The One Third Rule
As a general rule, many aparentment management companies and landlords want you to abide by the one third rule. This means that one third of your income should go to monthly bills, one third should go to savings, and one third should be yours to freely spend. When you total your bills and then add in rent and utilities, are you spending one third or less of your paycheck every month? If not, you might not be financially ready to move out on your own. Even if you’re willing to give up some of your activities to have more money for bills, some property managers and landlords won’t even consider your application. You have to be able to show income.
Utilities and Other “Hidden” Costs
Living on your own can be expensive, and from more than just a rent perspective. When you live on your own, you’re responsible for electic, water, gas, Internet, television, phone (if you want a landline), and food. Additionally, you may have to pay for parking, and if you’ve never lived on your own before, keep in mind that you’ll need money saved up to purchase furniture and all of the other various items a home needs, like cleaning supplies, curtains, and kitchen items. Are you prepared for these “hidden” costs” in addition to paying for rent?
No matter how independent you may be, make sure you’re prepared for the emotional toll living alone has on a person. That first night can be especially daunting. Sometimes, no matter how mature we may think we are, it can feel overwhelming or even scary to live on your own. These are feelings that most people experience, so you may want to consider having a friend or family member stay with you for the first night or too while you get used to your new living arrangement. If you’re worried about it, look for an apartment or other rental that’s part of a building or community where you’re surrounded by other people and can meet your neighbors easily rather than choosing a secluded area.
Don’t be ashamed to admit that you are not yet ready to move out on your own. Living alone isn’t for everyone. If you’re currently living with family, consider moving in with friends are a next step rather than jumping to living completely alone.
This guest post is from Allison with ChangeOfAddress.org.