Moving out on your own and being financially stable enough to do so is one of those goals that we all desire, and know one day that we’ll have to meet, but getting to that point can be overwhelming.

There is nothing wrong with living at home or having your family support you while you’re saving up for the big move. If you’re fortunate enough to have a financial support system take advantage of it and don’t be ashamed but use the break you’ve been given responsibly.

Moving out on your own isn’t a simple task but it’s very doable. First, you should create a moving plan. Create a new Google folder and allow it to be your self-made financial guide. This can be the place where you keep make and keep your budget, vision board, timeline, everything that you’ll need to make this move happen.

Write down all of your goals for this move, including when you want to move out and where you want to move to. It is up to you to make this dream into a reality so let the manifestation begin.

Now let’s leave the Google doc for a moment and take pen to paper. To hold yourself accountable and keep you motivated physically write down what you want from this move and tape it somewhere where you’ll see it multiple times a day. Stick it to your mirror or bulletin board and every time you see, read it out loud. This may sound silly to some, but verbally reminding yourself of your end goal will help you stay on track and push you to keep saving.

Start researching where you want to live and be as specific as possible. Find out how much monthly rent and utilities will cost and write it down. Compare different housing options in the city you want to live in but be realistic while doing so, this will also allow you to gauge if you’ll need a roommate. HotPads and Zillow are great places to find your future home!

Now that you have a ballpark idea of the cost of living its time to make your budget. This will let you know how much money you need to make in order to keep up with your expenses and give you a wake-up call about how much you’re actually spending every month. First, identify your monthly income, if your income fluctuates look back at the past six months and find the average. Second, identify your monthly expenses. These are things that you know without a doubt you will need to pay every month such as rent, utilities, credit cards, car payments, groceries, etc. Add up all of those expenses and that is your minimum monthly income, which means every month you need to make at least that amount to satisfy your basic needs.

If you find that your income is less than your expenses, it’s time to find a side hustle. This can be as big or small as you want, it all depends on how much more money you still need to make to meet your expenses. Selling your clothes, babysitting, dog walking or some sort of freelance if you have a special skill like photography, are all great side jobs.

Moving is a lot more expensive than you might think so start saving today! A great tool to help you save is an app called Acorns. Acorns works by sinking all of your different payment options to one place and helps you save by automatically transferring your spare change into a saving account that you can withdraw from at any time. For example, if you buy something that is $4.50 Acorns will round up and transfer that extra .50 to your saving account so it looks like you spent $5 while really that extra .50 was put into your savings. Acorns will also invest in you so the longer you allow your saving account to grow the more you will find in there.

If you do have your family supporting you while you’re saving up a great way to understand what it will be like when you move out on your own is to start paying them rent. Every month pay your trusted family member what you would be paying for rent in your future place and have them save it for you and give it back to you when you’re ready to move. This way you will already have a few months worth of rent untouched for when you will actually need to pay it. Not to mention initial move-in fees like security deposits can sometimes be up to a few months of rent up front, so you want to save more than you think you will need.

Once you’ve saved enough money to move out it’s time to start touring! Try your best to create a relationship with the person showing you the space, whether that be the landlord or realtor because they are ultimately the one who decides if you are living in this space. Also always make sure to tour before you sign anything because anyone can take a flattering photo of a space and post it online but only in-person can you tell if it’s worth moving into.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions! You don’t want any hidden fees or surprises and if you’re going to be living with roommates make sure they’re aware of everything too. Ask about what costs they require prior to moving in or any first month fees. If you have pets, ask if they’re allowed and if any additional fees come with having them. Ask if you’ll have somewhere to park and if you have to pay for a spot. Ask every question you can think of because it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Now that you’ve found where you’ll be living figure out how you’re going to be transporting your things and if you’ll need movers. Ideally, get your friends together to help you move in, so you won’t have to spend money on movers. Another great way to cut cost is by reaching out to the local grocery or furniture store and to if they any spare boxes laying around that you can have so you won’t have to spend money on boxes.

While you’re packing dedicate a couple of boxes solely to the things you will need for the first few days in your new place so you won’t be frustrated when you can’t find the things you’ll need immediately, like soap or your toothbrush.

It’s important to move with plenty of money in your savings account because all sorts of things are bound to come up even after you made the big move. Moving out on your own takes a lot of planning, saving and time but it will be so worth it in the end!

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