Congratulations! You’re flying the nest.
You might be slightly closer to middle-age than you’d originally hoped, but hey ho, 40 is the new 25 when it comes to getting on the property ladder. Whether you’ve bought your first home with a partner, or you’re renting a pad with your mates, there’s certainly a lot more to consider now that you intend to survive beyond the comforts of home. Whilst moving out gives you independence, freedom and adventure, for most, money will be tight and the added responsibility on your shoulders will mean it’s far from all fun and games.
You’ll have to…
Ok. Now you actually have to use the vacuum cleaner rather than growling at it or your mother for waking you up on a Sunday afternoon. You’ll also realise that the toilet bowl needs a wipe every once in a while.
Your master plan to live on takeaways and ready meals is doomed to failure. You’ll burn through cash unnecessarily and your life expectancy will greatly diminish. You’ll have to cook real food. Plan meals (within a budget) and cook. Who knew? Check out this budget menu for tips on cooking well for just £1 a portion!
Do grocery shopping
For most of your life, stuff just appeared in the fridge. It was just there and you ate it. Now, you’ll have to put it there yourself. And don’t think, even for a second that you’ll be able to consistently afford those sirloin steaks your mother spoilt you with each week. You could always save on your shopping expenses with these vouchers and discounts for groceries and more.
Take the bins out
If you forget to take the rubbish out, the next seven days will be an absolute nightmare. In scenes comparable to a murderer hiding a body, the stench of week-old waste will probably lead you to dig holes in your garden to bury your shame-sacks. Waste day is the same every week so there’s no excuse for missing the bin men. Set your alarm early and get ‘em out front! And don’t forget the recycling either!
Give someone a spare key
Nope, there’s nobody on the other side of the door to let you in when you’ve drunkenly lost your keys down the boozer. Whisper shouting for your parents through the letterbox at 2am will not help you now.
Manage your money
You’ll have to sit down every time you get paid and work out any outgoings, expenses and more often than not, exactly how much month you’ll have left at the end of your money. Get started with this helpful budget planner from The Money Advice Service.
Pay bills and rent
These necessities are going to take a hell of a lot of your hard earned cash every month for the rest of your life. As well as rent or mortgage repayments, there’s water, gas, electricity, council tax, TV licensing… need I go on? Just ensure your monthly budget includes paying your bills as a priority above all else.
Manage your indulgences
Such as cigarettes, alcohol and quilted toilet roll. Long gone are the days of nightclub debauchery and carefree spending. You’ve more important things to spend your money on now; like felting the shed roof and boiler repairs.
Learn to fix things
A few basic DIY skills will mean you don’t have to call a repairman or your parents every time a light bulb needs changing. I once learnt how to put a picture frame up using Handy Andy’s Home Work: A Beginner’s Guide to Decorating, DIY and Maintenance.
Get loads of stuff you’ll have forgotten to buy
Kitchen utensils, rubbish bins and coat hangers. It’s only once you’ve had to sieve boiling hot pasta water through your fingers that you’ll appreciate the variety of kitchen utensils you took for granted at your parents’ house.
So there it is. Everything you’ll need to consider once you’ve moved out of your family home. However daunting it may seem, it’s ok. You will survive. In part due to this advice and your newly learnt skills of meticulous financial planning, sacrifice and subsequent misery. But, don’t worry, this is life and you’ll be a real, independent grown-up by the end of it!