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Moving out of home; what you need to know

Updated on June 9, 2013

Soo You're Moving Home? Congratulations!

Moving out of home? Or moving out of home for the very 1st time? What are your thoughts that come to mind? This will be fun!, will I make it?, I can't wait to get out of this place!, I'm going to miss my family, how and what do I need to do? What are your feeling that surface up? Happiness, sadness, anxiety, scared, fear, even anger?

These thoughts, feeling are completely natural, especially when moving out of home for the first time and even more so when moving out of home to a different country.

Why the Move?

Are you moving out of your own accord? Or are you moving out because your parents, flatmates want you to leave? Are you moving out because you have difficulty getting along with someone else in the house?

The Preparation Begins

So how can you get you more 'prepared' or 'street smart' to move out of home?

Read on:

Below are some tips;


This is the whopping big one! How much is your rent per month or per week; Australia does per week rental charges, Canada and States do per month rental charges. The rule of thumb in renting is that 30% of your income or pay check 'should' go towards your rental charge. It's a suggested rule of thumb that no more than 40% goes towards rent. You may come across financial difficulties if you do as other expenses pop up.

Break down your income paycheck either monthly or weekly. Take out the cost of rent. You now have the money you will use to pay other bills such as food, utility bills like gas water, electricity; that is if it ISN'T covered in your rental bill, phone bills, health care, recreational, transport fees, college tuition and any other bills.

Depending on your income amount, you can break down the bill fees into how much you need to pay.

If you find that you won't have enough money to pay for all the bills, you can come to other options like paying installations, reducing your grocery bill, amount of time you pay for recreational activities, or get another job or find another way to make more money.


Another important aspect is of course having a job as a way of means to pay your rental and other bills. Before you move it is highly advisable to have a stable job already set, and one or a few jobs that are able to cover your rental and other bill expenses. It may be handy to have scouted a few other possible jobs that you can 'jump ship' in case you don't have your current job anymore.


Where is your rental home? How important is it to you that your rental home is near work, school, other friends houses, regular places you go to, shops, train, bus and transport lines? For some people it's extremely important that it's near these places and for other people it may not be as important. Just a rule of thumb; the more further you need to travel to a places, generally the more you have to spend in petrol, translink passes and invest in time. On the positive side it could mean, spending time on the bus meditating, getting your exercises done by cycling for one hour to your destination, or a nice different scenery as you travel. Another important location factor is, what is the crime level in the rental area? Do you have a higher chance of being mugged or your rental home broken into? What about the noise level? Are you alright with transit noises like cars, trains, trucks even planes? Is it near the city? Generally the closer to the city or downtown, the more expensive the rent is. Though you do have more options being close to the city, with more shops, transit lines, things being on your doorstep. Though would it be too nosy? The homes are generally more smaller in the city compared to the amount of rent paid. What about car parking space? Do you want friends to come over and park their cars?


You need to eat food. Full stop. Without food and water you can't live. How will you find this food for your stomach? Will you eat out or buy take away? This is fine, though you need to make sure eating out is covered in your budget.

What about cooking or making your own food? This is the more cheaper and cost effective option. Though this can be seen as time consuming and some people might find it daunting if they haven't cooked before of they don't think they're cooking skills are up to par.

Cook books, videos, YouTube and online cooking recipes do wonders to show you how to cook. Other ways could be getting a friend to show you how or by doing it together. Another cost effective way is to share your food and cooking with flatmates. You could do a pot luck where each person cooks a dish and share or alternate cooking days or if you just cook for yourself and by yourselves, each of you agrees to share food as it can last for a few days and give you variety. Other ways are going to classes, watching Masterchef, community groups also have discounted or free classes.

It's not important whether you cook from scratch raw ingredients or food comes from can, though it's important that you do get adequate nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Remember the food pyramid?

Bread, cereal, pasta and water are down the bottom, then fruits/ vegetables, then meat /dairy and up the top eating not soo much; fats / sweets/ oils and even supplements.

Though if you feel that you aren't getting enough vitamin / nutrients, taking supplements can help. Though please note they are called supplements as they are supposed to supplement your intake not replace it as a main nutrition meal.


Everyone needs clean clothes! You don't want to be THAT SMELLY flatmate that people distance themselves from politely or scrunch up their nose when they talk to you. Whether or not someone is paid to do it for you; providing it's covered in your budget or if you do your laundry yourself, it need to be done. A rule of thumb is washing / drying clothes once a week, either every 2 weeks to a month washing your bedding sheets. Also ironing may come into laundry especially if you have a lot of 'business' type of shirts. Though if you store your clothes with minimal crease lines you can reduce this.

Living with flatmates / or by yourself?

Will you be renting the place by yourself or renting the place with someone else? Renting by yourself is more expensive, some people say they feel lonelier as the house it very 'quiet', other people say they love that refreshing feeling of having the whole house to themselves, you won't have conflicts within the house, no 'nightmare' flatmates or people that don't pay rent or clean the house or follow rules.

On the other hand renting with someone is more cheaper, you are more open to conflicts within the house, there is company within the house, you won't feel as lonely, the house chores are shared, you get to meet different people, though common problems are flatmates not following 'house rules' or taking their fair share of cleaning or chores.

Having own room or sharing your bedroom with roommate?

Will you be sharing a bedroom with someone else? Or will you have your own bedroom? Or are you alright sharing your 'private' space in the lounge or even attic or some unconventional place? This is a personal decision, though this decision sometimes come downs to what your able to afford in rent. Rule of thumb, it's expensive to rent master bed room, then a 'normal' bedroom. It's cheaper to share a bedroom with someone else, even cheaper in the lounge, and probably even cheaper in some random awkward spot like in the corridor.

Sharing a bedroom with someone has positives like cheaper rent, someone to talk to, someone to share the bedroom cleaning chores. Downside is your privacy is reduced, that someone to talk to may never stop talking or never talk back, and the big one; they may not do their 'fair' share of bedroom duties and your timetables, habits or lifestyles are not compatible to the point of irritating each other and even fights.

Conflict Resolution

The skill I would personally say that trumps all of the other skills mentioned is conflict resolution / communication skills. Why do I say that? The other skills mentioned if you get stuck on them like paying bills, or doing chores or problems with flat mates then communication / conflict resolution is able to 'solve' or help these situations.

Good boundary management is very important. It's highly recommended that when a new flat mate or room mate comes to have a chat with them regarding what the rules / boundaries are so they are clear what the expectations are for living with you. A written agreement is also recommended so both them and yourself can look back and be reminded. If someone steps out the rules it's highly recommend to assert yourself to rest the boundaries.

My lecturer said if there was a problem with a flat mate regarding them not putting out the rubbish on their scheduled day, is the issue really about the 'rubbish' or rather the communication skills involved? I hear so many people saying that to 'find' a 'good' roommate is like finding a pot of gold. What astounds me is that people don't realize they have a part in the communication and it's up to them to both set and uphold any boundaries. People do't know a boundary was in place until they have been communicated.

Have Fun House / Rent Hunting!


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