People move into new homes many times, although it's not easy. The most significant moves you'll ever make is when you reach adulthood and move out of your parent's home at 18. It would be best to weigh a few things while taking this significant step. Consider the following before you move out to ensure smooth transition.
1. Discuss it with Friends and Family
Before taking this step, discussing your thoughts with people closest to you is good. Whatever your reason for moving, debating about the move with your friends and family can give you peace with those you're leaving behind and provide you with assurance and clarity about the decision.
First, talk about why you want to leave, how you arrived at a decision, and what you are doing to make a move as safe and easy as possible. You will value their advice and experience, and their support will boost your confidence and simplify the process for you.
2. Develop a Plan
Proper planning is essential to transition from your parent's house smoothly. Plan everything to the last detail and do not overlook anything. Although it may seem boring to research and develop a plan, your initial move by yourself is a big deal, and it's essential to be prepared efficiently.
It is advisable to start your plans ahead of time. Have enough time to thoroughly think about your decision to ensure that you're level-headed.
3. Create Cash Flow
Your financial status should be among the first things you consider when considering moving out at 18. You need a steady source of income or savings. If you have insufficient funds for your move, you will encounter problems when you move out.
Having enough funds for the move is not enough; you need to have additional savings for unexpected and unforeseen circumstances. If you face a costly expense along the way and you don't have the money to cater for it, you can obtain additional funding through a title loan.
4. Create a Budget
It is good to set aside six-month worth of rent before moving out at 18. This will prevent you from getting broke if you crash your car, lose your job, or face another unforeseen life situation. It is essential to be careful when looking for your first apartment as you have to cater for the application fee, two months' worth of rent, and a security deposit in advance, which can accrue to over $1000. The best way to predict the amount you will require to save before you would be to craft a rough estimate of your expected monthly expenses. This will depend on your area's cost of living.
Do not make the common mistake of blindly creating your budget. You can easily underestimate the amount you spend on leisure activities and then realize you have little wiggle room to spend on your leisure activities. It is good to find out the amount you pay every month to enable you to remove unnecessary expenses before moving out.
Look at your mobile banking app and assess every charge for your monthly statements. Next, categorize every monthly expense, such as clothes, food, car, etc., and tally the total.
• Where you can cut your expenses
• Where most of your money goes
• How you can reduce your expenses
After identifying your monthly expenses and what you'll spend when you move out, download a money tracking app to make you conscious of your spending habits and how you can sustain your lifestyle.
5. Build your Credit
After developing your budget, you need to build your credit. When you attain 18 years, you can legally obtain a credit card. Most complexes will not consider your application if you have poor or zero credit when looking for an apartment. You should be aware that a credit card can mess up your financial plans if you use it irresponsibly.
If you do not qualify for a regular credit card, it is possible to get a secured credit card. This is where you place a deposit in the account as security and start using the card.
It is essential to maintain low credit utilization. This is because the credit score is designed to show that someone who has accumulated a lot of credit card debt is a risky borrower. Therefore, even if you are paying off the card each month, the balance at the end of the month is what is reported to credit agencies.
The best way to build credit before moving out is to allocate your credit card for one purpose. For instance, if you have to pay for gas and car insurance every month, you know the amount you spend on that. Therefore, your credit card should solely pay for your car insurance and gas. The reason is that this is regular money you have to spend every month and you can cater for it without trouble. By doing this, you are sure you won't miss any payments, and you can pledge that you can cater to your monthly bills. When you assign your credit card one purpose, you know the amount to spend every month. You can even have a limit on the card to spend only what you can afford to pay.
6. How to Find an Apartment
Now that you are ready to move out, you must find a suitable apartment. You have several options depending on where you want to move to. At 18 years, you should start with something cheap and liveable. Most cities have a tax-exempt program for low-income earners where you can get a decent apartment at affordable rent on the first or second floor and not pay for utilities.
If there is no such program in your city, you can look for an apartment on Craigslist or other similar platforms. The platforms provide several options to discover roommates, rooms to rent, and group housing.
Tips for finding an apartment
While searching for an apartment, you should be skeptical and ask many questions when touring. Some apartment complexes provide a low price initially but constantly raise your rent as property values fluctuate. The best strategy to catch this is by checking their reviews and ratings.
7. How to Furnish your Apartment
You can apply the following creative tips to furnish your first apartment and make it feel like home.
Do Not Buy Everything At Once
Despite having an operational budget, moving into a new apartment can still be costly. Furniture costs can accumulate fast. Start slow and do not purchase all you need at once while moving out. Instead, take some time to determine what you need. Purchase daily-to-use items such as kitchen essentials, couch, and bed. You can then work your way through a list of what you need now, later, and future.
Decorate your Entryway
Create a lasting impression in your entryway with a bench or a coat rack. Go for a bench that provides shoe storage and a comfy cushion to relax while getting ready for work. You can also include a small rug to add color and make the area feel welcoming and warm.
Include Window Treatments
Windows can look uninviting and bare without blinds or curtains. So add some to give them a little bit of personality. You can also add window treatments that help minimize your utilities. They help preserve temperatures in the house during the winter and keep the room cool during the summer.
Add a Neutral Color
A touch of color transforms a drab apartment into a lively place you can call home. Start with a neutral color and develop your color scheme as you move along. Also, many apartment owners do not allow tenants to paint the walls with anything but neutral colors. Instead, you can add color with artwork, furniture, curtains, and rugs while maintaining a neutral base.
You can also get innovative with bathroom storage. Develop creative storage ideas, reduce clutter, and concentrate on a clean and bright aesthetic. For example, swap your apartment light fixtures with faux chandeliers or pendant lights. This will bring elegance to any room. Remember to preserve the old fixtures to put them back when moving out.
Wrapping it Up
If your goal is to move out at 18, then there are a few things you should get sorted out before moving out. Getting credit cards can help build your credit so you can pass the rental application process. Setting up an emergency fund in a savings account can help you when things aren't planned. Finally, staying frugal will help you save up and stick to your budget.