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How to Budget When Moving Out of Your Parents’ House

“Leaving home,” writes Robert Nelly Bellah, “involves a kind of second birth.” Establishing independence, however, is never an easy task. If you’re getting ready to move out of your parents’ house, you’re going to need a budget. Here are seven essential things you’ll need to include:

1. Cost of Moving

Whether you’re moving to an apartment or into a house with roommates, you’ll have to arrange to move your things. If you’re on a tight budget, you might just run several loads between residences in your vehicle. This strategy might work if you’re moving clothes and smaller items, however, if you’re moving a long distance or have larger objects, like furniture and appliances, you’ll need to rent a truck or hire an apartment moving company. Using a professional moving service usually costs around $100 per hour for small local moves; expect a small studio or 1-bedroom move to take 2-3 hours. For a cross-country move, the price of moving varies depending on how much stuff you have and how far your move takes you. To get a quote based upon your exact inventory, use the form on our homepage (

2. Deposit

When moving into an apartment, you’ll have to pay a security deposit. Deposit amounts vary by landlord, but some states set legal limits on how much the landlord may charge. You can expect to pay no more than once or twice the monthly rent for an unfurnished apartment, though in some states limits are higher or no restrictions exist.

If you later move out, your landlord refunds this deposit to you, less any charges for damages. However, don’t count on that money in your future budget. It’s better to regard it as spent, and then if you get the entire deposit back one day, it will feel like getting a bonus.

3. Rent

According to LendKey, try to limit your rent spend to no more than 30% of your gross monthly income. Before moving out, make sure you already have enough money saved up for at least your first month’s rent. When securing a new apartment, you might also have to pay a month’s rent in advance.

4. Insurance

While your landlord will maintain his or her building insurance, renter’s insurance will cover your possessions in the event of loss, damage from covered natural disasters, or theft. This coverage is especially important if you have any valuables such as jewelry or electronics. Renter’s insurance costs an average of $12 a month, according to the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America.

5. Utilities

While it’s possible that your rent may include some of your utilities, you’ll most likely have to pay extra for some or all such services. Research the average monthly cost for an apartment of your size in your area, and don’t forget to budget for hook-up fees. You’ll need to include the following utilities in your budget:

  • Water and sewer
  • Electricity and gas
  • Internet
  • Telephone and cell phone
  • Trash collection

Cable is another utility you might consider. Though, if your budget is tight, you should seriously weigh saving money by cutting the cord (that’s what Netflix is for!). You can also save money by bundling some utilities. Providers often offer significant discounts when you bundle telephone, internet, and cable.

6. Food

Now that you won’t be sharing food or relying on mom’s cooking, you’ll need to figure out your weekly expenses. On average, Americans spend about ten percent of their income on food. Save money by cooking in large quantities and freezing meals for later and limit the number of times you eat out.

7. Transportation

You’ll need a means to get to and from work, whether that’s a personal vehicle or public transportation. If you’re using a personal vehicle, be sure to factor in any monthly payments on the car, the cost of gas, regular maintenance, and car insurance. If you’re using public transportation, research deals in your area. You may be able to buy advance passes that reduce your per-trip cost.


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