How to move out at 18.

How to Move Out at 18: Here’s Your Ultimate Checklist


Moving out at 18 is an exciting and liberating experience.

At this age, you are no longer considered a minor and have the freedom to exercise certain rights, such as the ability to vote.

However, you are now solely responsible for your actions and face the same consequences as adults, such as being convicted of a crime.

While it’s important to have a mentor or parent to guide you through this new phase of life, the law allows you to move out at 18 if you choose to do so.

In this blog post, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to move out at 18, to help you plan and execute your move with confidence.



How to Move Out at 18

To successfully move out at 18, it’s crucial to know how to prepare for your move, such as developing a plan and budgeting for expenses.

You also need to learn how to find the right housing option and prepare for your new home.

Once you’ve moved, it’s important to settle in properly and avoid common mistakes, ensuring a smooth transition to independence.


Moving Out Readiness Quiz

We have created a fun quiz to help you assess whether you are ready to move out at 18.

Our quiz consists of ten questions that cover various aspects of living independently, such as budgeting, household chores, and emotional preparedness.

By taking our quiz, you’ll get a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses.

You’ll be able to identify areas that you need to work on before taking the big step of moving out.

Check out the Moving Out Readiness Quiz.

Moving out readiness quiz

Preparing for the Move

Ideally, you should start preparing for your move about 3-6 months before your intended move-out date.

This will give you enough time to research housing options, secure a job or other source of income, and start saving money for moving expenses.

It’s also a good time to talk to your parents or guardians about your plans and seek their guidance and support.


1. Talk to Your Parents or Guardians

Before making the decision, talk to your parents or guardians about your plan to move out.

Sharing your moving plan and budget can help alleviate their worries and show them that you’re committed to taking care of yourself.

Have an open and honest conversation about why you want to move out, how you plan to sustain yourself, and what steps you will take to ensure your safety and well-being.

Getting the approval and support of your family and friends can also provide you with valuable help and resources during the transition.

So, make sure to involve your family in the decision-making process and get their approval and support before moving forward.

2. Develop Your Moving Plan & Timeline

Moving can be a time-consuming and stressful process so it’s important to start early.

Create a Moving Plan

Knowing when you want to move can help you plan and prepare more effectively.

Consider school schedules if you are a student to make sure that your move doesn’t interfere with important exams or assignments.

If you’re employed, you’ll need to consider your work schedule when choosing your moving date.

Make sure that you can take time off work if needed and that your move doesn’t conflict with any important work deadlines.

If you are moving to a different city and commuting is not an option, you may also need to plan for your resignation.

Develop a Timeline

Once you’ve decided on a moving date, you should start packing and decluttering your belongings at least 1 month before the move.

This will give you enough time to sort through your possessions, decide what to keep or donate, and start packing up non-essential items.

In the weeks leading up to your move, you should focus on finalizing your housing arrangements, and if needed, hiring a moving company or rental truck, or family and friends that will be assisting.

If it’s just a few items, you may be good on your own.

Make sure that all your important documents, such as your ID, birth certificate, and social security card, are in a safe and easily accessible place.

3. Determine Your Budget and Start Saving

Moving can be expensive, and it’s important to have a clear understanding of your financial situation before you take the leap.

Create a Budget

Start by creating a budget that includes all your expected living expenses, such as rent, utilities, groceries, transportation, and any other monthly bills.

Consider using a budgeting app or spreadsheet to help you track your expenses and stay on top of your finances. I’ve been using a budgeting app called YNAB and it has helped me be in control of my money.

Once you’ve created your budget, take a hard look at your income and expenses to see where you can cut back and save money.

This might mean finding ways to reduce your food expenses, cutting back on entertainment and shopping, or taking on a side job to earn extra income.

Start Saving

It’s also important to start saving money for your move as early as possible, ideally six months before your intended move-out date.

This will give you a financial cushion to cover unexpected expenses, such as a security deposit or moving fees.

Consider setting up a separate savings account specifically for your move and contribute to it regularly.

Starting an emergency fund is also a wise move during this period. It serves as a safety net to cover unexpected expenses such as medical emergencies.

Remember that moving out at 18 comes with a lot of new expenses and responsibilities, so it’s important to be realistic about your budget and avoid overspending.

4. Build Up Your Credit Score

Start building up a good credit score now to prepare for the future. A good credit score can help you secure loans for big-ticket items like a car with lower interest rates.

It can also impact your ability to rent an apartment or get approved for a credit card with a lower interest rate.

