Leaving home and finally getting your own place is an exciting thing for pretty much anyone, even if you’re a Millennial living in this difficult economic climate! If you’re about to move into your own home, here are some tips to help you with your finances.
Save Your Money
First of all, it’s crucial to make sure that you save a good chunk of your money every month. It might not seem like much fun to watch your savings account grow but the truth is that it’s pretty important for you to maintain your independence. What a lot of people don’t realise about having money is that it isn’t just figures on a screen – it also means freedom. If your apartment has a pest problem, you can stay in a hotel overnight with no problem if you have savings. You can get a cab home instead of having to take the train at night and then walk home from the station. You can go away on vacation on a whim if you want to.
If you need to make repairs in your home, you can do it with far fewer worries if you have a cushion of savings in the bank – you can look online for some great tips to save money. It might be a pain when your car breaks down but at least it won’t be a financial pain as well. Do your best to transfer at least five percent of your incomings every month to a savings account that you won’t touch unless there’s some sort of emergency – the adult equivalent of breaking into your piggy bank with a hammer!
Is there anything more boring than insurance? The short answer is yes: going broke because you don’t have it. Good jobs will provide you with some form of insurance but it’s important to make sure that you make up for the rest of it yourself. Health insurance is the first thing for you to figure out but after that, have you considered home owner’s insurance? That will cover you if there’s any damage to your home like a fire or a break-in that means that you’ll have to spend money to replace your possessions.
An event like that is traumatic enough without going broke trying to make up for it afterwards. Similarly, it’s important to make sure that you’re as secure as possible in every way – add locks to your doors and windows, and add a home security system so that you feel safe and secure at night and when you’re out.
When you’ve been at work all day and you’re tired, you often just want to come home and slump onto your couch and eat junk food all evening. But chips and guacamole can’t be your dinner more than every once in a while, and although TV and ready made dinners can be convenient, do you really know what’s in there? A lot of readymade food has really high levels of sugar, which is bad for your teeth and your overall health, along with too much sodium, which can affect your blood pressure badly.
When you’re young it’s tempting to think that you don’t need to worry about your health yet – you’ll save that for when you’re older, right? But the truth is that you need to get into good eating habits as soon as possible so you don’t have to make any difficult lifestyle changes when you’re older, and so you can prevent poor health before it reaches you.
Take a cooking class to learn basic skills like how to chop your food properly, and make sure that you create as much of your food as you can from scratch. Buying fresh food might seem tricky at first but you’ll be glad you’ve done it when you’re sitting at work feeling smug about your delicious home made salad that you’re planning to eat at lunch.
Look For Cheaper Socialising Alternatives
When you move out of your parents’ house, it’s time to go crazy, right? Wrong. As boring as it might sound, it’s actually a good time to learn to moderate yourself, because that safety net is no longer there so you have to do it all yourself. Make sure you set yourself a strict budget for socialising and that you don’t go over it.
Going out for brunch and lunch is often a better idea than going out for dinner because you’ll be less likely to move onto a bar and extortionately priced cocktails afterwards, and if you want to watch a movie then why not invite your friends over and curl up in front of Netflix instead of going to a movie theatre, which can usually be incredibly overpriced? If you love reading then it’s time to start frequenting and supporting your local library instead of buying a load of books that you’re not sure whether you’ll love. If you love fashion, why not check out eBay and local thrift stores for bargains? After all, vintage will always be in.
One of the best tips ever is to make sure that you don’t use your debit and credit cards too often. It can feel so easy to spend ridiculous amounts of money using your cards as they simply don’t feel real, and it’s easy to get taken in by interest rates and overdraft limits and how long you might have to pay the money back to your credit company.
Simply, you must live within your means. There’s no stress like financial stress – people get ill over going into debt and it can seriously affect their credit rating for the future, when you might want to get a loan or a mortgage if you’re currently living in rented accommodation. Taking cash out of the bank every week will make it a whole lot easier to moderate your spending and to keep track of exactly how much money you’re spending on what. Make sure that you make lists of your incomings and outgoings and be absolutely honest with yourself. Going to Starbucks every day might not feel like all that much at the time, but the truth is that it adds up quickly so you might need to curb your caffeine addiction.
Decorate Your Home Gradually
When you move into your first place, it’s really tempting to buy out the entire home department of Urban Outfitters to make your home look exactly the way you want it to, but it’s definitely a better idea to take it slowly. Your taste may change and it might take you a little time to figure out what exactly you need and what will be best to support your lifestyle – for instance, you might realise that you don’t need those pretty shelves and what you actually need is another closet.
Prioritise what you need over what you want – for instance, you may not like your kitchen much but if your shower doesn’t work properly then you need to make sure you get that fixed first. Take it slow and steady and take your time to make decisions, and you’ll be a whole lot happier with the end result (and it’ll probably look a lot less like a department store showroom!).
If you’re renting your home then make sure you stay within the landlord’s stipulations – don’t do anything that might stain the walls like putting up blu-tack or thumb tacks, and make sure that if you paint a wall, you’re willing to paint it white again when you leave. Renting can feel like your spirit is being squashed but you just need to be even more creative with your ideas!