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Moving out for the first time... eek!

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hey all,

I havent used this place for years, but I often pop back to pick the brains of the clearly well educated and knowledgable people that use the board... so here goes.

I want to move out. I earn £1200 a month after tax and I pay £200 for travel. Im hoping to move in with a friend, so we can half everything. We're looking at renting for around £900 a month.

Can anyone give me any helpful advice on bills, estimates of what you pay, hidden taxes and god knows what else moving out involves?

To be honest, Im clueless, but I want to dive in head first and just see what happens, for a 6 month lease so at least if I royally f*ck up, I can run back home to my Mama with my tail between my legs.

Would you recommend moving out yet? Should I look for a new job first and try and find some poor unsuspecting twat to pay me more money for my "seamless administrative skills"?!

I dont want to move out and be skint. But I know this is the reality of it all. Im bad at saving, budgeting and all the rest, but Im hoping some responsibility will FORCE me to reign it in and realise that theres more to live than a spend up in HMV and Urban Outfitters every month.

Its all a bit vague, but Im just reaching out for anyone in a similar position whos been there, done that.



  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My housemate and I share a rent of £900. With all bills included we end up spending about £600 a month each. You should be just about alright with £400 leftover after travel costs - as long as you don't have penchant for cocaine or wine much above Lambrini standards.

    It will force you to budget. Or it won't and you'll end up with Mr Barclaycard three knuckles deep while you're avoiding calls from Wonga.com. Like someone I know. :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not sure how helpful this will be, as slightly different circumstances but I moved out last year and currently rent a room in a shared house. I pay £X per month, inclusive of all bills. So I know exactly how much will disappear out of my wages. Not sure if you can find a house with bills included? It makes that first step a little bit easier! Once you have practised that you could find a place whose rent doesn't include bills?

    Just a though :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I havent actually moved out on my own, but spent 3 years at uni living in halls and then a student house so i like to think i sort of know what im talking about.

    Does this friend of yours already live where you're hoping to move to? If so you already have a vague idea of how much bills will cost (add on a bit more for you).
    Then you just need to sit down and calculate how much of your money will go on rent and any other amounts that are fixed (i.e. car insurance will be the same each month), leaving you with money leftover for amounts that will be varied (food, bills going out, as you wont be spending the same each month on these things)
    For the first couple i'd say play it safe and be a bit savvy with money, making sure you turn lights off when you dont need them etc, til you get a better idea of how much things cost.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You'll get loads of advice about money and costs, but I would always factor in a "contingency" into your budget because you will find that handy most months - whether Xmas/Birthdays. Don't budget to spend it all.

    The other advice I would give anyone moving into their own home is:

    Milk goes off.
    Milk smells really bad when it goes off.
    Your Mum won't be there to make sure that it doesn't go off in *your* fridge.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Lots of great advice here - defintiely good to add a bit of contingency into your budget, maybe a bit set aside for emergencies for those months when you end up spending more for whatever reason.

    I also just wanted to chip in the link to TheSite's section on renting: http://www.thesite.org/homelawandmoney/home/renting

    Lots of useful info worth reading in there. Also, the Moneybasics website has a bunch of useful tools for budgeting: http://www.moneybasics.co.uk/en/

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Cheers all! You've been really helpful.

    My friend currently lives at home too, and in the same area, but she earns more than me, so I don't think she'd be struggling as much as I might be... Im worried about resenting her because she'd be able to go out and do more things and plan holidays etc.

    Haha, cocaine not so much, but I am partial to a bottle of whiskey and a night out. Those things wont bother me much, its more budgeting to live, and saving up for summer holidays/festivals etc that would worry me... as much as I want the responsibility of living alone, I dont want to be a hermit :(

    Living at home with my mum enables me to have so much freedom to do what I want without worrying about bills to pay. Its a luxury that Im not all that willing to give up.. but I need to grow a little.. I'm 2-flipping-7 and I feel like I should be at least doing my own washing. Thats through no fault of my own, and it sounds like a ridiuclous excuse but my Mum WILL NOT let me do it.

    I'm going to ask around and try and see if I can get a rough idea of what Im going to be spending on rent/bills/food/council tax etc.

    Im thinking save up as much as I can before I move out, and use that as contingency and just pay for my rent/bills out of my wages...

