Be Realistic: Moving Out

I’ve sat with my best friend before (see one of her posts here!) – and discussed moving out. We calculated our incomes, we calculated how much the prospective apartments we looked at were – even remembering to include water, electric, and the amenities not included in the cost of rent. We thought we could do it. Then my dad sat down with us and told us how it was impossible – how we wouldn’t be able to afford much of anything, and that we certainly wouldn’t be able to eat. It became very clear to us that our dreams were just that: dreams.

So let’s be realistic. Let’s figure out the cost of moving out. Let’s find out if you’re ready for it!

Moving sucks but she's still smiling! (photo by waitscm)

Moving sucks but she’s still smiling! (photo by waitscm)

#1. Find a suitable place to live that works with your budget.

My aforementioned friend and I found a place that would cost (for a two bedroom apartment) around 750$ a month. That was including gas and electric. So, it’s fair to assume that we decided we each would be paying roughly 375$ a month, which seems manageable at first…

#2. Then you have to think about the other bills you have.

From paying our own phones, which, for us was roughly fifty dollars a month, to groceries, which varies depending on the person and what you eat, to taking care of your car – insurance, repairs, and gas – which for me, monthly would equate to over three hundred and fifty dollars every month anyway… I would need to make around 800$ a month to manage that.

#3. Remember that most places will not accept your application unless you make double the amount of rent.

This is for good reason; they want to make sure you’ll be able to pay your rent every month. So my friend and I would have to have a monthly income of 1,500 to be able to afford that particular apartment. It seems a lot less manageable now.

#4. But we’ve forgot about other expenses…

I know what you’re thinking: “If I have enough to cover all that you’ve said so far, including my electric and other bills that you have excluded, shouldn’t I be fine?”

Well, yes, and no. You are fine. Until something happens that needs a lot of your money. What happens when your car needs a major repair and you have no savings? They say you should have enough in savings to live on your own for six months, if I remember correctly. What happens if you have an emergency and need to buy new work shoes or your clothes don’t fit anymore because you’ve lost a bit of weight – presumably from eating healthy or eating way less.

Now, I’m not saying it’s impossible to move out. I’m just saying, if you’re young and you’re just starting out, take your time. Savor the fact that you don’t have to pay rent and utilities and all of the other things that drain your wallet.

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