Leaving home for the first time is the ultimate rite of passage. For the better part of two decades you’ve lived under your parents’ roof and rule – and now you’re ready for your own. It’s an elating prospect, and, let’s be frank, a slightly terrifying one. Though your parents can definitely tell you when they’re ready for you to go, nobody can quite prepare you for a running jump from the nest that is your childhood home. But if you want to break your fall, here are a few things to consider:
Save Your Pennies
Take it from someone who has made this naïve mistake – you do not want to go sprinting out of a safe, stable home with anything less than three months rent in your back pocket. Moving out is sticky, and there’re all kinds of ninja costs you won’t see coming (personally, I was not expecting the hefty admin and referencing fees from my first letting agency!) If you’re lucky enough to have very understanding parents or some other manner of benefactor, that’s great – but if you call them in for every little expense you’ll be really stuck when there’s an actual emergency.
Practice Your Grown-Up Skills
When you move out of home, you’re officially taking total responsibility for yourself. You’re going to feed yourself, clean and care for your own belongings, and pay for your own expenses (of which there will be many). No matter how independent you are, if you don’t run your family household you can’t know all the ins-and-outs of what I like to call Life Admin. Life Admin covers everything from grocery shopping, to managing bills, to filling out your tax forms. Somewhere along the way some unexpected Life Admin will inevitably blind sight you, so you should learn everything you can from your homemaker while you still have them at hand. Ask your folks to walk you through the next bill they pay, or teach you how to make their go-to weekday meal. Your parents have been looking after you for years; they know what they’re talking about.
Choose Your Roomie
As it’s likely the first time you’ll live with anyone who isn’t related to you, this is a significant decision. Have a think about the kind of flatmate you want. Is it someone to have the occasional cup of tea or cocktail with? Somebody who’ll keep completely to themselves? Someone who could introduce you to quirky friends and wild house parties? Once you figure it out, make sure that any potential housemates you approach are on the same page. Ideally you want to share your space with someone you can trust, but at the same time you don’t want to do any damage to existing relationships by becoming roommates with a friend and finding that you actually drive each other nuts. Whoever you bunk with in the end will probably be in your space for at least a year, so choose wisely.
Do Your Research
Figuring out where you want to live is on a par with choosing someone to live with. When picking an area to move to you want to think about rent, living space and accessibility. Check out general rent prices in the area: are they within your budget? How much room will you need? How easy will it be to get to and from your new place from work or school? Finding your first home is a heady experience, so make sure you think it through – you don’t want to jump at the sleekest apartment in your budget only to find out that you now live beside an open sewer.
…And once you’ve thought everything through, here’s 7 Things To Expect When You Fly the Nest
- You will never not have money earmarked for some bill or another.
- You’ll find out that homes take a lot of upkeep. Places you’ve never even noticed before will get gunky and grimy, and it happens so goddamn quickly.
- You’ll be outraged at the cost of everyday items like toilet paper (£4.50 for 9 rolls? Is it made of SILK??)
- On the last week of every pay month, you will live on noodle sandwiches and refuse to make any plans that will cost you money.
- You will have to speak to people on the phone all the time, usually to argue about crappy service/useless appliances/extortionate bills.
- You’ll want to give kudos to your parents – they’ve been managing this whole adult thing for years.
- It’ll all be worth it for the overwhelming pride and freedom of having your own space, paid for by your own hard work.
Featured image by Ben Rea.