Some things to consider when thinking about moving out at 18. This guide aims to provide tips on considering options, finding a place, preparing, and more.
When you turn 18, you’re a legal adult (technically, you have reached the legal age of majority), and a lot of doors that weren’t open to you before suddenly are. One of those is living on your own, and even though 18 is a young age, you’ll be expected to shoulder all of the responsibilities of adulthood when you leave your parents’ house and make the transition to being an independent adult.
There are all kinds of reasons to move out at 18. Maybe college isn’t for you and you’re ready to enter the workforce. Maybe financial circumstances require you to be on your own. You could be a college student choosing to live off campus in a house or apartment. Those are just a few examples.
How to move out at 18 can be challenging if you haven’t prepared for it. There’s no one there to walk you through every step. However, by asking some important questions and taking in some key tips, you can set yourself up for success when you go independent as a teenager and start living by your own rules.
Questions To Ask Yourself
When deciding how to move out at 18, there are 3 important questions to ask yourself. The answers form the basis of many of the decisions you’ll end up making.
How Much Will I Need To Live On?
Rent, utilities, groceries, and other living expenses are all things you need to know or have a good general idea of before you move out. Knowing them will help you create a monthly budget to help you organize your income and expenses so that you don’t end up underwater.
How Much Are the Deposit and Other Upfront Costs?
When you move into an apartment, you usually have to pay a security deposit. Although you may get all or most of it back when you move out of that apartment, it’s still an out-of-pocket cost you have to budget for. Also, whether it’s an apartment or any other place you’re going to be living, make sure you know all other upfront fees that may be required. Don’t be caught surprised and unprepared.
Should I Look For Someone to Share
Having one or more roommates often seems like the easiest way to reduce costs. After all, it’s a lot easier to pay rent and bills when you’re splitting them two or three ways. However, roommates can come with downsides– less privacy, risk of conflicts, not paying their fair share, etc. Later, we’ll share some tips for selecting good roommates.
How To Move Out at 18
After you know the answers to those questions, you can use these tips to help guide you with moving out at 18.
Develop a Timeline and a Moving Plan
When you think it’s time to move out, you shouldn’t just run out and do it unless you’re in a dangerous situation where harm could be imminent. Instead, figure out what you’re going to need in order to be ready to move out. Then implement a moving plan based on fulfilling those needs.
Get a Job or a Side Hustle
One key component in how to move out at 18 is having a stable source of income. For most people, this means getting a job to pay bills and other expenses. If you already have a primary source of income that isn’t coming from a job, it can still be a good idea to get a part-time job or a side hustle to earn extra money. A side hustle can also be good for someone with a full-time job because it’s a great way to tuck some money away in case it’s needed for a rainy day.
Online jobs can be good side hustles for people with busy schedules.
Create a Monthly Budget
It’s impossible to emphasize the importance of this enough. Your livelihood earns you a certain income every month, but before you can enjoy spending it, you need to have a good estimate of what your monthly expenses are. Here are just some you’re likely to have: rent, groceries, utilities, cable subscriptions, internet, cell phone plan, car insurance.
Part of keeping a good montly budget is tracking all spending, including those morning stops at convenience stores for coffee! And if your income isn’t meeting your cost of living, it’s time to make changes.
Find Housing That’s Within Your Budget
If housing costs weren’t already part of your budget, they soon will be. Once you know your income and expenses, you can start looking for a place to live. This can be exciting, and it can be tempting to sign a lease for a place with all kinds of bells and whistles but keep in mind your budget and what you can afford on housing costs.
Figure Out Your Transportation Needs
How are you going to be getting to and from work, running errands, etc.? This will depend on where you live, what facilities and infrastructure exist around you, and what your tastes are. The answers will affect your budget in terms of insurance, gas expenses, vehicle maintenance, car payments, and more.
Open a Bank Account
Growing up, you may have had a bank account opened and controlled by a parent or some other adult. Now, you’ll need your own where you’re the sole authorized user. This way, only you can control how the money in your account is spent.
How to move out at 18 includes smart money management. Sure, it’s fun to spend extra money, and you definitely should treat yourself once in a while. But you should also put money away in an emergency fund for unexpected expenses such as car repairs, medical bills, job layoffs, etc.
Ways to save money include looking for affordable options when it comes to renting an apartment, using coupons to get the best deal when you grocery shop, and choosing payment plans that work for you. Also, look for ways to save on transportation by working close to home, making fewer trips, and buying a vehicle that’s reliable and fuel-efficient.
Find Free Things for Your Place
Another time-honored way to save money and cut costs is to look for free or inexpensive furniture, plates and utensils, rugs, and other furnishings for your place. When you’re just starting out, you don’t need only A-list items.
Build Up Your Credit Score
Your credit score is important because it determines whether you can get loans and what interest rates you’ll pay. To build a good credit score, you need to establish a good credit history. Pay your bills on time; lenders will look at your payment history. Also, lenders look at stability, and one of the ways they determine that is whether a person has stayed at a job or a primary residence for 2 years or more.
Taking on a loan does not damage your credit score if you pay the bills on time; in fact, it helps establish that you can be trusted with a loan.
Get Bills in Your Own Name
Having bills in your own name is another way to establish a credit history, and a good one if you pay those bills on time. If your bills are in your parents’ names, you’re not building credit history even if you’re paying the bills. Having roommates can make this riskier since you’re the one on the hook, so…
Choose Roommates Carefully
A roommate can help you save on expenses, but a bad roommate can be a nightmare, and thes things sometimes end up in court.
Ask for a credit report. Discuss schedules, routines, and interests for compatibility. For example, if you have a habit of going to bed early and your roommate is a night owl, or if you like things neat and clean and the other person leaves dishes and laundry around, things may not end well.
If the lease is under your name, consider requiring at least one month’s rent as a security deposit.
Talk to Family and Friends if It’s Safe
At 18, you don’t need parental consent or permission from guardians to move out. However, as long as the moving out is on good and safe terms, it can be helpful to ask them for advice. After all, they’ve been through this already. A friend who has moved out can help, too.
If It Isn’t Safe, Seek Help and Advice Elsewhere
If letting those you live with know you’re moving out might put you at risk, talk to counselors, financial advisors, and others who can provide advice and respect your confidentiality. You may also find useful information in blogs like this one.
Learn to Adult
When you’re young, adulting doesn’t sound like much fun, and to be honest, it isn’t always much fun when you’re older, either. However, it’s important if you’re going to be on your own. To start with, do you have your own driver’s license, passport, and birth certificare so you can open accounts, get loans, rent a place to live, etc.? Delayed gratification and making responsible decisions rather than impulsive ones are also part of adulting. Like it or not, adulting is part of how to move out at 18.
How To Move Out at 18
How to move out at 18 doesn’t have to be that daunting if you’ve asked key questions and made a plan. Teens have been doing this for as long as there’s been a legal age of adulthood, and many have been just fine. By using the questions and tips in this article as a guide, you can be well on your way to independence!
- How To Live Below Your Means: Mastering the Art of Financial Discipline
- Cash Stuffing: The Guide for Getting Started