Moving away and leaving home from the security and comfort of your family home isn’t supposed to be easy; you might feel homesick, you might struggle with basic chores like doing the washing – but it’s a part of growing up. Regardless whether you move out and in with a partner/friend or you take the step all alone, you’re bound to hit a few bumps in the road that make you feel like the world is against you. And if you’re like most millennials; money is gonna be tight!

I moved out just as I turned 19 and have been living independently with a partner for seven months and still occasionally come running home to my mum to cry and tell her how much I hate ironing clothes. I’ve certainly had a few hiccups along the way; from having no money to pay my rent, my partner and I turning against eachother, to, most recently, a giant flood in the house due to faulty plumbing!  However, leaving home hasn’t all been bad – I learnt how to cook, I’ve become independent, and I’ve even learnt how to book doctors appointments all by myself!

But if there are a few things I’ve learnt since diving into the world of adulting, it’s these tips for moving out before you’re 20:

  • Be prepared – It goes without saying, make sure you can afford it, that you are able to commute to and from work easily, you are willing to take on house chores every day, and be prepared for your life to be a little more complicated than it has been. If you are prepared and know what to expect – you will do fine.
  • Don’t rush – Don’t rush into these things; only move out if you think you are truly ready and feel confident that you can take total care of yourself. I rushed into things, and I don’t regret it, but the ride would have been smoother if I had waited that little bit longer. Don’t rush into growing up, there’s no going back once you’ve taken that big step.
  • Have a budget – Work out your total earnings and what precisely you can afford each month. Take into consideration how much food you’ll need to buy and remember it’s not just the rent you’ll be worrying about (unless you’re moving into a house share or going to uni) – bills need to be paid too. A TV license and internet are luxuries that need paying for too!
  • Ask for help – You’ll feel too proud, but when things get tough, don’t be afraid to ask for help from those close to you. I’ve had to borrow money on a number of occasions and it made feel like I had failed to look after myself, but that’s not the case, moving out is expensive and your family will only want to know that you are happy and safe. So don’t be ashamed in asking for help or advice.
  • Don’t put things off – Leaving home comes with a few more tasks such as registering with a new doctor, telling your bank you’ve moved – just do all those little niggling things as soon as you are moved in. Don’t let them eat away at you; they won’t just go away! And they are more important than you think.

So before you fly the nest, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into and that you’re ready to take it on!

Here’s a handy checklist of things to remember if you are going to take the leap: http://www.thestudentpocketguide.com/2014/07/student-life/accommodation/moving-home-checklist/