Advice for Moving Out for the First Time

It's almost been four years now since I moved out for the first time into an apartment with my boyfriend.  It was the one of the most scary and exciting moment of my life but definitely one of the best decisions I ever made! I moved out the day I turned 21 but it took a year to prepare myself for the big step. I wanted a safe place of my own and the freedom to do what I please. I didn't have any help from parents or my boyfriend. I remember telling my boyfriend I have to move out and his response being we won't be able to. My response... watch me. 

To this day I never did go back to my parents to live or ask for help. I prepared myself and made sure that wouldn't happen. Now 4 years later my younger sister who will be 21 January 31st is struggling with the decision of moving out. We have spent a lot of time discussing it and I realized how much there is to do to prepare yourself to successfully move out. So I want to take the time to share some major things that helped me get where I wanted to go. 

1. Decide and Be 100% sure of it: Deciding to move out felt like it took forever for me to figure out but one night it just hit me and I knew it was time. My life really wasn't that great at the time living with my mom so making that decision was simple enough.

2. Make a Plan: I wrote down lists/ notes over and over again of things that needed to be done in order to move out. I made a plan of how much I was going to save every month and how long it would take me to get to that point. I took the time to see where I could cut back to save more.

3. Rent or Own?: This is obviously a major decision that has to be considered. For me it was rent because I wasn't married and I could not come up with the amount of money needed to buy plus I wasn't ready for such a solid commitment. For my younger cousin her decision was to buy, she had a lot more time to save a good chunk and where she lives made it cheaper for her to make a house payment rather than a rent payment. She knew she could depend on her boyfriend.

4. Bills, Bills, Bills: The next thing you need to realize are your current bills. They need to be on paper. How much is coming in (round down) and how much is going out (round up). Then you need to consider your bills with renting or owning. Things like electric, water, groceries, and rent. You may not be able to figure out these costs but if you look in your paper and call some apartments you will start to see numbers. As for groceries I spend on 2 one hundred dollars a week. 

5. Stuff: This is the fun part! Getting all the things you need for your place. The best thing is to do this slowly. Buy things you need when they are on sale or a really good deal. Don't forget to thrift and think outside of the box with items. Doing this slowly will save you money and motivate you towards your saving goal to move out. Be sure to make a list and keep your items stored away nicely so that when you do move out you will be excited to open forgotten treasures. It's like christmas!

6. Start looking: This is also a fun part. I remember looking at our first apartment and thinking this is it! Then my boyfriend said lets keep looking. We called and made appointment's to look at duplex's, renting homes, really crappy apartments and really nice apartments. I didn't find the one until the very end and "the one" was nothing I expected it to be but it was our best option for our budget at the time.

7. Crunch some Numbers: Remember writing out your bills earlier and then estimating your future  bills? It's time to start putting those together to see what you can afford with a good chunk of money left over. Don't think that a 650 rent payment can be made if that is all the money you have to pay it every month. In a way it makes sense but in reality it doesn't work.

8. Have A Cushion: This is where your cushion that you have and plan for will save your tush and keep you from crawling back to your parents. A cushion or emergency fund is extra cash you have every month or a big chunk you have saved in case something happens and trust me everything happens. Someone loses their job or all the sudden they cut your hours at work or your car breaks down. Without a cushion you cut into rent money which in turns sets you back. 

9. Compromise and Prepare for a New Life: You are not going to get everything you want in your first place unless auntie ethel left you a major load of cash in her will. You are going to enjoy that though because growing and progress are why we live. It's fun to see the next step, without it we don't have anything to strive for. Life is going to be different now. In a sense this is when you become an adult.

10. Make the Move: Time to make your decision and do your thing. It's so much fun and within a year you will have learned more about life than you did your first year of college. Times will be good and times will be bad but that's what makes it interesting! Feel confident in your choice and be prepared to roll with the punches. You can do this!

I hope this helps any of you struggling with how to go about moving out. If this does I would love to hear and if any of you have anymore helpful advice please leave it below. 


  1. Im currently going through this process! Def saving this for when the moment does happen. I'll be finding out in may or so whether or not I get into a grad school which will then lead to my decision of moving. stoked & scared.


    1. I completely get how you feel! Good luck it is going to be a wonderful process ;)

  2. The workers at Lincoln Moving and Storage were so professional and so helpful. The staff anticipated and answered many of my questions, and was extremely helpful. Everything especially my paintings were handled with great care. Thank you. You made a sometimes stressful experience a very easy process. Contact them at Contact us today at http://lincolnmoving.com or (716) 874-1380. They simplify your moving and storage worries.

  3. I want to move out so bad but I'm scared too, the thoughts of getting a job freak me out:/

  4. how did you talk to your mother about it? I found myself making mental check marks in my head as I ran down your list, I'm at the step of looking at places I've set appointments up after Christmas. I've budgeted and budgeted, I'm getting a third job this summer for extra savings and cushion, but I don't know how to go about talking to my mom, I watch my siblings every other week after school, I'm the only one who lives with her full time, when we've talked numbers before she thinks mine are in accurate, but I've researched and asked around, I've even looked into utilities on average and utilities I know people pay there in order to budget, however she is still skeptical. I don't want to leave it bad, but I have a steady job, I'll be 21 in September (when I would be moving), and sometimes there is a lot of tension between us at home, I love her, but I need this. I need her, but I can't live at home forever or wait around for a perfect time to tell her because I'm not sure that will exist.

  5. Such good advice. It's so not worth renting in the UK at the moment, so I am starting to save for a deposit... eek!

  6. 5, 6, and 9 really hit home, I think the most important things I learned moving out.

    5 - this was so much fun, an exactly how you describe it.

    6 - this has been really important for my partner and I, even if we aren't completely ready to make a move, because we figure out what each other's preferences are and make see if our dreams are compatible, at least in dreaming and talking. It is definitely important to have goals and dreams, and shopping ahead of time, and looking and driving around makes the less-than-awesome situation you might be in seem that much more bearable since you are working toward your dreams.
    9 - we learned so much living in our first place, what is important to us, what we are willing to compromise on, etc. Everything is a learning experience.

    Also, one thing I would add, is that it depends on the family dynamics, but sometimes you can move back home if you need to. I had the privilege of being able to come back to my parents house when my partner lost his job and was having trouble finding work. We could have lived on my paycheck, but we weighed our choices and decided it was a better financial decision to live in my parents' basement for a year (we've now been here 6 mo.) to pay off our loans. I am incredibly grateful that he was able to come back home with me, and my parents set up a nice private space for us to live in the basement. I have to say that is has been a very humbling and challenging experience because my partner and I are very independent people, but I know it was the right decision. We know that by sacrificing now we are building a better future for ourselves. We are focused on building our getting to our goals and building our dreams.

    Thanks for writing this post, it is such a good discussion point for us young people. Best wishes to all....

  7. @Miranda - I think you need to trust yourself. If you have done the research and done the thinking - go with your gut feeling. You may be right that there will never be a "right" time. Your mom might be struggling with letting "her little girl" go - what my mom struggled with. It took her a long time for her to realize that she raised me as a strong independent woman and that moving out on my own is what it means to be independent. Maybe try to talk to another trusted friend or family member, because they might be a good sounding board, who knows your situation. Wishing you the best!


So what do you think? I love reading comments... drop me a line and a link!