Regardless of whether you’re 18, 28 or 58, moving out home is an experience we’d all like to do it as cheaply as possible, right? Starting a new chapter in your life doesn’t have to cost a bomb.
Moving house, for whatever reason, can be pretty time and money consuming, particularly when you’re flying from your parents’ nest from the first time. Once you’ve found your new home and paid the bills, here’s some simple tips to save yourself some extra cash to go towards that fancy refrigerator with the water dispenser you’ve always wanted (they’re so cool, no pun intended).
Free furniture isn’t hard to come by
Suburban streets are quite often littered with side tables, chairs, lounges and desks. Sure, they might be a bit ugly or need a good clean and a coat of paint, but ugly furniture is better than no furniture, and a free cupboard will do the trick until you pay off laybys on furniture you actually want.
Grab as much sidewalk furniture as you can. Search Gumtree and local ‘Buy Swap Sell’ groups on Facebook to snag some quick bargains, and ask friends, family and work colleagues, because more often than not, most people have an old lounge or table in the garage they don’t want anymore but that’s too good to throw out.
Use your contacts
Don’t spend hundreds hiring a removal truck when it’s just as easy to do it yourself. Everyone knows someone with a ute or a van who will probably agree to moving a lounge in exchange for a slab of beer. Don’t be afraid to ask around, particularly if someone owes you a favour. Make a good first impression with your neighbours too, especially if you’re moving into an apartment block – you could always use someone to help move furniture or offer advice about settling into the area.
Organisation is key
Plan your grocery shopping in a list and stick to it! Avoid impulse buys in the supermarket, because you can live without that $12 tub of choc-mint ice cream. In saying that, if weekly essentials like shampoo are suddenly half price, allow some room in your grocery budget to buy in bulk, particularly if you have the storage space.
Budget budget budget!
It’s crucial you plan how much money is going towards day-to-day life and how much you can afford to spend on going out and entertainment. Microsoft Excel has a range of really great budgeting templates to get you started, or use an online budget planner like this one.
Make sure you’ve saved plenty of money before you even decide to move out, and try to avoid loans and credit cards if possible. If you need to move out but can’t afford a place of your own, contact your local housing authority to see if there’s any financial assistance they can offer:
- ACT – Housing and Community Services
- NSW – Housing NSW
- Northern Territory – Territory Housing
- Queensland – Housing and Homelessness Services
- South Australia – Department for Communities & Social Inclusion
- Tasmania – Housing Tasmania
- Victoria – Office of Housing
- Western Australia – Department of Housing
Yes, I know you can’t wait to buy indoor plants and scented candles for your new home, but a fridge and a bed are more important. When you’re flicking through catalogues and window shopping for furniture, keep focused on what you’re actually looking for. It’s easy to be distracted by decor and homewares, or the thought of replacing all your towels and bedsheets in a fresh colour scheme, but stick to your budget and buy only what you really need – once you’ve put away some money over a few months, then you can start to upgrade everything.
Be prepared to live without luxuries
Say goodbye to $200 concert tickets (unless it’s Taylor Swift, because her concerts are a necessity) and get used to having to save your money to pay the electricity bill. If you’re starting off with next to nothing, you may be sleeping on a blow up mattress and sitting on camping chairs and keeping your milk in a cooler bag for a week or so, until you get yourself some furniture and appliances. Camping in your lounge room isn’t that bad, right? At least you still have somewhere to charge your phone!
While moving can be costly, don’t let the money put you off. A new home and a fresh environment is sometimes all we need. And if you’re moving out of your family’s home for the first time, remember they’re only a phone call away.