So it’s time to farewell the family home and move out into a place of your own. Along with the excitement and freedom you may be experiencing are less enjoyable feelings of increased responsibility and frugality. Many first-time renters and homebuyers never realised the process was just this difficult.
But don’t worry, this phase of life doesn’t have to be intimidating. Browse through our list of five unexpected costs of moving out to keep yourself prepared and informed.
In today’s digital world, the internet is a must-have utility. Younger generations in particular rely on the internet for work, entertainment and simply keeping in touch with friends. But, depending on where your new home is and the kind of coverage available there, the internet can vary from an affordable staple to a major expense.
Always research widely to make sure you are getting the best deal in your new pad and if you’re moving into a shared home or apartment, why not ask your room mates or neighbours if you can pool the internet to save costs?
Unless you are moving just down the road from your parental nest, moving house may mean an entire new set of costs associated with getting from A to B. The public transport fares are likely different – not to mention timetables – and even if you have a car at your disposal, you may find fuel prices dramatically different depending on the average income of the area you’re moving into.
Be prepared and be sure you research the average distances between your new home and all the places you’ll be driving to regularly, and calculate whether it is more cost-effective in the long run for you to catch public transport rather than drive everywhere. The answer may be entirely different to what it was when you were still living with your parents, and able to ask for a $10 note to help pay fuel whenever you were running low.
This is a big one that many first-time movers have never had to deal with before. Though insurance is not for everyone, in most cases the peace of mind that comes from safeguarding the value of your possessions – sentimental as well as financial value – and the potential risks of anything happening to them will outweigh the sometimes astronomical costs.
Make sure you do your research thoroughly and consider the best policy for you. If you already have a car, find out whether your existing insurance policy can cover your home and contents as well at a discounted price.
Of course, food is pretty much the most basic, essential expense there is, so just about everyone factors it into consideration – but few people realise how expensive it can be buying the groceries for a household of one. Though the first trip to the grocery store may be liberating – finally you can buy only the brands you want! – you will soon find this chore as monotonous as it is essential, and buying all your favourite brands and foods will chew into your wallet.
Why not use this opportunity to cut down on your junk food intake and fill your body up with more affordable healthy foods? Keep an eye on grocery prices too by scouring every catalogue dropped into your new mailbox.
The cost of doing everything yourself
This one is a bit harder to grasp because it can’t be explained simply in monetary terms. Now that you are financially dependent, and have a place of your own to furnish, clean and inhabit, you are responsible for everything in it, so any damage or repair costs to your home or furniture will be borne solely by you – no more asking Dad for help.
Similarly, you’ll soon realise that if you don’t cook at least most of your meals, and do at least most of your laundry, your budget will suffer. This isn’t so much about the monetary cost though as it is the cost of time – keep in mind that you will need to forgo time usually spent on entertainment, hanging out with friends, or even overtime at work to keep your household running.
License: Creative Commons
Brittany Anderson is a freelance writer and media student who recently moved out of the family home in Adelaide to the Big Smoke of Sydney. She knows all about the hazards and tricks of sticking to a limited budget, all the while lusting after caviar and Jaguar cars.