As an 18-year-old without any previous credit history, there are a few ways to start building your credit score. You can:

  • Apply for a secured credit card, which requires a deposit to be made upfront, and then you can use it like a regular credit card. The deposit serves as a form of security in case of missed payments or overdrafts.
  • Become an authorized user on a parent or guardian’s credit card, which can help you establish a credit history without making purchases. Discuss with your parents becoming an authorized user on their credit card to establish your credit history but ensure that they practice good credit habits to avoid transferring a negative score.
  • Apply for a student credit card while still in high school. This has two major benefits: low-interest rates and almost zero APR, as well as no annual fees that you would have to pay just to have the card.

Make sure that you pay your bills on time and in full, as this is one of the most important factors in building a good credit score.

Additionally, you should aim to keep your credit utilization rate low, which means not using too much of your available credit.

With responsible credit use, you can start building a solid credit and set yourself up for financial success in the future.

5. Secure a Steady Source of Income

Having a steady source of income is crucial when it comes to moving out on your own at 18.

It will help you cover your monthly living expenses, enable you to save for the future and be prepared for any unexpected expenses that may come up.

Before you move out, start looking for a job that can provide you with a steady source of income. Consider your skills, interests, and experience, and search for opportunities that align with them.

You can start by checking job boards online, such as Indeed or LinkedIn, and applying for positions that suit your needs.

If you are still in school, consider part-time work to help you earn some money and gain valuable work experience at the same time. Look for jobs that offer flexible hours, such as retail or hospitality, which can accommodate your school schedule.

Another option is to start your own business or offer your services as a freelancer. You can sign up with companies like Upwork or Fiverr, create a profile and start bidding on projects or let potential clients discover you.

This can be a great way to earn money doing something you love, while also having more control over your schedule and workload.

Remember to be realistic about your income expectations and consider the cost of living in the area you plan to move to.

Make a budget and ensure that your income is sufficient to cover your monthly expenses and allow you to save for emergencies and future goals.


Finding a Place to Live

Once you’ve created a moving plan and established a budget, the next step is to find a place to live.

This can be a daunting task, especially if you’re moving out on your own for the first time. But with some research and careful planning, you can find a comfortable and affordable place that suits your needs.

In this section, we will guide you through the process of finding the perfect housing option and help you make important decisions like whether to rent alone or with roommates, and how to get bills in your name.

6. Research Housing Options

As an 18-year-old moving out for the first time, you have several housing options available to you. Renting an apartment or a house is the most common choice, but there are other options to consider.

If you’re on a tight budget, a shared room or a shared apartment with roommates can be a good option. We will talk more about this in the next section.

You can also look into renting a room in someone else’s home or finding a place to stay through house-sitting or pet-sitting services. This may be a temporary solution as finding your own place should be your goal.

If you’re attending college or university, on-campus housing or off-campus student housing may be available. Some schools also offer housing options specifically for students who are independent or have children.

Researching your options will help you find the best fit for your needs and budget. Consider location, amenities, and proximity to work or school when making your decision.

Keep in mind that you may need to compromise on some factors depending on your budget and other needs.

7. Decide Whether to Rent Alone or with Roommates

Deciding whether to rent alone or with roommates is an important consideration when finding a place to live.

Renting alone gives you more privacy and control over your living space but can be more expensive.

On the other hand, renting with roommates can be more affordable, but it requires some compromise and the ability to get along with others.

Before deciding, think about your lifestyle and priorities. If you prefer a quiet and private living space and can afford the cost, then renting alone might be the best option for you.

However, if you’re looking to save money on rent and enjoy the social benefits of living with others, then finding roommates may be the way to go.

If you do decide to rent with roommates, consider moving in with someone you already know well, preferably a friend you’ve known for a few years.

This reduces the risks associated with living with a stranger, as you likely share similar values and lifestyles, making cohabitation much smoother.

Have an honest discussion about expectations and responsibilities. Set clear boundaries and establish a system for splitting bills and chores to avoid any conflicts down the line.

8. Find Lodging in Your Budget

When looking for a place to live, you need to consider more than just the rent. Other expenses like utilities, transportation, groceries, and entertainment should also factor into your budget.

To find lodging that fits your budget, start by setting a budget and determining how much you can afford to spend on rent and other expenses.

If you have a lower budget, start by researching low-income housing options in your area. These communities typically have monthly income limits that you must meet to be eligible.

In case low-income housing options are not available in your city, consider browsing sites like Craigslist to find affordable room rentals.

