There are so many things that I have had to learn the hard way in this life. My personal finance is one of them. Honestly, if I had the knowledge I have right now back then, there are so many things I would have done so differently. Moving out is one of them, I would have never been in a hurry to leave the sweet and safe nest of my parents.
But I never would have listened to anyone at that time, all I wanted and craved for was my freedom. I wasn’t looking at the bigger picture and man did it come back to bite me in the behind. Oh well, I managed and navigated this hard life whilst learning about my finances. Today I discuss things I wish I knew about my finances before moving out. Hoping that this list will help one of you out there to make better financial decisions at an earlier age than I did.
1. Start Buying the Essentials Before You Actually Move Out
In my excitement to leave home & all the rules and to have my freedom, as soon as I got a job I was out, I had to start from scratch. It is very hard to pay the rent and still buy furniture and any other items you may need to make your stay comfortable. I pictured having a home like my parents’ with a very meagre salary in comparison.
The result? I slept on a mattress for like 3 months, got a bed and that was it. I had just the bare minimum to get by, a bed to sleep in and some kitchen utensils. Life was not easy to get by, it would take months for me to buy one item just because I had other pressing financial responsibilities. Best thing I would have done then was to live rent-free at my parents’ house, as I save up to buy all the things I needed to move out.
2. Practice Paying Rent At Your Parents’ House
Another way of figuring out if you are truly financially ready to move out is to practice paying rent while at your parents’ house. Pay them actual rent for a few months and see if you can hack it. The best thing about them is they will not throw you out due to a missed payment, but your landlord will. So make sure that you can comfortably pay rent with a little practice. I never tried anything like this at my parents’ house. Most likely if I did, it would have opened my eyes to the fact that I wasn’t yet ready to leave, however much I wanted to.
3. Check The Daily Expenses And Confirm That You Can Actually Afford Them
Have a mockup of all the things you use on a daily and check the prices. Confirm if you are able to buy these items on a daily basis. Have a book of sorts or a piggy bank where you throw in the money you would need. So that it is removed from your pocket and see how well you can handle yourself with what is left. If not, you need to rethink your moving out date and stay at home a little longer. Of course, there are certain things I had gotten accustomed to while I was living at home. But since I moved out without a plan, I had to cut back heavily on things I was used to because I couldn’t afford them anymore. Hard times.
4. Declutter Before Packing To Move
This may seem redundant to your personal finance but I assure you that it is not, why? While using the moving company if you have removed all the things you do not necessarily need. There will be less to move and lower rates for you which will result in a more shallow dent in your pocket. So make sure to pack only the things you need, the rest you can leave them at home. No one is moving them and you will always find them when you go back home to visit. This part I can say I didn’t spend much on because I basically left home with the clothes on my back and had to start from scratch.
5. Start A fund For Your Rent (For At Least 3 Months) & Furniture
There is nothing as scary as not being able to make your rent and even worse getting thrown out. To avoid this have a fund for your rent that caters for at least 3 months rent before you can even think about moving out. This is in the event that things go south, you are not forced to go back home, or endure the embarrassment of being thrown out.
I won’t lie I basically ran away in the middle of the night from my house because I did not have the money to pay rent. I moved out at night without the knowledge of my landlord and he never saw me again after that. It was not a good experience guys. Don’t put yourself in the position I did those few years ago.
Useful: Savings Checklist
6. Move During The Week, The Rates Are Lower
The essence is to save as much as you can for your life ahead. Don’t use all your money on movers and be left with nothing to take you through the month. Maximize every saving opportunity you may have. Most people move on the weekends, mostly because it is the only time they get free from work and other responsibilities. Not many people move during the week. It is for this very reason moving companies maximize their profits and the weekend rate is always higher. If you can ask for an off at work and move in the middle of the week. It’s waaay cheaper that way.
7. Take All Hand-Me-Downs Offered To You
Instead of struggling to buy everything by yourself your parents or friends could offer to give you something that you will need that they may not be necessarily using. This is not the time to have standards, take whatever good thing you are given with gratitude in your heart because it is going a very long way. It will save you money as you do not have to buy that particular item at that very time. You could upgrade later in the future when you are doing better but at the moment of moving out, take the items handed to you, if they are in good condition. Do not burden yourself with things that may become clutter.
8. Store Important Documents Safely
In all the mess of moving you may misplace important documents that you will need maybe in the event of applying for a loan or mortgage. Make sure to store all your important documents in one box. Make sure it is labelled properly so that it is treated with care. When you get to the new house make sure the box is well and kept safely. I had some problems with this as I lost some very important documents and let me tell you the replacement process is a pain in the butt. The government makes it very hard for you to replace these documents. Also getting the time to do this was a hassle. You do not want to go through this.
9. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
No man is an island as the saying goes, everyone wishes you well as you leave, so if you feel you are a little strained, do not be afraid and suffer in silence. Ask for the help you need and it shall be handed to you, either from friends or family. This will lighten your load and your finances will be a little more available for usage in your new home.
If you can check all the above and have a sort of checklist to guide you as you make this big transition, it will be a more smoother ride for you waaaay more than it ever was for me. I would hope to help more people with this list than watch them make some of the same mistakes if not all, as I did. All the best my lovelies.