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Posted in After the Move, How-to, Moving Tips&Tricks on March 26, 2021
Michael Vaughan

Moving through the Bay Area, Michael works as a freelance writer in the moving and transportation industry.

How to Live on Your Own – Definitive Guide to Budgeting of Living Alone

Remember when you were a kid, and you couldn’t wait to be an adult so that you can do whatever you want any time you want it? Well, if you’ve come to the stage of your life when you must know how to live on your own, you finally made it. You’ll make the rules, and you’ll obey them – but only if you feel like it. There’s no one to boss around and to tell you what to do. However, there are lots of responsibilities coming with this role. The first and most important one is budgeting. Let’s see how to manage your finances and what will be your living on your own expenses.

A man holding a bag with dollars and a cardboard house
Make your solo life a great adventure with our useful tips

The freedom you have when residing by yourself is truly unmatched, but this freedom won’t be possible for long if you don’t learn how to handle your money. This guide is the perfect way to learn Is it healthy to live alone and How much money should you have to live on your own. Find out more in the following lines.

You’ll Need to Know How Big Your Expenses Will Be When Learning How to Live on Your Own

If you’re looking for an answer to how much money do you need to live on your own (especially when you’re relocating during Coronavirus), remember that it varies from person to person and from one city to another. Residing alone in a metropolis costs much more than having your own apartment in a small town. The cost of the rent is different, as well as the utilities, groceries, and all other expenses you can have. If you wish to know how much does it cost to live on your own, do some online research of the place where you plan to reside and calculate what your monthly expenses will be. Probably the most useful website for figuring out what your costs will be is Numbeo. There you can find everything from the cost of milk and bread to the cost of the gym memberships and average salaries in a specific city in the US.

A person calculating their costs from an Excel spreadsheet
The Internet will be of immense help in learning your future expenses

Saving Money on Time Is the Best Tip You Can Get

Regardless of what are your reasons to move, the key to all budgeting tips is to make a big stash of money. This will mean a lot when choosing the apartment, paying the rent, and the deposit. Having enough cash to count on is also great in case something goes wrong. Try to have enough for at least six months’ worth of savings before you start your solo adventure. Building a solid budget is easy – just cut all the unnecessary costs you have and put them aside on a separate bank account. Have a look at the video below to see one of the recommended strategies for saving.

YouTube video

Rent Will Be Your Biggest Expense

As always, if you want to be good with finances, you must learn how to manage the highest cost you’ll have, and that is the monthly rent. Choose an apartment that you can afford, and don’t forget about the deposit. Make sure you know what do you need to rent an apartment – there are quite a few documents you should gather and many things to remember.

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Do You Have a Good Credit Score?

In case you are like the rest of us mortals and your first place is rented and not bought, you should take a look at your current credit score. It can be a huge factor when renting because landlords use that info to see how responsible you are with paying your bills. A credit score above 620 should be on your new apartment checklist. If it’s less than that, you might have to pay a bigger deposit to vouch for yourself as a good tenant. Try to take care of that on time so that you don’t find yourself denied from renting a place you like.

A woman holding a wallet and a dollar bill while going to the bank
Prepare yourself for the costs that await you

Divide Your Costs on the Fixed and Flexible Expenses

A great way to know exactly how much you spend when residing by yourself is to organize your costs. There are a few that have a fixed amount each month, and the rest is changeable and can vary depending on your habits. The fixed ones are utilities, rent, insurance, debts, and other monthly costs you have. The flexible are food, transportation, clothing, and alike.

You Might Have to Pay for the Water or Other Utilities

The cost of utilities is a fixed one, but it depends on the person that’s renting you the place. Ask the landlord which utilities you have to pay for. All the utilities could be already included in the rent if the property owner decided that way. It can happen that you have to pay additionally for everything from the internet and cable to taking the trash. Garage or a parking spot can also be an additional fee to cover. If you have the freedom to change the provider for the utilities, find the most affordable one and set them up.

A man and a woman talking
A good communication with your landlord is crucial when it comes to payments

Get the Habit of Paying Your Bills on Time

No mom and dad around means no more nagging, but it also means no more reminders from them that you should do something. If you’re bad at planning, get a big calendar and put it in the middle of a wall. Circle all important dates and write down on them what you must do until that date. Installing an app to help you organize is also a good idea. Create a system that works best for you and keep track of all of your tasks.

A girl looking at a laptop at her bank account
Don’t wait too long for paying your bills

Residing Alone Will Change You for Better

This is a big step that will bring many challenges. After you deal with the move and learning how to pack bathroom items and how to pack pots and pans, you will have to face a lot of new situations. Being alone in an apartment and being responsible for everything makes you a stronger and more mature person. Also, spending time with yourself and your thoughts will help you get to know yourself better.

Since You Wish to Learn How to Live on Your Own, You Will Have to Learn New Skills as Well

If you decide to move by yourself, you should learn how to pack shoes and how to pack fragile items which include packing glasses, but also packing plates and packing dishes. If you have to move a piano, make sure you find help from someone with experience. Aside from learning all the packing tips and relocation hacks, you will also have to get familiar with some things that you possibly haven’t done before. From using the washing and drying machine to choosing the right curtains or nailing a painting on the wall. Get familiar with all the chores before leaving your parent’s home, and you’ll find it easier to accommodate after.

A girl at home holding a cup of coffee looking through the window
There will be some difficult moments, but residing alone is an exciting and important period in everyone’s life

How Can I Afford to Live on My Own?

You probably realize that the answer to How can I live on my own with no money usually doesn’t apply to everyday life. You will need cash unless you’re planning to sleep in a tent and to have a garden. Mandatory costs can’t be avoided, so if you want to afford to reside alone, you should get a well-paying job. Figuring out how to get a job in a new city should be on your relocating to another state checklist.

Check Out Some of the Best Ways to Save Money If You See That You Can’t Afford This Way of Living

Even if you created a relocating to-do list because you planned to move to another state alone and reside solo, you should consider getting a roommate if you realize that you can’t pay for everything by yourself. Residing with your partner is also an option if you’re relocating for love. That way, you can share the costs of the rent, utilities, and other expenses. Also, try to eat out less and cook for yourself. Find the cheapest grocery store and shop there. Even if you aren’t that skilled in the kitchen, after a few unsuccessful attempts, you will figure it out – practice makes perfect. Another great way to save is to buy second-hand clothes and furniture in case you planned to furnish your new place.

Here’s an extra tip – a lot of cash goes for the heating and cooling during the year. Try to listen to your thermostat and look up the recommended settings for each season. This will save you from big numbers on your bills.

A guy and a girl sitting on the floor eating pizza
Consider sharing costs with someone for a certain period until you get back on your feet

Don’t Forget About Moving Costs

The day of your move is probably the most expensive one you will have in your solo life. After you pay the rent and deposit, you will also have relocation costs to take care of. Cross-country moving is not cheap, but it can be affordable if you’re dealing with a good long-distance moving company. These costs can be predictable as well, and you won’t have to worry about any hidden fees if the cross-country moving company you hired works transparently with you.

The total expense of long-distance moving services should include the services you require, such as long-distance moving, affordable moving insurance, all the boxes and packing supplies, as well as the packing service itself. If it happens that you have to find a storage unit, long-distance movers should be able to provide you with that as well. A lot of people relocating alone also want auto transport services from the cross-country movers they hired. Go online, see who the best long-distance movers near me are, and treat yourself to a smooth and stress-free beginning of your new life.

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