Moving out of home
The right time to move out of home is different for everyone.
Some people leave as soon as they're able, others might wait until
they've saved enough money to buy their own place.
Here we explain some things you'll consider when you're thinking
about moving out.
The costs of moving out of
Before you move out, create a budget to help you work out your
moving costs and your new living expenses. You need to be realistic
when you do a budget so you can plan for any unexpected and ongoing
Try to save 10% of your pay into an emergency savings fund, to
cover unexpected bills. You'll be glad you've got those spare
dollars if the worst should happen.
Know where you stand financially.
Renting a house or flat can be expensive. Make sure you have
enough money to support yourself because you'll have lots of
ongoing costs once you leave home, like rent; contents insurance; utility
bills like gas, water and electricity; food; entertainment and
And don't forget if you have a credit card or a personal loan,
you'll need to keep up those regular payments on top of your other
Before you leave home, think about the one-off costs of moving,
like removalist fees or the costs of hiring a moving truck, rental bond, connection fees for
internet, gas and electricity, parking permits, furniture and
In most cases if you're renting, you'll be asked to pay 2 weeks
rent in advance and a bond (usually 4 weeks rent) as a security
deposit. See our page on rental bonds and
signing up for a place for more information.
Sharing with flatmates
House sharing is one of the easiest ways to save money when you
move out of home. For example, splitting rent and household
expenses for a four-bedroom house with three other flatmates could
end up cheaper than renting a one-bedroom unit by yourself.
In shared households, make sure everyone's name is on all the
bills. If the bill is addressed only to you, even if you share the
costs, you are legally responsible.
Set ground rules with your flatmates at the start, even before
you move in together. Make sure you all agree on how you're going
- pay for bills
- share the cost of rent and utilities
- share responsibility for household chores
- withdraw from the rental lease when someone moves out
- pay for food (for example, are you going to pay a shared cost
as a group, or will everyone shop individually?).
Formal living arrangements
Sharing a lease with your flatmates is called a formal living
There are different contracts you will need to sign when you
live in a formal arrangement. You will need to sign the rental
agreement as well as any contracts for services that are connected
to the property, like electricity, gas, water and the internet.
These contracts are legally binding, so you and your housemates
will be legally responsible for paying for these services.
Always make sure you understand a contract before you sign it.
Check the small print and know what your obligations are. Can you
afford the payments? Can you cancel the contract and what happens
if you do? Unfortunately, you cannot cancel some contracts if you
change your mind.
If you can't pay your rent or bills it may affect your credit report.
A poor credit report can affect your ability to borrow money in the
Informal living arrangements
There are times when you rent part of a house from another
tenant, but have not signed the lease. This is known as an informal
living arrangement. You will still need to pay for your rent and
for services like electricity and gas; however, there is no legal
contract as you have not signed a lease.
In a situation like this, the tenant you are renting from will
have signed a written tenancy agreement with the owner of the house
or unit. This makes them the 'head-tenant'.
If you are in this situation, get a written agreement with the
head-tenant that covers things like how much rent you will be
paying and how shared household costs will be divided and paid. A
written agreement can help set agreed rules and can be used to
resolve any disputes.
Be careful if you allow a housemate to live with you and they
are not on the lease or you do not have a written agreement with
them. If things don't work out and they move out or stop paying
rent, you could end up out of pocket without any way to get the
Here is a checklist of things you need to do before you move out
for the first time:
- Utilities - Set up electricity, phone,
internet and gas connections.
- Furniture - Find out if the place comes
furnished, or budget for new or second-hand furniture.
- Insurance - Get online quotes if you want to
insure your home contents. If you have car insurance,
this will also need to be updated as the new address may change
your insurance premium. You could also consider getting health
insurance, because you may no longer be covered by your
parents' policy when you move out.
- Budget - Complete a budget for your moving
expenses, making sure you have enough money to cover the one-off
and ongoing costs.
- Removalists - Book and pay for a removalist,
or arrange to get help from family or friends.
- Research the area - For example, where is the
closest bus stop or train station, supermarket, ATM, petrol station and doctor? Are they
within walking distance?
- Bills and loose ends - Pay off any existing
bills before moving, and change or cancel any memberships you have
(e.g. local clubs or the gym).
- Sell unwanted items - Get rid of any unwanted
items you have to raise extra money for items at the new
- Redirect your mail - Make a list of everything
that has your address on it or organisations that will need to be
notified of your new address in order to send mail to you, like
your driver's licence, your bank statements, and your Medicare
Moving out of home is an exciting time, but
check your finances to make sure you can cover all the costs that
come along with your newfound freedom.
Last updated: 29 Nov 2018