4 things I wish I knew before moving out of home

by Bianca

Moving out of home for the first time might be a tad terrifying, so here is some information that I wish I had known before I left home that might be able to help you survive and thrive.

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1. How to budget

Before moving out of home I loved going grocery shopping with Mum. I could usually put whatever I wanted into the trolley (unless it was hella expensive) without too much thought of how much it would all cost.

When you move out, however, this all changes. Forget about buying cheese, you’ll need to take out a ‘Nimble’ loan to be able to afford anything other than home-brand cheddar. You will sit in each aisle trying to justify to yourself whether or not you need to buy bread in order to afford ice cream, or if you really need two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables—I mean, it’s just a suggestion right?

I wish I had known how to budget, how to look and compare prices and examine whether I’m getting the best value for money (for example buying 250g of something might be cheaper, but in the long run grabbing the 1kg item is more economical).

Read more 7 budgeting hacks for university students

2. Make friends

The second thing I wish I had known before moving out of home was that making friends is really not that difficult. Although meeting new people for the first time is scary, especially if you have to live with them for the duration of a lease, it’s not too hard to become friends with them.

The best advice that was given to me was to ask a stranger for something— whether it be for directions or even where they got a piece of clothing. If they choose to answer then they have already become invested in you, making an opening to forming connections—which leads to friendship—all the easier.

Once you’ve established connections, however, be sure to nurture them. Don’t just reach out to friends in times of need.

3. Heed advice

When you do move out, you’ll likely want to be completely independent— including not having to ask for help or heed advice, because you think you have already heard it all. This is not the case and although it can be frustrating listening to the same piece of advice about hanging your clothes outside on a washing line rather than putting it through the dryer for $3 because being lazy is not economical, you can learn from other peoples’ experiences and mistakes.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your parents, whether it be how to cook bacon (medium-rare bacon is not a thing, I repeat not a thing) or to spot you some money for groceries, because you went out last weekend and blew your budget on Vodka Redbulls (but try not to blow it, see point one).

4. Schedule and Plan

The fourth thing I wish I had known before moving out is how to balance university and/or work, a social life and still have time to binge Netflix. I wish I had bought a diary or planner or a calendar or anything that has dates on it because then it wouldn’t have been such a surprise when major events were due to happen, or when assignment due dates crept up.

Make sure that you allow ‘me time’. This is essential because you need to be able to unwind and de-stress from the real adult world where you have to pay bills and buy instant coffee. Being an adult is hard ya know? So remember to take it easy sometimes and cut yourself a break. Treat yourself every once in a while, just make sure though, it’s only once in a while!

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  • Bianca
  • media@flatmates.com.au
  • Bianca is a journalism student at the University of Technology Queensland. Having just completed her first year at university and moving out of the family home for the first time, she's amassed a wealth of experience that she hopes will help future university students.