Moving out on your own presents an exciting new stage in your life. For the first time, nobody is telling you when to be home or how to take care of yourself. From grocery shopping and partying to cleaning the bathroom and responsibly paying bills, it’s all up to you now.
In saying that, it’s probably getting obvious that it can feel a little overwhelming to live on your own for the first time. There are things you’re now responsible for that you may never even have considered, and you only earn so much in a week.
So how do you keep your head on straight? You plan for it. This article is going to overview seven rules to help you get used to the idea of “financial independence”. Whether you’ve got a firm foundation of financial habits, or are just getting started, read on to brush up on the things successful people do to manage their money.
Budget. Budget. AND BUDGET!
I can’t say this one enough. One of the best ways to stay on top of all the expenses you have and the income you’re earning is to literally sit down and draw up a budget based on the expenses and income you will have. How much can you afford to spend on your mobile phone? Do you have the cash for cable? The best way to know is by knowing how much luxury spending you can afford to do in a month.
Once the budget is made, periodically review it. Are you sticking to it? Why not? What added expenses did you find you had that didn’t initially occur? Revise your budget and draft another one going forward to be sure you are always working with the most up to date information.
As your bills come in organise them into a system that will ensure you are paying them on time, and keeping records of payments made. How you do this is up to the individual, some individuals automate bill payments so they don’t have to rely on memory where other people prefer to go through each bill line by line to ensure it’s accurate. Whatever you’re going to do, develop a bill paying system and consistently use it to stay organised.
Work with what you need, not with all you want
While it’s true you have an apartment to furnish, don’t underestimate the contributions of roommates and the constraints of cupboard space. You don’t need five grills and no cutlery. Plan who will bring what to the table, and don’t pick up more than you need! By buying what you need, rather than any little thing you could want, you will save yourself a bundle – one useless purchase at a time.
If you are going to buy, emphasise quality over cost.
While your first instinct when shopping may be to go for the cheapest option possible, this is not always the best idea. While no-name macaroni may taste just as good, no-name mattresses may lead to buying a new one a month later. With any big purchase, just sit and weigh your options in terms of both cost and quality. The one that offers the most of both is the best value, and it’s the one you should purchase if possible.
Maintain the things you do own, to avoid replacing them
Doing proper maintenance on the items you own can add anywhere from months to years to its quality of life, and save you a lot of money in the process. A car that’s always breaking down is a huge expense, so take care of the problems before they become problems.
Take advantage of the share economy, especially in dorms or on campuses
If you’ve got friends who are in similar positions to you, pool your resources. Borrow their lawn mower and let them borrow your drill, rather than each of you needing to have both yourself. This network can get as big as you can imagine, just so long as it’s comprised of people who trust each other to take care of the stuff.
Cook in bulk wherever possible
Food is the King Kong to your bank account. You will be shocked as you begin to figure out how much even simple groceries can cost, so wherever possible make meals that will stretch or freeze for later.
Don’t buy into the convenience of purchasing meals for one, make a meal for six and freeze five. Don’t waste food, save the leftovers for the next day’s lunch. Food saved is cash saved. Every time.
To kick start your new financially stable life we have over 150 ways for you to save money right here, right now!