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Budgeting & Saving

4 Things You Should Save Up For Before Moving Out

You got your first taste of freedom when you went away to college, and you got to live either in the dorms or off campus apartments.

After graduation, the thought of moving back in with your parents was probably cringe worthy. But moving out on your own shouldn’t be a decision you jump into quickly. You’ll learn that being on your own is different than living away from your parents while you’re in school.

You no longer have the same safety net, including borrowing money from mom and dad, or using financial aid to hold you over between your part time checks.

Before you pack your things yet again, here are 4 things you should save up for before you move out on your own:

Your rent deposit

Depending on where you rent and who you rent from, you’ll probably have to put a deposit down to reserve your living space. In some cases it can be first and last month’s rent, and in other cases, it’s another fixed amount.

You’ll want this money set aside before you tell your parents you’ll see them later. I’ve rented several times, and two of those times, I’ve had to borrow money for my deposit from my mom, which was embarrassing.

Before you sign a lease or rental agreement, be sure to save at least two month’s worth of rent for your deposit. Yes, there’s a possibility to get that money back at the end of your living arrangement, depending on the conditions you leave your space.

However, there are some landlords who are notorious from keeping a large portion of your deposit, no matter how clean you leave your place. Don’t rely heavily on getting 100% of that money back.

Expect 50% just so you won’t be disappointed.

Rent reserve

Bottom line, things happen. Sometimes your check is shorter than you anticipated, or maybe an unexpected expense comes up.

When you’re renting, either from a private landlord or a property management company, you’ll soon learn how important the first of the month is. You always want to pay your rent on time, so you should save up for a backup rent resource.

This should be anywhere between one month to three months worth of rent.

This money will hold you over in rough times when you find yourself running short and the beginning of a new month approaching.

Home emergency fund

Although landlords and owners typically take care of repairs when you’re renting, there may be situations where something is not covered, and you’ll have to come out of pocket.

You should save money for home based emergencies. In my first apartment, our garbage disposal broke because a shot glass fell down the drain (don’t ask). It wasn’t covered in our rental agreement, but we were lucky enough to get the maintenance person to replace it for free.

This money can be used if you need to call a locksmith (they can be expensive), or fixing an after-hours emergency because the maintenance person was off the clock.

Another tip: get renter’s insurance! It’s good to have in case your items are damaged or stolen.

Moving expenses

When the day comes when it’s time for you to move, it can be stressful and expensive if you don’t plan ahead.

If you’re moving into a one bedroom apartment, you probably don’t need to hire movers. However, you might decide movers are within your budget. Check different companies’ hourly rates and minimum moving prices.

You should also consider the expenses you don’t typically think about, such as stocking your cabinets and refrigerator from scratch, utility deposits, and furniture delivery.

Living on your own is a very freeing accomplishment, but it’s independence at a cost.

You can move without saving for all of these things, but you’ll learn the hard way, like I did, that living away from home is a shock to your wallet.

You can deal with your parents for a couple more months while you save up for these things before packing your bags.

Originally posted 2014-08-27 06:00:42.

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