Tips for Moving Into Your First Place On Your Own

moving into your first place on your own

Leaving your parent’s home and moving into your first place can be so exciting, but it can also be a stressful time. So many decisions to make and so many details to look after, all on your own. Here are some tips for you to think about as you consider moving into your first place on your own.


As you plan to move into your first place on your own you want to seriously consider the location. Are you moving away from your parent’s home to attend college or have you found a new job? Whatever the reason, you want to make sure that you look for a place that is close to school or work, in a safe neighborhood, and is affordable.


As you begin to consider your options, you may want to think about sharing your new place with a roommate or two. There are definitely pros and cons to this, but if you spend some time looking for the right person you may actually enjoy living with someone else. Keep in mind that best friends don’t always make the best roommates.


While many of us move out of our parent’s home and into our first place without putting too much thought into it, you will find living on your own a lot easier if you spend some time reviewing your finances and creating a budget before you leave home.

List your sources of income, including all employment income, scholarships, student loans, and so forth. Then list your expenses, such as school, books, food, clothes, tenants insurance, utilities, transportation, and of course, rent.

Remember that your rent and utilities should never add up to more than 30% of your income.

As well, keep in mind that most landlords ask for first and last month’s rent on the day that you move in. They may also ask for a small deposit if you have a pet with you.

Once you have your budget calculated you will have a much better idea of how much rent you can pay. This will be important when you decide on location and whether or not you will have a roommate.

Rental Agreement

Reading a rental agreement can be quite boring, but it is a must, right down to the very last detail. There may be points in there that you might think you will never need, but you never know what the future holds.

If you do not understand something, ask questions. Never sign in a hurry. If you still do not understand ask your parents to read the agreement, or hire a lawyer to review it. You want to make sure that it protects you and not just the landlord.

Also, you want to understand what your rent includes, how much they can increase it by in the future, and when.

Can you have pets? Can you even have roommates?

What happens if there is an emergency, such as a water leak? Who fixes it and who pays for it?

Can you paint? Can you hang pictures?

All of these questions need to be addressed before you sign the rental agreement. Keep in mind that this is a legal document and it is not easy to make changes once it is signed.

Moving Belongings

When you move into your first place on your own you may not have a lot of furniture and personal belongings. If that is the case, instead of renting a U-Haul you may wish to hire a company willing to do small moves – no move is too small for some companies. And you will most likely save a lot of money, and once you are settled into your new place you can begin purchasing new items for your new home.

Setting Up Utility Accounts

Now that you are on your own you will need to start paying for utilities, unless of course they are included in your rent. Accounts for water, gas and electricity will need to be registered in your name with local providers. You may also need to setup cable, Internet, and telephone depending on your needs.

As you create your budget, remember that many of these companies charge a deposit on brand new accounts. If you make your payments on time for the entire first year, you should receive your deposit back after the first year is up.

Over to You

How did things go when you moved into your first place? Was it exciting, stressful, or easy?


    • Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Families

      Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Families 01/07/2014 10:32 a.m. #

      If you can afford a small efficiency on your own I highly recommend going with this option. Roommates can be a pain to deal with and you can even lose friendships over it.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 01/07/2014 7:20 p.m. #

        Roommates can be a pain, I agree. I had one my first year in college and another one a few years later, after having lived on my own for a few years. I was lucky though....they weren't that bad, and it allowed me to use some money for other things. But you just never know how a roommate situation will turn out.

    • Debt Busting Chick

      Debt Busting Chick 01/07/2014 12:12 p.m. #

      Moving out on my own was one of the things that contributed to my debt as I simply couldn't afford it. However, if I had got a roommate it would have cost me less and saved me more. This is what I'll be doing once my debt is cleared.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 01/07/2014 7:21 p.m. #

        Depending on where you live, it can be quite expensive to have your own place. Good luck on clearing your debt.

        • Mel @ brokeGIRLrich

          Mel @ brokeGIRLrich 01/26/2014 9:57 p.m. #

          No kidding! I just moved in on my own in NYC. My apartment is really tiny, which is fine since it's just me and a fish, but rent is still pretty high. If I hadn't gotten a new job with a good salary AND finished paying off all my student loans before moving here, I couldn't've swung it. That's for sure.

    • Michelle

      Michelle 01/07/2014 1:12 p.m. #

      Good post! I moved out into a rental house right after I turned 18. I wish I would have known so many things before I did that. The expenses were just to much to handle!

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 01/07/2014 7:24 p.m. #

        At 18 it is hard to know what's what in regard to moving out on your own. Lots of things to consider and many of us do not have enough cash to afford much at that age.

