Leaving the Nest — What to Expect From Your First Move

There is nothing more liberating than spreading your wings for the first time and leaving the nest. You’ve made it. You’re an adult now and you no longer have to rely on (or live with) Mom and Dad. 

However, if you’re like most young adults barrelling towards their first move, you may feel a bit of trepidation. And guess what, that’s okay. It’s natural and completely understandable to feel some anxiety about being out on your own.

But don’t worry, it’s going to be okay. And we’re here to make the transition a little easier. 

Keep reading for everything you need to know about taking this big step toward a whole new life.

1. Understand Your Financial Situation

One of the most important aspects of being a first-time mover and becoming an adult is learning how to manage your finances. However, in order to manage your finances, you must first understand them. 

Your credit history is a running report on your payments to service providers, lenders, and retailers. A good credit score allows you to get approved for higher loans (personal, vehicle, mortgages) with better rates. A person with terrible credit may even struggle to get approved for an apartment. 

Start off on the right foot and begin building good credit as soon as possible. You can do this by paying all of your bills on time, using credit cards wisely, limiting your debt-to-income ratio, and more.

2. Know the Costs of Living on Your Own

Next, to control your finances, you have to understand the costs of living on your own. Before, you probably never had to think about them. Your parents may have made you pay for your own gas or your own cell phone bill, but living on your own is a whole different ball game.

After you make your first move to an apartment, you’ll probably be responsible for:

  • Utilities (water, electricity, gas, waste removal)
  • Services (phone, cable, internet)
  • Renter’s insurance
  • Car expenses (repairs, maintenance, insurance, registration, fuel)
  • Groceries
  • And more

Looking at all these costs may feel overwhelming, but there’s no reason you can’t make it happen. People just like you do it every day. However, it may make you feel a little bit more grateful for everything your parents did for you while you lived at home.

3. Put Yourself on a Budget

The best way to make sure you stay above water financially is by putting yourself on a budget. This can be especially difficult for young adults leaving the nest for the first time. That taste of freedom makes you want to spend money decorating your home, buying a ton of food for your fridge, and updating your wardrobe. 

But first, you must take care of the necessities. These are all the bills and obligations we mentioned above. Once you’ve taken care of these payments, however, don’t blow the rest of your paycheck.

You need to establish an emergency fund of about $1,000. This will cover any unexpected expenses like car repairs or emergencies.

Then, contribute a percentage of what’s left into savings. Finally, you can use the remaining money however you like. Go crazy.

4. Plan Your Move in Advance and Start Making Preparations

During your first move, you’re going to learn an important life lesson – to plan ahead, rather than leave things until the last minute. If you’re off to college, this lesson will be reinforced over and over again through your schoolwork.

However, in terms of leaving home, one of the most important moving tips is to prepare for moving day in advance. Start collecting boxes weeks beforehand.

Then, you can progressively box up everything you aren’t currently using. This will make the packing process much less tedious and overwhelming.

5. Hire Professional Movers

For a quick and easy first move, we also recommend hiring a professional moving company. If you have a lot of stuff, movers will help you save time (and your back) getting your stuff from point A to point B. 

Once again, plan ahead and schedule the movers in advance. This will ensure they’re available for the big day. Moving companies also come with other perks, such as temporary storage, packing services, and delivery guarantees.

6. Consider Getting a Roommate

When you initially move from home, you’ll likely enjoy the solitude for a few weeks or months. However, once the novelty of living on your own wears off, you may find you’re a bit lonely. If you feel like your home is too empty and quiet for your liking, consider finding a roommate. 

A roommate may help you feel less lonely and may provide a feeling of increased safety and security. Furthermore, it never hurts to have someone to split the rent with. If you can save a couple of hundred dollars a month by sharing your place, it may not be a bad deal.

7. Design a Cleaning Schedule

When we were growing up, one of the worst things about living at home was always being told what to do. “Clean your room, do the dishes, take out the trash, do your laundry,” and so on.

Sadly, even as an adult who’s completed your first move to your own place, these responsibilities don’t go away. Sure, you can ignore them for a while, but that only leads to a disgusting apartment covered in filth and haunted by mysterious odors. 

We recommend designing a cleaning schedule (which is basically the same as your parents’ chore list) to keep your place clean. And remember, it’s easier to keep up than to catch up. 

8. Learn About Home Maintenance

Finally, being a homeowner or renter means you’re responsible for home maintenance issues. There are certain obligations that will fall on you to ensure the function and integrity of your home. These include::

  • Replacing the HVAC filter
  • Cleaning out the gutters
  • Unclogging drains, sinks, and toilets
  • Taking care of the yard
  • Shoveling the walk and driveway
  • And more

If your first move is to an apartment complex, the landlord will likely take care of many of these. Read the contract carefully to make sure you understand where the landlord’s responsibilities end and where yours begin.

Are You About to Embark On Your First Move?

Are you leaving home for the first time? If so, don’t let your first move stress you out. There are plenty of resources out there designed to help people like you, including moving services. 

Contact us today to get a free moving quote or ask any questions. We want to make your first move is as pain-free and streamlined as possible. You’ve got enough on your plate.