There are many aspects to consider when moving out, from finances to organizing a move, and it can be overwhelming at the beginning. Let’s see how to untangle this issue.

November 21, 2021 Posted in How-to

The first and most important question that you will ask yourself is this one – how much money do you need to live on your own? Of course, this depends on where you plan to settle – the costs of moving to a new city and residing there can vary drastically throughout The States, but once you decide where you want to move, you will have a general idea. Wherever your new home is, the basic preparations and things to do before moving out for the first time are pretty similar.

Trying to Figure Out How to Live on Your Own? Here’s How to Plan Leaving the Nest

It’s no easy decision to make – deciding that this is the right moment to spread your wings and fly alone. Getting your first apartment is much more complicated than just finding an abode you like and putting down a deposit – you have plenty of work to do before that. Sure, all efficient relocations should be carefully planned, but in the case of a first move, it’s safe to say that last-minute moving is next to impossible – you will have to put some thought into this. That starts with thinking about your reasons to move and concluding that you are truly ready for the responsibility.

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Are You Really Ready to Leave Your Parents and Sail Into the Unknown?

Can I survive living on my own? Plenty of young people have this dilemma – is it a good idea to leave my parents’ home or is it best to stay? But here’s the truth – living on your own always seems hard until you actually start doing it. Once you move to a new state, you’ll realize that being an independent adult is quite manageable. In fact, plenty of us feel like we’re winging it most days – trust us, you have nothing to worry about if you plan your finances and give yourself room to adjust to a new place.

A young woman on the floor in front of the sofa, excited about her long-distance moving
Getting your place will undoubtedly make you happy - it’s pretty exciting

When Planning Cross-Country Moving, These Are the Expenses You Should Keep in Mind

We often tend to focus on the living expenses when residing alone, but calculating the cost of cross-country movers and adding other moving expenses into your budget is crucial. You can’t reside alone if you don’t organize your move first. But, what do you need in order to achieve that? Is there a checklist for moving to another state? Sure there is – once you make the list of moving essentials, everything will seem easier to achieve.

Good Old Moving To-Do List and Trustworthy Long-Distance Movers Are Essential for Pulling Off a Move

Anyone who has ever moved can attest that moving to another state alone requires careful preparations that can take up to two months – and that is without saving money for relocation and the post-relocation period. However, if you break everything into smaller tasks that you’ll write on your moving to-do list, you can make sure that you won’t overlook anything once you start packing for the move.

Another essential thing to mention (and probably one of the best moving tips you will ever hear) is that you need to find a reliable long-distance moving company on time – don’t wait until the last minute. The chances are that all reputable moving service providers will already be booked, and you will have to be extra careful if you want to avoid moving scams (trust us, you 100% don’t want to experience this). Get yourself trustworthy cross-country movers, and maybe even book packing service – it can save you a lot of energy, especially if you’re not skilled at packing fragile items.

Two long-distance movers holding boxes and smiling at the camera
Want your items to make it to the new city safely? Hire the best long-distance movers

How Much Does It Cost to Live on Your Own? Create the List of Living on Your Own Expenses

Finally, we arrive at the most complicated issue – how much money do I need to live on my own? In order to calculate that, you will need to write down everything you’ll have to pay for on a monthly basis and see how it fits into your income. The chances are that you’ve found a job before moving to another state, so you can compare it with the costs and check if your income will be enough to provide a quality life. Now, let’s look at the list of basics you’ll have to pay for:

  • Rent,
  • Utilities (some may be covered by the landlord – be sure to check),
  • Groceries and other household items,
  • Transportation,
  • Internet,
  • Streaming services,
  • Phone bill,
  • Loans to pay off (student loans, car payment, etc.),
  • Credit card payments,
  • Health insurance.

If you were still wondering – is it cheaper to live by yourself? – the answer is pretty obvious now, right? Still, know that the benefits of moving out of your childhood house outweigh the financial difficulties by a lot – once you settle into your new apartment, you’ll quickly come to know that the independence is worth it.

