I first decided to move out when I was six. With Teddy in hand and some sandwiches in my backpack, I camped out at the end of the road for a good 20 minutes before I decided to move back home again. Nowadays, there are nearly 2.9 million adults between the ages of 20 and 34 living at home, which means parents might have a full house for a lot longer than they thought.
No matter what age you decide to actually do it, flying the nest is a big step, so we asked some of our team at the Policy Expert office for their advice on going it alone for the first time. Here’s what they said:
“Look at your finances carefully”
Be realistic about bills and expenses and plan your budget carefully. The last thing you want is to have to borrow (or worse, move back home!) because you can’t manage your finances. Speak to people who already budget their monthly spending (other students, if you’re going to university or friends who have already moved out) and get realistic help and advice.
Think about bills (like gas, electric, water, phone line, internet), rent or mortgage, living expenses (like food, clothing) and travel expenses (fuel, insurance, motor repairs). My advice would be to over-budget. If you think your phone bill is likely to be £30 a month, budget for £35, just to be on the safe side.
“Plan for a rainy day”
Try to put some money aside every month, just in case. Even if it’s just for a small amount, set up a standing order for every month straight into a savings account. This will be a life saver if something happens that you haven’t budgeted for, like motor repairs.
“Work out a chore chart”
Doing your own chores is bad enough, but if you don’t organise this properly you could end up doing your housemates 3-day old washing up too. Grim. Don’t use someone else not doing their share as an excuse not to do yours. Make sure everyone pulls their weight, that way chores won’t get on top of you.
If you’re living by yourself, try not to let the basics like bins, hovering and washing slip. No-one will want to visit your new pad if it’s littered with dirty pants!
“Make sure it’s the right place before you move out”
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of house-hunting but make sure the place you’re moving to is right for you. The worst house I ever lived in had terrible damp that made all my clothes smell like mould, it was awful!
Before you start looking, make a list of ‘needs’ and ‘wants’. For example: you might need your new place to be within walking distance of the train station, but you want it to be close to the pub. Everyone living in the house should make a list, and you shouldn’t move to a place that doesn’t cover everyone’s needs, but be prepared to compromise on the wants.
If you’re living with other people, be honest if you’re unhappy. Don’t wait until you’re at the end of your tether, be open and honest about issues as soon as they occur to nip them in the bud. This is especially important if you’re moving in with a girlfriend or boyfriend for the first time. If you don’t tell her you’re fed up with all her hair in the plug, she’ll never know! But remember, she’s probably just as annoyed with some of your bad habits, so approach it sensitively.
Remember, if you’re not coping with any part of moving out, tell someone. Whether it’s your finances getting on top of you, or if you just need a friendly ear, be honest.
And a few tips…
* Give a spare set of keys to someone else, like your parents or a neighbour.
* Put together a first aid box. Always make sure you have plenty painkillers, plasters and antiseptic in the house.
* Learn to cook at least 5 nutritious meals BEFORE you move out.
* Phone home (regularly). Despite what your parents say, they will miss you!
Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, so we have a team of experts with a real passion for making sure people get the cover that’s right for them. We’re driven by a desire to help you find not only the best value insurance, but the right insurance for your individual needs. To speak to one of our experts, call 0203 014 9300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org