Moving out was always part of the plan once I graduated and began employment. However life has a way of surprising you and I found myself moving out of home during my undergraduate studies. The experiences of becoming a tenant were interesting and I am here to share it with you all.
After finding my flat, signing the guarantor form, tenancy agreement & paying my deposit, the real work began:
My flat wasn't decorated when I moved in and it was also unfurnished, so I spent £00s - £000 buying paint, wallpaper, tools, furniture, electronics – thankfully due to already moving out for Uni I already had utensils and basic electronics (kettle, toaster, microwave etc) but still had to expense on more.
Once my flat was all decorated and furnished and ready to be fully enjoyed, rent was due and I had already spent a fair amount on fixing the place. So a decision had to be made; pay my rent and have no money for entertainment or use the money for fun and bants and end up potentially homeless or with final notice letters(those big red fonts never get old) coming in. The decision was obvious. To be honest, some household items could have been bought later on, but I just wanted to get it all sorted straight away.
Payment was easy to manage; my rent covered living, water rates, service charge (repairs & cleaning) – only for leasehold & estate properties. But on top of that realising I had to also pay Council tax, TV License & Broadband (the last 2 are not necessities when you can watch DVDs or movies saved on your devices and use Mobile Broadband to connect your devices).
Money management & organisation - Evidently watching my money had become a key feature of living alone, especially during those first few months. But organisation was another factor to consider; I remember waking up late for work because my alarm didn’t go off because my battery had died due to my phone not being charged, because my electricity had cut off in the middle of the night. This wouldn’t have been so bad until I realised that my gas had cut off too, and I had already tapped into my emergency fund. My having to sprint to my nearest shop and top up so I can get myself ready for work, definitely covered my cardio for that morning. It was clear that it’s not enough making sure I have the money to live away from home, but I also needed to remember to pay bills on time.
It is a sad occasion when you’re out with friends and they say, “Let’s go eat here, let’s go eat there” and all you can think is, “but there’s food at home”. When you have bills to pay and commitments, you realise you need to make wise decisions when going out and being entertained, it’s not every motive that you must attend and certain events need to be missed if they’re going to compromise payments for your home. There are plenty of free & cheap events to accommodate how you live, but if rent and bills have been paid, money has been saved and invested and you have cashflow left, then ball out and live your best life - but beware of takeaways, yes the money adds up, so you’re better off learning to cook, can’t always run to Mum.
I remember another time with my friends when I quickly ran into the shop to buy bread & milk (yeah I said it) for the next day and I walked out the shop with 2 extra bags of cleaning products – my friends laughed at me, but also realised that moving out, is real! Yes, you will need to keep your home clean and wash your clothes - simple stuff, but most people don’t consider it.
Moving out is something we all have to do, but whether you become a tenant or homeowner is completely up to you (but we do need more homeowners in our community). Move out when you are prepared to do so and don’t worry about making mistakes, it’s how we learn. Happy Moving-In Day!!!
Gradi's Top 5 Tips for Moving Out:
Have money saved, 3 months worth of rent should be enough.
Always pay off rent first.
Create a budget and manage where your money goes each month.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help & seek advice.
Try to prepare for financial uncertainties - rent increase, repairs etc.
Gradi Tomene is Co-Founder of YPC and a teacher within a Secondary school. His passions include working with young people and serving in his local church.