Many young adults find themselves in a position where they might have to move back home, and it can feel like a major step backwards after you’ve had years of freedom. Luckily, you can avoid moving back home by focusing on your finances and making other living arrangements.
EditGaining Financial Freedom
- Start saving immediately. The best way to prepare for living on your own is by saving your money. If you have a job, put a portion of your paycheck into savings for future moving expenses. Depending on your current expenses, anywhere from 10-20% of your paycheck is normally a reasonable amount.
- If you don’t currently have a job, you’ll need a source of income as soon as possible. You won’t be able to rent a place on your own or with a roommate without proof of sufficient income.
- Make a budget and stick to it. After you’ve decided how much you want to save, create a budget for yourself with categories for your current expenses. Break down things like food, car payments, entertainment, and monthly subscriptions to see where your money is going.
- It might become apparent, as you’re creating your budget, that you’re living outside your means. You can remedy that immediately and prepare yourself for independent life by creating and sticking to a new budget.
- Use apps to encourage saving and monitor your spending. Services like Mint, Acorns, and Intuit have apps that will show you where you’re spending your money, help you create a budget that works for you, and put more money into savings. It’s easy and convenient to have all of the information on your phone, as well!
- Different apps perform different functions, so decide whether you’re looking to manage your spending, get out of debt, or increase your savings.
- Sell rid of items you don’t need for some extra cash. One way to make quick money is by selling furniture, gaming consoles, appliances, books, and clothes that you don’t need. Post them on the Facebook Marketplace, list them on Craigslist, take them to a consignment store, or ask your friends if they’re interested in anything that you’re getting rid of.
- Consider having a garage sale with a few friends during some nice weather to make a quick buck and kickstart your moving fund.
- Eliminate unnecessary costs like tanning and gym memberships. These things are wants, but not needs. In order to prepare yourself for life on your own, get rid of these added costs and put that money toward your future rent and living expenses.
- Remember, you don’t need a gym membership to get your daily exercise in. You can take up jogging, biking, or make a home workout routine.
- Pause or cancel unnecessary subscriptions. Check your bank statements for any recurring charges that might be subscriptions that you’d forgotten about. If you don’t use your Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime, it’s probably safe to cancel or put it on hold it and save the $10 per month for something more useful!
- Most subscription services make it easy to cancel or pause your subscription, and many will offer you a lower rate to re-subscribe after a few months. Keep your eye out for special deals in your email!
- If you don’t want to cancel completely, ask a friend or two if they would want to split the cost of a subscription with you. Most streaming services allow 2 or 3 users per account, depending on your subscription level.
- Save money by cooking at home. For many young people, eating out is a huge and unnecessary dent in their budget. Start grocery shopping on the weekends and buy enough food to cool for the entire week to avoid impulsively spending money on takeout or fast food.
- It might help you to start by making a meal plan for the week, so you know what you’re eating for the next few days. That way, you’ll resist the temptation to go out to eat on a whim.
EditLooking for a Job
- Get a temporary job while you look for a steady position. A temporary job will allow you to start saving, making money, and potentially paying rent while giving you time to look for a position in your field. 
- Apps like Uber and Lyft allow you to use your car to drive people around or deliver food, and you can make your own hours.
- Look into tutoring in your field or doing freelance work while you search for something you love.
- Even when you find a position, you can keep up with your other job on the side to make some extra cash if you'd like!
- Meet with a career counselor. If you’re a recent graduate, it’s very likely your university has a career center that’s meant to help you with planning your future. Many graduates are having trouble finding a job in their field due to a sluggish economy, and a career counselor will be able to assist you in creating a path for yourself.
- If you didn’t attend a university, many states have some form of public assistance that offers free counseling for job seekers, as well as resume assistance. Search for free or public career counseling in your area to get a list of organizations.
- Create a standout resume. The next step to finding a job is creating a resume for your applications. A career center can help you get started with this process, and make sure that you have the proper format and are including all important information.
- Be sure to highlight your most important achievements in your current position, as well as previous jobs you may have held.
- If you don’t have a lot of employment experience, focus on your community involvement, academics, or other activities that you’ve devoted your time to. Highlight what makes you a good candidate!
- Make looking for a job your number one priority. It’s important to find a job that will support your living expenses before you move on your own. It will make landlords more likely to rent to you, and make your parents more likely to trust your decision to live by yourself. Devote at least an hour everyday to looking for new positions and submitting your application.
- Much of this time will be spent filling out online applications, writing cover letters, and sending inquiry emails. Be prepared to put serious effort into your job search in order to find the position that works for you and your budget.
EditSecuring a Place to Live
- Ask friends if they would want to move in together. Your friends might be facing a similar financial dilemma when it comes to the future of their housing. Sit down with a friend who you trust and know might be interested in living together, and ask them if they think they would be able to afford splitting the cost of a small apartment with you.
- If they don’t think it will work, don’t press the issue. Respect their decision and move on.
- If you don’t have any friends who are looking for roommates, try local roommate wanted ads like Craigslist. However, always meet strangers in a public place and talk to them about their expectations before agreeing to sign a lease.
- Look for a larger house to split with many roommates. To lower the price of rent, you might have to get creative with your housing. Share large rooms between two people, or turn a living room into an extra bedroom to split the rent even further. The more people you have living there, the less expensive it’ll be!
- Some landlords have rules about the number of tenants that can occupy a house at one time, so check your lease to make sure you don’t have too many roommates.
- Stay on a friend’s couch if you’re in between houses. Talk to your friends about the situation and very politely ask them if you can stay with them for a short period of time while you find a place to stay. Stick to your timeline and follow all of their house rules while you’re there.
- If you can afford it and are staying longer 4-5 days, offer to pay them per day that you stay there. This will cover your portion of the utilities and compensate them for the inconvenience.
- In this situation, it’s important to be respectful of their wishes. If they say no, try to be understanding and move on to looking for another place to stay.
- Look for the cheapest apartments in your area. If all else fails, try searching on Craigslist and Apartment Finder for cheap, studio apartments in your area. Look outside of major metropolitan areas in the suburbs and small towns. Rent will be cheaper in these areas, as well as utilities.
- Prices will vary depending on where you live and the average cost of living for that area.
- For most cheap apartments, you won’t have many amenities and it won’t be fancy, but try to keep a positive outlook!
- Ask other family members if you can stay with them. If you have an older family member who lives alone, ask them if they would be willing to let you live with them in exchange for helping them with day-to-day activities. Your grandparent, aunt, or uncle will undoubtedly appreciate the help and companionship, and you’ll have a place to stay.
- These arrangements are extremely popular in many countries in Europe because they are mutually beneficial to students and the elderly.
- Be sure to sit down with your family beforehand to work out their expectations for you, set up ground rules, and talk about your expectations.
- Talk to your parents about your plans before it’s too late. Normally, if they understand your position and know you’re working hard to be independent, they’ll support your desire to live alone.
EditSources and Citations
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