I wish someone would have warned me that moving out on my own was going to be more difficult than I had imagined. It wasn’t until a late-night phone call with a friend that I realized I didn’t have the necessities like a toilet brush, waste basket for the bathroom, toaster or even silverware… And that was just the easy stuff. I really wasn’t prepared for the amount of cash I was about to fork over for deposits and other random moving expenses.
Here are the top 3 lessons I learned while moving out:
1. Good Credit
Because of my excellent credit score, I was able to avoid expensive deposits for utilities. Since I was establishing myself with these companies, I had to ask the provider if they could run a credit check instead of paying deposits. It literally pays to ask the hard questions… and wait on hold. If you’re considering a move, check your credit score first. Did you know that TTCU provides your credit score in online banking?
2. Amazon Wishlist
Several of my friends asked me what I needed for my new adventure and I wasn't really sure. One of them suggested an Amazon Wishlist, but I was hesitant at first. I soon realized that my family and friends wanted to help, but they didn't know what I needed. After compiling my list of items, I was blown away by everyone's support and generosity. Before you get a place of your own, think about all of the items you'll need. Everything from an ice cream scoop and silverware to a vacuum cleaner and toilet brush. It doesn't seem like a lot until you're staring at an empty apartment.
3. Emergency Fund
Leading up to my decision to move out, I was so focused on being debt-free, that every penny went towards my debts. So much so that I wasn’t financially prepared to move. My emergency fund was basically non-existent. Because of this, I had to use my credit card for expenses and had no flexibility in my budget in the following months. I am so glad that I picked an apartment that was below budget and didn’t break the bank.
Even though I work for a credit union, I still sometimes struggle with financial decisions. Looking back, I probably should have met with one of our certified financial counselors and developed a financial plan to attack moving out. However, here is the best part… it’s never too late to become financially fit!