    • Tanya @ Eat Laugh Purr

      Tanya @ Eat Laugh Purr 01/07/2014 2:34 p.m. #

      While it's been a long time since I moved out of my parents home, I can still remember how excited I was to be an "adult". I was fortunate my first apartment was a real steal and my cost of living was low. I didn't do a great job when I moved from a small city to a major city. I naively didn't realize how low my cost of living was and how much more expensive Minneapolis was. My first year was tough but then I got a better paying job so that was huge relief. :)

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 01/07/2014 7:27 p.m. #

        I can understand how surprising that would be to move and find out that things are a lot more expensive in the new location. That happens to a lot of people in Canada too since prices vary from one end of Canada to the other. Good for you for finding a better job and being able to manage it all on your own Tanya!

    • Corina Ramos

      Corina Ramos 01/07/2014 9:48 p.m. #

      I needed to read this one Sicorra! Adrian informed us some months ago that he and a friend were thinking about getting an apartment together. He hadn't said anything else about it until today.

      He's very serious and so I'll be telling him about your post and the points you bring up.

      There's so much more to moving out than just picking a roommate. I would also suggest rooming with someone who share the same interests to avoid clashes.

      Great advice Sicorra! Thanks for putting these points together!

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 01/08/2014 11:55 a.m. #

        That is exciting for Adrian to be looking for his own place. I hope it all goes well for him :-) Remind him to get his own know...for water leaks and stuff lol

        And I love your point about finding a roommate that you have things in common with. Even things such as how clean you like your place to be, is the person a partier or a smoker and you are not. All kinds of personal stuff. Finding the right roommate can make your life so much more enjoyable.

        Hope your week is going well Cori !

        • Corina Ramos

          Corina Ramos 01/12/2014 7:14 p.m. #

          I'm more nervous than he is. He has a seizure disorder and I know that can't keep him down but I'm just scared you know?

          We're still not sure if he can drive or not so that's another thing that we're discussing.

          Oh yeah, we talked about roommates and bad habits and he assures me "he knows what he's doing".

          Thanks for sharing! Have a great new week!

    • Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh 01/10/2014 6:16 a.m. #

      HI Sicorra,

      I think it's fun to move to your first place in your own way :)

      I still remember our first home and how we moved from a rented place to our own house. It was a magical feeling of belonging to our own place, with no restrictions and no hassles of payments or rents. Yes, it was never easy getting there, but once we did, there was no looking back. Yes, you need to consider the things you mentioned, especially the location and your budget. :)

      Thanks for sharing. Have a nice weekend, and Happy New Year :)

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 01/12/2014 1:55 p.m. #

        Happy New Year Harleena!

        Yes, getting your own place is fun, even if there are some things to deal with. And staying within your budget is key.

    • Maggie@SquarePennies

      Maggie@SquarePennies 01/10/2014 8:54 a.m. #

      Very important information Sicorra! When our kids got their first apartments we gave them some of our old dishes, pots and pans, towels, etc. Then we bought new ones for us! It was a win-win and we didn't feel too bad when they burned food in one of the pans or used a towel on the dog, etc. Because things happen.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 01/12/2014 1:56 p.m. #

        That is great that you were able to help your kids out that way. It saves them money when they first start out and when they are ready and able to, they can always replace things a few at a time.

    • Shannon @ The Heavy Purse

      Shannon @ The Heavy Purse 01/10/2014 12:20 p.m. #

      I can still remember the excitement of moving into my own place! Understanding your financial obligations is very important. It's all so new and it's easy to get carried away, especially if you've never budgeted before or really managed finances. Great tips!

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 01/12/2014 1:58 p.m. #

        Good to hear that you enjoyed getting your own place Shannon!

        Taking your finances into account when you first move out is important, but I bet you some people overlook it.

    • Corinne

      Corinne 01/12/2014 5:31 p.m. #

      You make some very important points. I know many young adults who think moving out is a great thing and that they can "do" it on their own but there are many factors that they fail to think about.
      Great post Sicorra!

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 01/15/2014 7:34 p.m. #

        Thanks Corinne! I think sometimes the excitement causes people to overlook all the details associated with moving.

    • Arelis Cintron

      Arelis Cintron 01/15/2014 12:45 p.m. #

      I'll be moving into my very first apartment with my future husband in the fall. These tips will come in handy when we figure out what we can afford.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 01/15/2014 7:34 p.m. #

        Congratulations Arelis! Look forward to hearing more about it when you guys move.

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