    Is it hard to find a short lease, say 6 months, to rent? Im not sure if estate agents are that keen on them..
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    just as an aside lexi mentioned car insurance but car insurance can change when you move coz it is a different address.

    i live with my partner in a two bed flat. Our outgoings are:

    Rent -£395 pcm
    Council tax-£80ish pcm
    Electric - PAYG meter £50 ish (more when we had electric heating) pcm
    Gas - varies, our nov to feb bill (first ever gas bill)was £400 but then summer was £10 for three months.
    Water rates - £35pcm
    Tv licence - £11 pcm
    Internet,,telephone,tv package - £45 (min) pcm (bloody ripoff but OH needs internet for work and phone is needed coz our mobiles don't work in our flat and noone can get hold of us at home)
    Contents insurance - £15 pcm
    then on top, food, car insurance, contact lenses, car tax, mobile bills, petrol, bus fare, clothes when needed.

    You are likely to need a deposit which is usually a months rent as damage deposit and a months rent up front, some landlords ask for two. If you go with a letting agencies there is usually a fee from them too. Flats will possibly be cheaper than houses in all aspects , council tax, heating bills etc.

    Things to think about - is it furnished? What will you need to buy before you move in pushing your expenses up? will it change your travel expenses? what is accessible locally, gym, shops, pubs? What sort of area is it? What do the bedrooms look out onto (it sounds daft but we moved into our flat in the beginning of winter and didn't think about the fact that in the summer when you need windows open it looks out onto Birminghams busiest roads which means sirens several times a night, every night) is it double glazed? old build, new build -these things can make a difference to heating bills. Is it alarmed? Are you going to need contents insurance for your valuables (if you do think about what sort of excess they expect you to pay) ? If there is a fridge in the property is it large enough for you to share or will it be too small? Can it have a washing machine (some landlords don't let you)? Can you dry washing (i've viewed flats where the landlord has said under no circumstances could we dry washing indoors which was a bit :eek2:)? Can you have animals there (may not be an issue but it is for some)? Are you going to feel safe there all through the year (ie can you sleep safely with the windows open in the summer if its hot)?

    Sorry, that makes it seem more complicated than it is, it really isn't that hard but they are things to perhaps bear in mind and things that have come up for me through my experience of living away!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If she earns more than you then could you consider somewhere with one bedroom bigger or nicer than the other (for example having an ensuite) for her to have and then she pays more rent than you do?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Just as an example to compare spending, because it can differ wildly depending on where you live/heating system/energy companies and very importantly how you pay. If you can, always pay the water on a 6 monthly basis, works out much cheaper that way, and NEVER EVER have a water meter or pay with a key. Its astronomically more expensive. If you can, pay for everything by direct debit. Also never do your shopping at corner shops, and make a meal plan after you've gone to the supermarket so you always use up what you buy, and you can still make use of offers and reductions. Plus make use of the freezer!

    Rent: 350 a month (just my share of the rent for 3 bed house)
    mobile: £45 a month (an expencive contract but I took it out when I had no landline)
    Gas & Electric: £35 a month (dual fuel tarrifs are normally cheaper than separate)
    Phone & net: £20 a month (it could be cheaper, but this is an unlimited call package with international calls)
    Food: £70 a month (works out better to club in together)
    contents insurance: £15 a month (could be cheaper, but I lowered the excess)
    Clothes: £300 a year (charity shops are my best friend, but I still buy my basics like undies and such from bravissimo or M&S or the like)

    there are a million and one ways to keep costs down, but you do need to become really strict with spending money. I have £100 cash every month for everything I've not included up there (I don't pay council tax atm, and not including rent), and when thats gone, its gone. I rarely use my card unless its for bigger things I've planned into my budget or in an emergency i.e my train was late a few weeks ago, so I missed the last bus so I had to pay for a taxi because I couldn't walk 4 miles with a heavy bag on my back when i wasn't feeling well, so proper "I need this" situations not just i really want something or it would make life easier kind of thing.

    Its tough living on your own. keeping on top of chores is what I find hardest. Most tenancies will only be for 6 months to start and then have a rolling contract. Be aware of not only having to pay a months rent up front and the deposit, but also of referrence fees that agents charge (about £250). Make sure you deposit is held by a deposits scheme. Be careful of the tax band that the property is in, that can make a big difference. I'd take up wyetry's suggestion, that would put you both on level pegging.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    it is also worth asking when viewing a property about the sort of arrangements for the gas and electric eg are they payg or billing coz some landlords will only have PAYG and will not be letting you change them and some will let you change over. Ask about the tenency length as well coz Miss Riot said most will be six months, but the majority that i have dealt with are 1 year minimum then rolling contracts so im guessing it varies.
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