I hope you’re well? We’re talking money in this post, specifically saving money when you first move out. My boyfriend and I moved into our very own flat nearly 3 weeks ago now and one of the most frequent questions I get asked is ‘How did you afford that?’ which makes sense because we’re only 18 and already live independently. Well obviously we didn’t move out for free so I thought I’d share my tips and tricks for saving money when you first move out.
- BUDGET EVERYTHING! And I mean everything, all the way down to the Costa Coffee you drink every Tuesday. The best way to organise this data is using a spreadsheet like Excel or Google Sheets so that you can see your weekly, monthly or annual spends – depending on how you want to look at it. Personally I prefer looking at it monthly so that’s how I’ve laid out mine. Why is this a useful thing to do? Well before you move you should have a good estimate of what you’ll spend every month so there’ll be less financial stress as well as being able to see where you could reduce your spends. Most importantly, knowing what you’re going to spend every month will allow you to know more about what you can afford.
- Buying Furniture Strategically, when I looked around my relatives homes it was overwhelming to think about how much furniture I would need to buy for when I first moved out. But they’ve had years to build up their collection and I’m just starting from scratch. You don’t need everything in the beginning. When we picked out our furniture we had to think about what we actually needed in the beginning, we brought 5 items from Ikea and if we had been on a stricter budget we probably could have just got 2. We prioritised a TV stand, a coffee table, Haydn’s desk, storage shelfs, office draws and bedroom side draws. This might not be the same as what you need straight away so bare in mind when picking out things do I need this now? Maybe you already have a desk in your room and even if it’s not something you want to keep you can take it, use it for a few months and then replace it when you have the money. Another top tip for strategic buying is multi-functional items, for example dinning tables can be really expensive and take up a lot of space so instead Haydn and I brought a coffee table as we could also use it as a dinning surface.
- New Or Old? Another style of prioritising is discussing whether things should be brought new or second hand. Of course there are some things you’ll want to buy new but a lot of the time you can pick things up second hand cheaply and easily. I highly recommend using Facebook Market place because 100s of items are listed plus you can easily define your search radius so you are able to go and view an item before buying it. I knew I wanted the White Malm Desk from Ikea but instead of buying it new for £95 I found one on Facebook Market place for just £60 and the condition was basically flawless.
- Minimal Living. A good way of saving money when you first move out is to be minimal. You don’t need loads of everything and you definitely don’t need everything all in one go as previously mentioned. Our Kitchen draws are still pretty empty but for now we have everything we need, when I’m cooking and come across something I need but don’t have I’ll just add it to the list of something to buy. On a larger scale we basically have no bedroom furniture. Bed frames, wardrobes and drawers are actually really expensive and not something that we needed to spend money on straight away. Instead we’ve put our mattress on the floor and brought temporary clothe rails which you can pick up from places like Amazon or Argos. The rails actually look good, the open plan living forces you to keep them tidy and I’m able to see everything I own making me wear things I might usually avoid.
- Research the costs. Before Haydn and I moved out I spent a tonne of time Googling things like average water bill prices, electricity costs, broadband subscriptions and basically anything that I didn’t know how to budget for. Of course it slightly varies for everyone and dependent on different factors but this gave me a good guide.
- Forward planning. One of the most fun things was to create shopping baskets on Tesco or Morrrison’s to see how much a weekly shop would cost and therfore show a monthly budget for food. This sort of leads into a sub point of meal planning; if you know what you’re going to eat for the next 7 or so days you can save money (and time) by buying it all in one go rather than buying random things that you can’t make a meal out of.
I hope these tips six tips are helpful, I want to upload more Tips & Tricks posts like this so if there is anything you want some guidance with you can comment below or contact me.
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