With more and more young adults opting to stay at home with their parents for longer, flying the coop can seem an increasingly daunting and stressful task.
What are the six key steps your child should consider when moving out?
We’ve generated a six-step guide to help assist your children to make the transition from your family home to independent living as smooth as possible.
Step 1. Find the right spot
Try asking family and friends if they have any areas to recommend. For example, some of the best places to live for young professionals include Richmond, VIC, Paddington, NSW and New Farm, QLD.
Once they have a few suburbs in mind suggest that they continue their research online. Direct them to some suburb reviews to see what the locals have to say about living in specific areas.
Online research is all well and good, but there’s only so much you can take away from photos. We would recommend attending a few open houses to see what kinds of properties are out there in their price range and at the same time get a feel for the neighbourhood they’re interested in.
Once they find a potential place to call home make sure they check its proximity to work, university, other family, supermarkets and public transport, as no body enjoys a long arduous commute every day.
Step 2. Set a budget
As you are well aware the cost of living and running a household can be very expensive, so it is essential to plan ahead and that they work out a clear budget before moving out. A budget will help establish whether they can afford it in the long term and perhaps more importantly ensure they won’t be subsisting on two-minute noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
When budgeting consider the cost of rent, utilities (electricity, gas and water), groceries, clothing, pay tv and the internet, transport costs, parking permits (if required), furniture, appliances, extras and entertainment. Don’t forget to factor in certain ‘hidden’ expenses like the security bond (typically four weeks rent), utility connection fees and home and contents insurance.
To determine if the move will be sustainable in the long run, we recommend calculating their known monthly income and planning a monthly spend covering food, bills, rent, transport and extras.
Some examples of affordable rentals:
Step 3. House rules
If you’re child is moving in with a friend, partner or flatmates remind them that communication is the key to living in a happy and comfortable household.
Suggest that the best ways to avoid conflict in a shared environment is to set ground rules early on. Good topics to make sure are discussed and clarified with their new roomies include having guests to stay over, house parties, labelling food, shower time limits, loud music, pets, leaving dishes in the sink and smoking.
Step 4. Nail the chores
With moving out of home comes adventure, freedom and newfound independence, but with independent living comes great responsibility.
We would advise your kids to make a schedule of chores for the first few weeks out of home to avoid being overwhelmed by their new load of housework. This will help them to get into a routine of doing the laundry, grocery shopping, dishes, cleaning, cooking and putting the bins out. If they’re moving into shared accommodation it can be worthwhile to draw up a cleaning roster to make sure everyone is chipping in equally.
Also, we suggest before going grocery shopping for them to plan out meals for the coming week, so they a) buy what they need, b) don’t over spend and c) don’t blow the budget on take away meals in the coming week.
Step 5. Help out
If you fear your child may have financial or emotional trouble once they’re moved out reassure them that you are there to help and guide them, and they will always have a room in your home.
If they’re moving out for the first time it can be good idea to arrange a trial run before they go the whole nine yards, to make sure their budgeting and housework skills are up to scratch. You could set up a stint of housesitting for a family friend or put your feet up and allow them to run the family household, budget and chores for a month or so.
Remember how daunting and tricky your transition was when you first moved out of home. To take some pressure off of your child you could help out with a small loan, offer to cover the first months rent or buy an appliance as a housewarming gift. You can also offer support simply by offering advice about how to go about managing household chores and bills.
Once they’re settled in if they have any pressing questions about their new neighbourhood (i.e. the best places to eat out or if there is a 24 hour pharmacy) online forums, like Homely’s Q&A, are a great way to get valuable insights and opinions from experienced locals.
Also, remember there are a number of community organisations that can be great source of advice in times of stress and hardship for young people. Such as:
Step 6. Stay in touch
Having looked after them all their lives, you’re bound to miss your children once they move out and vice versa. So be sure to visit and keep in touch via text, phone, email or Skype. It’s also a nice idea to arrange a regular weekly meal to catch up and make sure they have a healthy home cooked meal every once in a while.
Happy house hunting!