Once your teen graduations from high school, they will often be ready for the next step — moving out on their own. While many teens can’t wait to move away from mom and dad, what they haven’t considered are the costs and what they should know before they move out on their own.
The first time your teen leaves home, both of you will feel a range of emotions. You’ll be excited, scared and sad — all at the same time! Remember, you’ve been preparing them for this moment their entire lives. However, have you done everything to ensure your teen is ready to move away from home?
TIPS FOR TEENS MOVING OUT
Are You Ready?
Sometimes, when your teen graduates from high school, he or she wants to be out from beneath mom and dad’s thumb quickly. However, before they do that, there are questions they need to ask themselves:
- Are you ready to move out on your own?
- Can you support yourself?
- Are you moving out for the right reasons?
- Is there something that could change at home to make it a better living arrangement?
Only your teen and you know the right answers to each of these questions. He or she needs to be 100% sure that moving out is the right thing to do.
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU MOVE OUT ON YOUR OWN
Know Your Budget
When your teen decides to live on his or her own, the first thing they must do is create a budget. For the first time, it will include items they have never had to deal with before. They will now have to pay rent, utilities, renter’s insurance and buy food. These are in addition to the expenses they have while living with Mom and Dad.
Sit down and create a budget with them. Make sure they can make it work and will not financially be strapped. If the budget does not work, it may mean getting another roommate or waiting until the financial situation improves.
Have Ample Savings
Before you move out, make sure you have a few month’s worth of expenses saved up. That way, should the unexpected happen (and trust me, it always does), you can still cover your rent and other expenses. Learn how you can quickly boost your emergency fund.
Stay in Touch
It is exciting to live on your own. No one is there to ask you where you are going and what time you will be home. You will get to experience full independence.
However, keep in mind your parents are giving that up. This is new for them. Continue to respect them by checking in with them once in a while so they know how things are going. Return texts, e-mails or calls timely. There is no need to make them worry.
Keep It Used
While new furniture, appliances and other household items would be great, that is not reality. Check out garage sales, online swaps and ask family and friends for items. Build your household with the bare minimums and add as you have extra funds.
If you have roommates, divide up the list of the items you need so everyone can contribute equally. You can quickly find everything you need if you work together to build your house.
Research before you move
Make sure you know the neighborhood and surrounding area before you move. Check the proximity to work and/or school. Find the nearest church, grocery store and other venues you will frequent so you know where they are in relation to your house or apartment.
It’s OK to be scared
Moving out on your own can be a scary moment. After all, you won’t have the security of your parents and all of the comforts of home.
Journal or blog about your feelings. Write them down and face them head on. Talk to friends or your parents about the feelings you have. Know that they will support and be there for you in whatever way you need.
Make sure you can cook
I’m not talking gourmet meals here. But, you should know some basics such as how to make pasta, burgers, toast, eggs and other items you like to eat. Remember, Mom won’t be there in the morning to fix you something to eat – you’ll be on your own! And, with a tight budget, fast food won’t be an option.
If you really stink at cooking or money is really tight, Ramen noodles may just be your best friend.
REAL TIPS FROM MOM & DAD
We posed this same question to the readers on our Facebook page. They shared some great tips, some of which we share here.
“Don’t blow your money. You don’t need 734 pairs of shoes, 87 video games, or 314 purses. Put away some money, start investing.” – Erica H.
“Cash only, no credit cards!” – Brenda W.
“Be realistic about what you can afford. Make sacrifices on what you think you really need, in lieu of charging up credit card debt. You will not have everything your parents have when you’re just starting your independent life.” – Kay C.
“Life is expensive. Have a BIG cushion in the bank. Live VERY much within your means. Participate in your employer retirement plan, if applicable.” – Colleen S.
“Don’t do it. Be a child. Live with your parents for as long as they will allow you to. That being said, as you are living with them, have a job (do not be a mooch) and save, save, save and be realistic when you do move.” – Ali P.
“Take credit and scores very seriously.” – Kellye M.
“Don’t burn those bridges….You may need to cross back over them one day.” – Carol D.
“Save as much money as possible before moving out on your own. Be respectful to your parents, you might need them again.” – Lynette M.
“Learn the Dave Ramsey plan! Invest your money early!” – Patricia A.
“Live humbly, by the basics! You don’t have to have the newest, latest & greatest of anything. It is alright to have a credit card, use it wisely & w/discipline! Make sure you pay it back! Shop consignment & thrift stores. Take a budget & coupon class! Always invest in yourself! Buy an IRA!” – Thereza M.
“Consider job benefits when applying for those first entry level jobs – free cell phone, tuition reimbursement, free or low cost health insurance – it’ll stretch your budget farther. Invite friends over to hang out instead going to bars/ clubs, you can blow a whole paycheck drinking and eating out but pizza and a 6 pack of beer rarely cost more than $20 and you actually get to have conversation!” – Samantha M.
I love tips from other moms who have already been through this. It takes a village and so listening to them can really make a difference.