The Aussie guide to pocket money
If you’re on the cusp of moving out on your own for the first time, you’re probably jumping out of your skin thinking about the freedom of having your own place. But it’s not all roses and sunshine when you move into your own place.
Ensure that you’re across every aspect of life on your own or with your mates to avoid any nasty surprises – financially or otherwise – that may spoil the fun. Here are some things to consider.
Moving out of home doesn’t just mean you’ll be forking out for rent every week or month. It’s the other costs that you may not account for that will catch up with you. Things like groceries, transport to and from work, shared bills and utilities all need to be accounted for. You should also set some money aside in case of emergencies (you never know when the toaster is going to break, or your car decides to die). Have a fairly sizeable store of money locked away, and don’t touch it unless you absolutely need to. A final tip: create a budget and stick to it.
One thing you can guarantee is your real estate agent is going to be asking for the rent every week or month. So be sure that your source of income is going to be as stable as the rental invoice. Do the math and make sure you’re going to be earning enough to support yourself and your way of life out of home.
This can be the toughest aspect to wrap your head around, particularly if you’ve been living in the same place with your parents for a long time, or you’ve become used to mum and dad’s very nice and roomy freestanding house. There’s a good chance that if this is your first move out of home, you may have to settle for something a little smaller and, well, less modern that what you have become used to over the years. Location is also incredibly important. Ensure you’re close enough to shops and public transport lines, as well as taking into account where you work, where you socialise and even how close you are to mum and dad’s place (for those impromptu family dinners, or even that basket of washing that needs to be done).
You may think that no one could be as annoying as your parents, but living with your friends may be just as frustrating after an extended period of time. What you may not realise is that you’ve become used to your parents and their annoying ways, and changing who you live with can be a serious shock to the system. If you decide to live with someone you already know, make sure you’ve given serious thought as to whether or not you are going to be able to get along while sharing a roof. Alternatively, you could choose to live with someone you have never met before. The digital world makes finding a flatmate as easy as ever.
Remember, you have to do all the household chores yourself
Have you ever wondered how everything stayed so clean at home? It’s probably because mum and dad were doing all the chores and you didn’t even notice. When you live out of home, you’re going to have to do all the little jobs yourself. If you’ve got a dishwasher at your new place, that’s a bonus. If not, you’re going to have to do the dishes. Yes, every single night. Along with all the cooking and cleaning, shopping and everything else you haven’t ever thought about doing before.
Have you got enough furniture and appliances?
Your parents may help you out in this department with some of their old or unwanted goods, but you’re going to have to buy a whole heap of stuff to initially get your household set up. Things like refrigerators, washing machines, crockery and cutlery, a bed and linen, a TV, couches and a dining table are just some of the major things you’ll need to get your hands on. This can be expensive, so second-hand where you can is a great option and split the communal items amongst your new housemates so that the cost is shared.
How are you going to get around?
This may not be something you have thought about until you walk outside your new place and realise mum and dad aren’t there to drive you around. If you’ve got a car, make sure it is in working order before you leave your parents’ place. Also be sure to remember that cars are expensive. Petrol, registration and insurance all adds up – factor that into your budget. If you don’t have a car, ensure you’ve planned how you’re going to get around, be it Uber, public transport, or on your own two feet.
Don’t let this be the last time you see your parents
You may have moved out of home to get some breathing space from your parents, but the reality is that they do love you and love seeing you. Go home and visit them as much as you can – they’ll appreciate it and it will make things easier when you are a little short on cash and need a handout.
The last, and very important step…
Make sure you change your mailing address in all the relevant places so you actually receive your mail/the government knows where you’re living now. If you need a change of address checklist, we’ve already made one for you.