Are you thinking of moving into your first apartment?

Are you living with your parents and having thoughts about moving into your own apartment? Don’t overthink; you’re not alone. A recent Census data revealed that nearly one out of every three young people between 18 and 35 years of age live with their parents. What’s more interesting is that this was the case 20 years ago. But what’s changed is that majority of young people today are earning significantly less than their parents did at the same age, after taking inflation into consideration.

What this means is that making the move for independence is tougher now even for those who have a full-time job than it was for their parents.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. You can bring to reality your thoughts of moving into independence with a few steps and lifestyle tweaks. You can start by taking a look at some rental listings in the places you would like to live in and get an informed idea of how much it will cost to live there. How much can you afford to spend on rent? It is suggested that you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your gross income.

Afterwards, you’ll have to take into consideration other monthly expenses and ask yourself whether you’ll be able to pay your bills as well. You’ll have to do some calculating to determine how your finances will fare against the added expense of moving out on your own such as transportation and cell phone bills.

It’s possible that your expenses may end up exceeding your income. In such a situation, you’ll have to get out your calculator…or better still, launch the mExpense app on your smartphone and make a budget. Take a thoughtful look at your budget and see if there are any items you could pay less for or live without. This will help you trim your expenses so that they can measure up with your income or better still, so that you can have some spare money to save at the end of each month.

After determining what you can and can’t afford, you can then begin your search for a place to move into. When you finally find a place that suits you and are done with the paperwork, it’s time to begin working on a list of the things you’ll need for your new place. Start by listing out the items you use on a daily basis such as personal items, kitchen utensils and office supplies.

Keep in mind that your first apartment will most likely not have all the amenities and luxuries you may have enjoyed in your parents’ home and if you can’t afford them immediately, you may have to make do with what you have.

If you’ve gotten everything right, your bags should be packed, your bills paid and your utilities hooked up. Decide on the day you will move into your new home and determine how you will pack your things there. It’s much better and cost effective to recruit friends and family where possible to help you move, instead of hiring a mover.

Like most transitions in life, the transition to independence may not be easy but if you get it right, you’ll develop the skills you need to manage your money and ultimately improve your standard of living.

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