How to move out of your parents’ house in 9 steps

Moving out of your parents’ house is a big deal. Whether you’ve just graduated or have been working for a while, it can be a major step. With some planning and preparation, you can put yourself in a position to pull it off. 

Key takeaways

  • Being financially prepared is an important part of any successful move.
  • It may help to take stock of your income and expenses to create a budget.
  • There’s more to moving than just packing and hauling boxes. Be sure to consider other things, such as budgeting, setting up utilities and changing your address.

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Steps to moving out for the first time

If only moving out for the first time was as easy as packing up your things and driving someplace new. But taking time to do a little research and planning could go a long way in making your move a success—especially if it’s going to be your first time away from home.

Here are some steps to help you get started:

1. Review your finances & create a budget

One of the most important steps before moving out is to take stock of your finances. How do you make money? Do you have savings? What about debt? 

Make a list of expected expenses to get an idea of how much money you’ll need to cover monthly expenses like utility bills, food and health insurance. 

This can also help you figure out how much rent you may be able to afford after you’ve factored in other things you’ll need to pay for.

Now it’s time to create a budget

A budget helps you make sure you’ll have enough money each month to pay for the things you need to pay for. To create a budget, figure out:

  1. What money is coming in
  2. Where your money is going
  3. What all your bills are and when they’re due

And make sure to include any new expenses you’ll have living on your own, like rent, groceries and utilities. Here’s more from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on creating a budget and sticking to it

2. Check your credit 

Whether you’re planning to rent or buy, credit could play a part. It’s a factor in mortgage lending decisions. And in the case of rentals, landlords might look at your credit as part of the screening process. So knowing your credit scores may help.

But don’t worry. If your credit isn’t in the best shape right now or you’re building credit from scratch, there are things you can do to help establish and improve your credit scores

3. Discuss your plans to move out with your parents

Sharing your move-out plans with your parents is important. Whether they’re cheering you on, aren’t thrilled that you’re leaving or are somewhere in between, it might help to include them.

And this could even be an opportunity to get advice from your parents about how to manage living on your own. After all, they could have some useful tips and advice.

4. Practice paying living expenses while still at home

If you’re nervous about paying your own way or just want some practice, it may help to start paying a few bills while you’re still living at home. If you’re not already, you could pay rent to your parents, handle grocery shopping or cover the utilities for a few months. 

Getting some experience could help build your confidence around being able to do it on your own once you move out.

5. Build an emergency fund

Even when things are going well financially, it makes sense to have an emergency fund set aside for unexpected expenses. 

The CFPB suggests starting with around $500 in a separate savings or emergency account. And some experts suggest aiming to save for around three to six months of expenses if possible. 

But even if that isn’t doable right now, don’t be discouraged. Every little bit helps.

6. Find a place to live

If you’re still trying to figure out where you’ll move, there are some things to think about—like your budget, location, safety, parking and amenities. If you’re thinking of moving to a new city or town entirely, cost-of-living expenses are also worth considering. 

This is also the time to think about whether you plan to live alone or find a roommate. Living alone might be nice but having someone to share bills and responsibilities with might be helpful.

7. Set up utilities

To help ensure that you won’t be without things like water, internet or gas when you move in, you’ll need to set up utilities before you move. Certain utilities, such as water or trash, might be priced into the rent, so talk to your landlord to be sure about what you’ll be responsible for paying on your own. 

Here’s a list of common utilities to get you started:

  • Water
  • Sewage
  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Heating and cooling
  • Internet, cable and phone (if using a landline)
  • Trash and recycling

8. Investigate renters insurance

Renters insurance is a policy for your belongings in case anything happens to them while you’re living in your rental. Say a fire or flood destroys your apartment. Renters insurance might help cover the loss of your things. 

Some landlords may even require you to have it as part of the lease agreement. But even if they don’t, it may be a good idea. 

9. Update official address and subscriptions

Paperwork doesn’t stop with rental or loan applications. If you’re moving, there are a bunch of other things to update. Starting with your mail: Whether doing it in person or online, the post office is where you’ll want to submit an official change of address form. 

But that’s just the beginning. You might also need to update your:

  • Driver’s license and other IDs
  • Vehicle registration
  • Contact information with your bank or other businesses 
  • Any subscriptions that arrive to your current home address

These are just a few things to get started. For a more complete list, you can use this address-change checklist.

Moving out in a nutshell

Moving out of your parents’ house can be a big step. Whether you’re headed to an apartment with friends or planning to settle in a new house, being prepared can help.

And if now isn’t the right time to move out because your credit needs some help, don’t worry. You can learn how to improve your credit to put yourself in a better position.

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