If you’re attending college, apply for grants or scholarships that can help cover your living expenses without the need to pay them back.

Once you’ve narrowed down your options, do your due diligence by checking rental prices and security deposits for different housing types. Look for reviews from previous tenants to get a better idea of what it’s like to live in each location.

Before signing any rental contracts, read them carefully to ensure you’re aware of all potential expenses and fees.

Some costs, such as parking fees and yard care expenses, may not be immediately apparent during your initial research.

9. Get Bills in Your Name

Once you’ve found a place to live, it’s time to get your bills in your name. This means setting up utilities such as gas, electricity, water, and internet if necessary.

Make sure to check with your landlord or property manager to find out which utilities you are responsible for, and which are included in the rent.

Contact each utility provider and inquire about setting up an account in your name. They may require a deposit or a credit check, so be prepared for that.

Consider starting with a search for economical and reliable packages for cell phone, internet, and insurance, as you may have been part of a family plan previously.

Look for new member discounts to take advantage of cost savings, and make sure to ask for them when signing up.

It’s important to pay your bills on time to avoid late fees or disconnection of services. Consider setting up automatic payments or reminders to stay on top of your bills.

If you have roommates, be sure to establish a system for splitting utility costs and ensure that everyone is aware of payment due dates. This can help prevent conflicts down the line and ensure that bills are paid on time.


Preparing for Your New Home

Now comes the fun part, preparing for your new home!

In this section, we’ll cover the following key points to help you get settled in your new place: creating a monthly budget, furnishing your home on a budget (including finding free stuff), stocking up on essentials, learning to grocery shop and cook, and setting up transportation.

10. Create a Monthly Budget

Do you need to create a new budget? Not exactly.

You’ll use the same budget you created earlier, but now you’ll input actual numbers that reflect your expenses.

Start by listing all your monthly income sources, such as your job or any financial assistance you receive.

Then, list all your monthly expenses, including rent, utilities, groceries, transportation, and any other bills you may have.

Be realistic with your budget and make sure that your expenses don’t exceed your income. It’s okay to cut back on certain expenses to stay within your budget, but make sure that you still have enough to cover your basic needs.

There are many online budgeting tools and apps available that can help you keep track of your budget and expenses. Choose one that works best for you and make sure to update it regularly.

We use YNAB (You Need a Budget) to help manage our finances by tracking our income and expenses, and allocating money toward specific budget categories.

It offers features such as bank syncing, goal tracking, debt paydown planning, and financial education resources.

Remember, creating a budget is not a one-time task. Review your budget regularly and adjust as needed to ensure that you are on track to meet your financial goals.

11. Furnish Your Home on a Budget

Furnishing your new home can be exciting but also expensive. Fortunately, there are ways to furnish your home on a budget and even for free.

Keep in mind that not everything needs to be purchased right away. Focus on buying the essentials first, and then gradually build up your home with the items you need over time.

Checklist of Essential Items to Buy Before Moving

Here’s a checklist of essential items to consider purchasing before you move:

  • Bedding – Make sure you have a mattress, pillows, bedsheets, and a duvet so you can get a good night’s sleep on your first night in your new home.
  • Curtains – Curtains are essential for privacy and to help keep your home warm. Make sure you have curtains for all the windows in your new place.
  • Kitchen basics – Make sure you have plates, bowls, cups, and other essential kitchen appliances. Consider picking up some basic food items like snacks, coffee, or tea, and don’t forget to do a grocery run for your dinner cooking.
  • Electronics – Don’t forget to bring along all the chargers you’ll need for your devices, and make sure you have batteries and an extension lead.
  • Toolkit – Having a toolkit on hand can be helpful for any repairs you may need to make in your new home. Consider picking up a hammer, screwdrivers, nails, and other basic tools.
  • Cleaning supplies – Unpacking can be messy, so make sure you have basic cleaning supplies on hand such as a vacuum cleaner, cloths, bin liners, toilet cleaner, and toilet paper.
  • First aid kit – Accidents can happen, so it’s important to have a basic first aid kit on hand. Make sure you have painkillers, a box of plasters, antiseptic cream, and any other essential items.

Buying in bulk can help you save money in the long run, but it is essential to have enough storage space to avoid clutter.

Look for deals and discounts at wholesale stores or online retailers. Don’t forget to check out dollar stores for essentials like paper towels, toilet paper, and other cleaning supplies.

