Alright, so let’s talk about growth. Recently I graduated from college with a B.A. in International Relations and French, which meant I needed to become a real adult. For many, those words are terrifying. And trust me, it was the same for me. I spent the summer in a constant state of panic and stress (and my body, skin, and mind hated me for it). One major source of my stress was the whole “moving out” debacle.
I was fortunate enough to be financially stable enough on my own (with let’s be real, a little help from my parents as well– bless up), to live in an apartment over the summer. This is a decision I made on purpose, knowing that if I moved home after graduation, it would be very difficult for me to a) find a full-time job, and b) get myself motivated to make the transition into independent adulthood. However, I would not say I was prepared to live on my own, and even less prepared to find an apartment, sign a lease, and move into my own apartment for an entire year. I am lucky in that I have an extremely logical and level-headed other half who has more experience with this type of thing, but nonetheless, there are things I wish I had known prior to moving into an apartment.
1. Moving is EXPENSIVE.
This may be obvious, but I definitely was not prepared for how expensive moving would be. There are a lot of fees you need to take into account when you plan on moving into a new place. Aside from evaluating how much your rent will be (which by the way, should only be about 30% of your monthly income), it’s important to take into account the other expenses you will accrue from a move, and from your day-to-day life. One rule that I find to be invaluable: always highball when it comes to your expense estimation. So for example, if you think that food will cost you $100, assume in your budget that it will be at least $120. Moving comes with a lot of expenses, so it’s really important to make sure you’re prepared to pay for it. You will need a security deposit, which is usually the equivalent to a month’s rent. Therefore, you should have at least two months rent saved up before you make a move.
Another thing to consider is how you’ll move. For Sam and I, we had furniture that needed to be transported, and with both of us having small cars… The only option was to rent a moving truck. It was expensive, but we saved $$$ by moving ourselves into the apartment (traumatic and exhausting, tbh) rather than hiring someone to do so, or bribing friends with pizza and beer.
And finally, it’s important to think about your monthly expenses. Like I mentioned earlier, your rent should only be about 30% of your monthly income. That being said, there will be other expenses that you should inquire about. Does you rent include gas/electric, water, trash, and other amenities? What is the parking situation like? These are all questions you’ll want the answers to. You’ll also want to think about your wi-fi and cable. What providers are available, and what plans are in your budget? Study up on these things before you move in. Which brings me to my next point:
2. You will probably not have wi-fi and cable for a few days.
Unless you already have these services and are moving (in which case I’m not sure why you’re reading this post since you already have the moving thing figured out!), your cable and internet boxes may take a couple of days to arrive, and you will most likely experience bumps along the way. I know for Sam and I, setting up our wi-fi and cable was an absolute nightmare, and we continued to experience issues with our provider for the entire first month that we have lived here.
3. You will actually have to cook.
This is one that I actually was prepared (and excited!) for, but I know a lot of people struggle with this transition. Sure, you could order takeout every night, or live off of microwave meals (been there), but your wallet and your stomach will thank you if you just go to the grocery store and get yourself to cook! The grocery store can be daunting, and it can be easy to just grab your favorite snacks and frozen items, which is a slippery slope. Something I would recommend is looking up some easy recipes (Buzzfeed Tasty is my favorite source at the moment) and then making a grocery list in Notes on your phone to take with you to the store so you have an actual plan. You’ll save money, and learn to cook (which will show your parents that you were, in fact, ready to move out).
4. You will forget to buy something.
When we moved, my mother was ultra-prepared, and packed everything in neat boxes, and asked me a zilli times if I needed anything else. For that, I am sooooo grateful. However, there will always be something that you forget. This is something that I have discovered from years of moving in and out of dorms, and through a brief stint living in Belgium. Basically, as you unlock your new apartment with one hand, you should probably be Googling the nearest Ikea with the other. For us, we moved in and had no tables of any kind for about a week. This makes eating difficult.
Also as a side note, make sure you move in with things like toilet paper and glasses to drink from. I feel like that should be obvious, but just in case.
5. You’re probably going to have to call your parents at least once.
This one is bittersweet for me, because as an Aquarius, it is in my nature to be fiercely independent. However, when Sam left for the weekend and I turned on our washer/dryer for the first time, I needed my mother. I’m not lying when I say it sounded like a helicopter was taking off in my apartment. The issue has since been resolved, but there will be that moment where you need to call your parents to figure out what the hell you’re supposed to do about your loud washer, or that minuscule chore that you’re just now realizing you never had to do before.
And when you call your parents and they talk you through it, make sure you thank them for their help, and try not to be too proud!
I know other people may have different experiences with moving, but these are mine! Let me know if you have any others that you noticed when you moved out!