Advice on Moving Out at 18

by Contributor

When you turn 18, you realize there is a whole new world of possibilities waiting for you. One of those possibilities includes "leaving the nest" where you have been raised, and which you now feel it is time to exit. Moving out at 18 can be done in an almost flawless manner if you prepare for the situation ahead of time.

Start saving money early if you know that your ultimate goal is to move out when you turn 18. Even having a part-time job that allows you to save some cash will help you achieve this goal, since you have few costs while you're living at home. The trick is using some restraint in buying so the money stays in your possession until it is time to move.

Secure a somewhat steadier source of income when you are ready to move. This is especially true if you will be paying your own rent. Your job does not have to be the best, but at least make what is necessary to cover your needs in the beginning.

Share the burden. Getting a roommate will allow you to split costs and possibly move in with someone you like. Make sure that he is responsible and will pay his half of the rent. Finding a roommate your age will also ensure that you have some things in common. Sharing costs with a responsible roommate will allow you to stretch your money further instead of using it all on essentials.

Be frugal. Since this will be the first time you are on your own, resist the temptation to have the best and the newest. Find an affordable living space that is within your budget, and only purchase new items when you absolutely have to. Furniture can be found affordably through used-goods vendors such as the Goodwill or Salvation Army, or even from some furniture-rental companies. Sacrifice cable TV for a while if your budget is too tight for it in the beginning, along with other services that may not be necessary for your initial venture into independence.

Consider joining an all-expenses-paid organization. There are many that allow you to volunteer in exchange for living quarters and education in a skill. Some of these organizations include the military, the Peace Corps and the Job Core. These programs provide money (in some instances) and living arrangements if you sign a contract for some type of work. However, they often limit personal freedoms while you are going through the training--and in the case of the military, contracts are specified for a number of years.

Tip

  • Ask your relatives if they have any old belongings or furniture that they can give you. You may also acquire more than one roommate to share costs even further.

Warnings

  • Inspect all living spaces in person before you sign a contract to move in. Don't take anyone's word about the condition of the living space, regardless of the price.
  • Have a backup plan or money saved in case one of your roommates bails out on you.

Photo Credits

  • Picture by svilen001.