Tips for living on your own for the first time
According to Australian census data, more and more people in their 20s are staying at home with their parents for longer. Between 2011 and 2016, the number of 25 to 29 year-olds still living at home increased from 15.7% to 17%.
Putting aside all the socio-economic factors that are causing this change, you could argue the longer you live at home, the less of clue you will have about living by yourself when the time finally comes. Here are some tips to help you make the transition into independence as smooth as possible:
Create a budget
There’s a pretty good chance the first time you move out, you won’t have enough money to buy and do all the things you would like to. This is where budgeting comes in handy, as you can work out what you can afford, and what you really need.
Have a look online for budget planners or smartphone apps that will make the task easier. Check out our article: Essential apps to track your spending, save money and pay your friends.
This will be a part of your budget to pay particular attention to. Keep track of your bills and set them up in a way that you never miss one and you can manage them easily. For example, some utility companies will let you pay your bill monthly instead of quarterly, which means you won’t get a massive heating bill at the end of winter that you weren’t expecting.
There’s a pretty good chance you will also be renting when you first move out. Familiarise yourself with your tenancy agreement and know your rights as a tenant. Understand what your obligations are when it comes to repairs and maintenance and what to do if there is some damage to the property.
When moving in, make sure you have a copy of the conditions report. Take photos of every part of the house and email them to the agent so you have documented the condition of the property.
There’s a pretty good chance that at some stage, you will lock yourself out. With after midnight services costing up to $̰330 (and there is also the inconvenience of waiting for the locksmith to arrive), it pays to have a plan.
As soon as you can, get some spare keys cut and leave them somewhere you can get them if you need them. This may be with a friend or relative who will tolerate you calling them at 2am, or if you have access to your office after hours you could leave them there.
Ordering food to be delivered has never been easier or more convenient. But the cost soon adds up and before you know it you’re spending half your paycheck on food.
Dedicate a couple of hours once a week to cooking a basic meal that you can freeze and reheat easily. By cooking 4 portions at once, and rotating through different emails, you’ll always have a quick and cheap option ready to go.