To help you keep the anxiety about moving out under control, we suggest you check out this brilliant online calculator that allows you to compare costs of residing in different U.S. places – Numbeo cost-of-living calculator. You can compare your current city with the new one, so you’ll know how to adjust your budget and how much you have to save. The more you know about your new city, the less moving stress you’ll feel.

A woman holding 100 dollar banknotes
One of the essential tips - have a financial plan and organize your budget accordingly

It’s Time to Start Saving Money – But How to Do That?

Save your money – this sounds easier than it is in real life. People often don’t know exactly how much money they should save. So, let’s clear this right away – it’s best to have a budget that’s at least six months’ worth of savings before you move out from your parents’ place. Although this may sound like a financial nightmare at first, once you start saving and cutting down unnecessary costs, the money will quickly pile up. You’ll be surprised how many unessential things you used to pay for, trust us. If you want to hear some advice on cutting costs and saving cash to move out, the video below can help you – check it out.

Improving Your Credit Score Can Help a Lot if You Want to Live Alone

Short or non-existent credit history usually isn’t enough to tell the landlord whether you’ll be a trusted tenant. If you don’t want to find yourself in the position of losing a perfect apartment, it would be good to improve in this area. Of course, the lack of credit history doesn’t necessarily mean you will be turned down – the landlord can ask your parents to cosign a lease. Since you’ve never had a lease, they will vouch for you and your financial responsibility.

One of the simplest ways for a landlord to check out how responsible you are is to look at your credit score, which is an integral part of your credit report. So, obviously, this means that you should do whatever you can to have the best score possible. It would be good to have a score above 620 – if it’s below that, you might have to put down a bigger deposit if you want to get the apartment you’ve set your eyes to.

Woman holding a credit card and typing into the laptop
Landlords always do their best to find out if you’re capable of paying the rent on time

Let’s Take a Break From the Financial Talk – Living Alone Is Great, and Will Provide You With Many Benefits

Don’t worry – although moving across a country checklist revolves a lot around your budget, residing alone isn’t just about counting cash and wondering if you’ll be able to get through the month. Sure, it won’t be so simple at first, and you might even have to ask your parents for help occasionally, but that’s life – and what’s great about it is that it has much to offer, wherever you are. So, try to focus on the happy things, like finding friends in a new state or exploring your new city. Meet your neighbors and co-workers, maybe get a new hobby – why not?

The new beginnings are always fun, even if you struggle with adjustment insomnia – don’t worry, it happens to many people after moving, and it will pass quickly. In the meantime, you have a lot to occupy yourself with – remember, once you unpack after moving, the challenge of decorating your abode begins. Be sure to do some research on small apartment ideas before you do anything, and check out some of the creative storage solutions that can be useful for settling in after moving to a smaller place than you’re used to.

Relaxed woman in a grey T-shirt, smiling and holding her hands at the top of her head
Your life in a new city has a lot to offer - be sure to enjoy all the benefits

Tips for After the Move

What is the cheapest way to live by yourself? Should you use some tricks for saving cash after the move? Naturally, there are a few hacks you could benefit from if your finances aren’t rock-solid – which they probably won’t be after the move. However, no one says that you have to be strict with yourself and cut down on all the entertainment and unnecessary costs, but being careful surely won’t hurt.

You can try to focus on little things – order less takeout and cook more, skip paying for the gym and start jogging, or simply be more careful with electricity – remember to turn off the heating and lights during the night. Minor changes can go a long way, believe it or not.

A young woman in a yellow sweater taking books out of the box in a room full of boxes
You’ve made it through the move - still, it’s not wise to start spending like crazy now

Our Final Tip – Becoming Independent Doesn’t Happen Overnight and It Can Take a While, But You Can Do This

Remember, patience is an asset when it comes to planning relocations, especially long-distance moving experiences such as your own. Your move won’t be organized quickly, but that’s okay – the more planning, the fewer chances of something going wrong. It might be a stressful journey, but it’s definitely worth it – being your own person and not depending on others is a sign of strength. After all, we all have to move out at some point – why not now?

Hannah Michaelson

Hannah is a freelance relocation writer from NYC that has become an expert on packing and unpacking.

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