Tips for Finding Affordable Furniture and Decor

When it comes to furniture, consider purchasing items that serve multiple purposes, like a bed with storage drawers or a futon that can serve as both a bed and a couch.

Also, consider buying second-hand furniture or shopping at discount stores to save money.

You can find free furniture by checking online marketplaces such as Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or Nextdoor.

People often give away furniture they no longer need or want for free. You can also find free furniture by checking out local yard sales, estate sales, and even curb side trash piles.

Another option is to look for furniture swaps or buy nothing Facebook groups in your area. These groups allow you to swap items you no longer need for items you do need, including furniture.

Additionally, consider borrowing furniture from family or friends until you can afford to buy your own. This can also help you save money on storage costs and moving expenses.

Furnishing your home on a budget may take some creativity and effort, but it is possible to create a comfortable and inviting living space without breaking the bank.

Check out this post for more ideas on how to get free stuff online.

12. Learn to Grocery Shop and Cook

Learning to grocery shop and cook is an essential skill for anyone moving out on their own for the first time.

Not only is it healthier and more cost-effective than eating out or ordering in, but it can also be a fun and rewarding experience.

Start by creating a meal plan for the week ahead. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you have all the necessary ingredients on hand. Look for recipes online or in cookbooks that are simple and easy to follow.

When grocery shopping, stick to your list and avoid impulse purchases. Shop the sales and compare prices at different stores to get the best deals. Buying in bulk can also save you money in the long run.

Use apps like Ibotta to find the best deals or coupons before you shop.

Investing in basic kitchen tools like a good knife, cutting board, and pots and pans can make cooking easier and more enjoyable. Consider purchasing secondhand kitchen items to save money.

Use Meal Kit Delivery Service

Now we also understand that cooking for yourself can be a challenge when you’re just starting out in adult life.

If you want to cook your own meals but may not have the time to shop for ingredients or plan out meals in advance consider adding a meal kit delivery service such as Blue Apron or Home Chef if your budget allows it.

With Home Chef, you can enjoy 60% off each of your first 3 boxes, plus a free surprise gift in your 1st box while stock last.

Meal kit delivery service is a subscription-based service that delivers pre-measured ingredients and recipes to your doorstep.


13. Set Up Transportation

As an 18-year-old who has just moved to a new place, transportation is crucial to ensure you can get around town easily and affordably.

Owning a car can be convenient, but it also comes with expenses like monthly payments, insurance, and maintenance.

Depending on where you live, there may be various reliable and affordable means of transport options available, such as public transportation, bike-sharing services, or car-sharing services.

Public transportation such as buses, trains, and subways can be a great way to get around town without having to worry about the expense of owning a car. Look up the public transit options in your area and check their schedules and fares.

Bike-sharing services like Lime or Bird can be a cheap and convenient way to get around, especially if you live in a bike-friendly city. Some bike-sharing services even offer electric bikes, making it even easier to get around town quickly.

Car-sharing services such as Zipcar or Turo can be a great option if you only need a car for occasional use. These services allow you to rent a car by the hour or day, giving you the flexibility to only pay for the time you need.

Whichever option you choose, be sure to factor in the cost of transportation into your budget so that you can plan accordingly.


Settling In

Settling into a new place can be exciting and overwhelming, especially for an 18-year-old who is moving out for the first time.

While the initial move and getting settled in can take up a lot of time and energy, it’s important to take a step back and think about how to continue building a solid foundation for independence.

This includes building a support system, continuing to build credit, and prioritizing self-care.

14. Build a Support System

It’s important to remember that you don’t have to go through it alone.

Connecting with friends and family for emotional support and help if needed can make a huge difference in your overall well-being.

Having a support system can also help you feel more connected to your community and prevent feelings of isolation or loneliness. Maintain relationships with those who are important to you and continue to foster those relationships, even if you’re living on your own.

In addition to friends and family, consider joining local community groups or clubs to meet new people who share similar interests. These groups can also provide additional resources and support when needed.

Remember, building a support system takes time and effort, but it’s worth it in the long run. Having people to turn to for help and support can make all the difference in your success and happiness as you navigate this new chapter in your life.

15. Continue to Build Up Your Credit Score

It’s important to continue to build good credit as you settle into your new place. Here are some ways to do this:

  • Pay bills on time: This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to build good credit. Make sure you pay all your bills, including rent and utilities, on time.
  • Use credit wisely: Try not to use more than 30% of your available credit, as maxing out your credit cards can hurt your credit score.
  • Check your credit report regularly: Make sure there are no errors or fraudulent activities on your credit report. You can get a free copy of your credit score with Credit Karma or from each of the three major credit bureaus.

