I plan on moving out by fall and I was wondering how much should I save up?
You should have three months worth of expenses covered by your savings before you consider moving out. That’s three months of rent, food, transportation, and other miscellaneous costs.
I’m going to assume that you don’t have a job already lined up and waiting for your big move this fall. It’s hard if not impossible to find jobs in locations that you’re not living in yet, unless you have an in with a store of company that happens to have a location there. I am basing all my calculations on the assumption that you will be unemployed for a little while- if you get a job right away then yay you! Ignore this.
It takes an average of 43 days to find a job in America, or roughly a month and a half. Moving out and living on your own is a huge step, give yourself the advantage of three months worth of financial security. You won’t have to worry about pinching pennies to buy toilet paper or skipping meals, you’ll be able to live the life you wanna live while being unemployed. This money will give you the peace of mind and temperament that will help you find (and land) the perfect job!
Here’s a template to plug your own numbers into:
- Initial lease expenses: Remember, before you move into an apartment, you’ll need to pay a security deposit (usually one month of rent) as well as your first month’s rent ahead of time. Landlords do this to ensure that you can indeed make monthly payments, some will actually ask for two month’s rent up front as well as the security deposit.
- Let’s say that your rent is $800 a month. We’re talking $1,600 worth of lease expenses before you can even get the key to that apartment.
- Rent: Figure out your rent, and multiply it by three.
- Sticking with the $800 a month figure, you’re looking at $2,400 for three months.
- Food: Allot yourself $100 per month (per person) for food, toiletries, soap, etc. This is a lot of money! There are lots of places around the world where people make it through the month on less than half of that. But for sanity reasons, I would recommend sticking to that $100 allotment.
- That’s $300 for three months.
- Transport: In general, public transportation costs slightly more than driving a car. Decide on a public transportation or gas budget.
- I generally spend $100 on gas a month, so let’s say that you will too. $300 for three months.
- Electric/Internet: Prices will vary, but hopefully both these expenses won’t cost more than $100 per month.
- Again, that’s $300.
Figure out your grand total: $4,900 covers all of your expenses for three months.
This number may seem ridiculous to you- but believe me, worrying about money is not something that you want to be doing during your first few months living on your own. There will be so many other things to worry about, life is stressful enough as it is. Trust me on this- follow the three month rule.
PS: It’s always wise to have some “oh shit” emergency money stashed away somewhere. I know, I know… but still. I had to mention it.