Moving out for the first time is a big step; it has an associated fear factor that can range from “mild” to “severe.” It could be especially scary when moving to a new city or country. To make the transition easy, here is what you need to know.
1. Money management
When going out on your own for the first time, managing your money responsibly is crucial. Have an understanding of how credit works, and know how to do a monthly budget.
Have you thought about how you’re going to pay your bills? The best way is to automate your payments so as to avoid late payments. In addition, you’ll also need to know when and how much is due and how to balance your checkbook so you don’t incur penalties.
2. Healthcare management
Even if you are still on their insurance, once you’re on your own, your parents will no longer be responsible for maintaining your health.
To manage your healthcare, you’ll need to schedule appointments yourself and keep them to stay on top of your routine dental and medical care.
The responsibilities you’ll be juggling now will be many. As such, managing your time wisely is key. Writing a to-do list on a daily or weekly basis will help you be time-efficient. A physical or electronic calendar should be able to help you in this regard. Assigning specific tasks to specific days is a good approach to efficient time management. You could, for example, designate Sunday as grocery shopping day and Saturday as your cleaning and laundry day.4
4. Routine Car Maintenance
Car maintenance, believe it or not, goes beyond just getting gas. You should know how to change the oil, jumpstart a car, change a tire, and pop the hood.
Additionally, be sure to take your car for regular servicing.
5. Home Cleaning and Maintenance
Cleaning will be your responsibility when you have your first place. Make sure you clean routinely by setting a schedule.
Having some basic home maintenance skills will also help. Sure, any significant repairs in your home are your landlord’s responsibility. However, you should also be able to do basic things like fixing a running toilet and changing light bulbs on your own.
When you move out, your mother won’t be there to do your laundry for you. As such, you need to learn how to do your laundry all by yourself.
Learn how to sort your clothes, know when something should be dry-cleaned or hand-washed, and which temperature to use.
7. Grocery shopping
Hand-in-hand with basic cooking is the ability to grocery shop. It may seem simple, but if you haven’t done it before, it can be a pit of uncertainty, frustration, and waste.
You’ll need to know three basic things. One, how to pick the best produce and which cuts of meat to buy. Two, the best prices for the items you’ll typically buy since prices at supermarkets fluctuate. And three, how to shop based on the meals you’ll make in the coming week.
Some basic cooking skills under your belt are crucial, even if you don’t need to become the next Food Network Star prior to moving out.
Eating out every night will not only quickly bust your budget, but will also cause you to add weight.
Before venturing out on your own, master a handful of recipes. YouTube is a great place to find tutorials on just about anything. And, Pinterest is an excellent source of easy-to-make meals.
9. Off-campus housing
You may or may now want to hang out with your neighbors, but you should at least be neighborly. Are you the type that lets their alarm go off repetitively every morning? If so, move it to a wall that isn’t shared so you don’t disturb your neighbors.
Make sure your surround sound isn’t shaking everyone’s walls. Offer help if someone has their arms full of grocery bags. Smile and say hello when you see your neighbors in the hall.
When all is said and done, avoid that fate by making a conscious effort to be a good person to live by.
10. Utilities set-up
Things like the Internet, heat, and lights don’t just magically appear in your home. You’ll need to contact the right utility company to ensure everything is up and running. The only exception to this hassle is if all utilities are included in your rent.
For some utilities, you may need to pay a deposit and undergo a credit check. As for the Internet, ensure you know your speed requirements prior to signing up to avoid issues.
Moving out on your own can be an empowering time. And some nerves are normal. Follow these 10 tips to improve your chances of getting it right the first time.
Article courtesy of Derek Dawson – Dawson Property Management