16. Prioritize Self-Care

Moving out and living independently can be stressful, so it is important to prioritize self-care during this transition period.

Here are some tips for taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental health

  • Establish a daily self-care routine that includes activities such as exercise, meditation, or journaling. This will help you manage stress and improve your overall well-being.
  • Getting enough sleep is crucial for your physical and mental health. Make sure you are getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Eating a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein is important for your overall health and well-being.
  • Take breaks throughout the day to recharge and avoid burnout. This could include taking a walk, listening to music, or practicing mindfulness.
  • If you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed, seek help from a mental health professional or support group. Remember that it is okay to ask for help when you need it.

By prioritizing self-care, you will be better equipped to handle the challenges that come with living independently.


What Not to Do When Moving Out

In this section, we will discuss some common mistakes to avoid when moving out on your own.

17. Don’t Skip the Planning Phase

Before moving out of your parents’ house, make sure to plan ahead. This means setting a budget, figuring out what you can and can’t afford, and creating a checklist of things to do before the move.

Skipping the planning phase can lead to a stressful and unorganized move, which can cause unnecessary setbacks and expenses.

18. Avoid Keeping the Move a Secret

While it might be tempting to keep your move a secret from your parents or family, it is not recommended. Keeping your move a secret can cause distrust and strain your relationships.

Moving out at 18 without a credit history can make it challenging to find a place to live. In such situations, you may need your parents to co-sign on a lease for you. It is important to remember that your family and friends can be there to support you in this journey.

If you are leaving your home for safety reasons or want to move out before turning 18, seek help from a shelter or a domestic violence hotline. They can provide you with the necessary support and resources to ensure your well-being.

19. Avoid Moving in with Strangers

Moving in with strangers may seem like an exciting and affordable option, but it is important to exercise caution when considering this option.

Living with someone you don’t know can pose safety and compatibility issues, even worse.

If you do choose to live with strangers, make sure to take the time to get to know them and establish boundaries.

20. Ask Before Taking Things from Home

While moving out, you may be tempted to take things from your family home without asking for permission.

However, taking things without permission can cause tension and distrust between you and your family. It is crucial to respect their belongings and property by asking for permission before taking any items.

21. Don’t Overuse Your Credit Card

As you settle into your new place, it can be tempting to use your credit card to cover expenses. Overusing your credit card can lead to high interest rates, debt, and financial instability.

To avoid this, create a budget and stick to it, as well as prioritize your spending to avoid unnecessary expenses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are several common questions related to how to move out at 18.

How Do I Know If I’m Financially Ready to Move Out?

To know if you are financially ready to move out, create a budget and calculate all of your expenses, including rent, utilities, food, transportation, and any other necessary expenses.

Compare this amount to your income and savings. If you can comfortably afford all of your expenses and have enough savings to cover unexpected costs, you may be financially ready to move out.

How Do I Find Reliable Roommates?

To find reliable roommates, ask friends and family if they know anyone who is looking for a roommate.

How Can I Make My New Place Feel Like Home?

To make your new place feel like home, personalize the space with items that are meaningful to you, such as photos, artwork, or plants. Consider painting the walls or adding decorative accents to make the space feel more inviting and comfortable.

How to Move Out Your Parent’s House at 18

To move out of your parent’s house at 18, create a budget and savings plan, find a roommate, and search for an affordable living space. Communicate openly with your parents about your decision and discuss expectations and responsibilities.

What Age Do Most People Move Out?

The average age at which people move out of their parents’ house is around 27 years old. However, there are various factors that can affect this age, such as financial stability, cultural norms, and personal preferences.

Some people may choose to move out earlier, at the age of 18 or 19, while others may stay at home until their late 20s or early 30s.


Final Thoughts on How to Move Out at 18

Moving out at 18 can be an exciting but challenging time. It is a significant step towards independence and adulthood, but it also comes with responsibilities and challenges.

It is essential to plan ahead, create a budget, and prioritize your needs when furnishing your new home.

Building a support system, continuing to build credit, and prioritizing self-care are also crucial factors in settling into your new place.

Remember to avoid common mistakes like keeping the move a secret, moving in with strangers, and taking things from home without permission.

By following these tips and being responsible, moving out at 18 can be a positive and empowering experience.

Related: How Much Money to Give for High School Graduation: Top Tips

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