How Much Should I Save Before Moving Out?

Contrary to the popular “pack your bags and just leave” mentality, moving out requires some financial planning.

The golden question isn’t, “Did I remember to pack my socks?” It’s, “How much money should I save before moving out?” If you’ve been asking yourself this question, you’ll find the answers here.

Let’s break it down for you.

How Much Money Should I Save Before Moving out Of My Parent’s House?

You’d be surprised how many people overlook this, and end up like a fish out of water, gasping for financial breath.

The ideal amount to have saved up before moving out is around three to six months’ worth of living expenses.

No, that’s not a typo, we are not playing financial Twister here. You need a bit of a hearty bank balance before you commit to independence. 

Let us break it down for you: 

  • Three months’ worth of expenses is considered the bare minimum by most financial gurus. Imagine you lose your income source entirely once you move. The three-month buffer will keep your lights on and keep you fed while you figure out your next plan of attack… and by attack, we mean job hunting.
  • Six months’ worth is actually a much safer bet. This amount gives you a nice cushion and some peace of mind, should you experience any unexpected costs or income fluctuations.

What are the expenses I need to consider before moving out?

You may be ready to spread your wings and fly out of your nest, but here are some important expenses you need to think about before you do, lest you want to come crawling back to the safety of mama’s nest, tail between your legs. 


If you’re planning on living somewhere other than under a bridge, you’re going to have to shell out some cash for rent. This is typically your biggest expense, and how much you’ll pay depends on factors like the location of the property, its size, and how nice your landlord is. Just so you know, “nice” landlords are as rare as unicorns. 


Talk about turning up the heat! If you thought you could escape paying for utilities when you move out, think again. For the uninitiated, we’re talking about costs like electricity, water, gas, and the most sacred of them all – WiFi. 


Unless you plan on hitching a free dinner at your friend’s house every night, which, let’s face it, won’t be possible once they catch on to your tactics, you need to budget for groceries


If you thought your bike was going to cut it everywhere, hate to break it to you, but that’s just wishful thinking. You must account for public transport, gas money, or even occasional cab rides when you turn into Cinderella post-midnight on weekends. 

Health Insurance

You thought you could outrun every bacteria and virus on the planet, did you? Hate to break your superhero complex, but even The Man of Steel needed medical help once in a while. In real-world terms, that translates to health insurance. 

Furniture and Household Items

Unless your idea of furniture is a mattress on the floor, you’ll need to spare some cash for things like a bed, couch, and kitchen utensils. You know, the stuff that makes an empty box feel like a home.

Pro-tip: You can get your living space all decked out without emptying your wallet, you just need to know where to look.

Believe it or not, there are ways to get free appliances, free kitchen utensils, and even free furniture. Freecycle, Facebook Marketplace, and even local community boards often list items that people are giving away.

Sometimes folks are moving and need to downsize, or they’re just upgrading their stuff and want the old pieces to find a new home. Either way, it’s a win-win.

Emergency Fund

Ever been caught in a situation where an unexpected bill threw your finances into chaos? That’s what we’re aiming to avoid here. An emergency fund is more than just a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have in your financial portfolio. It’s the safety net that catches you when life throws lemons at you. 

An ideal emergency fund has enough money to cover at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses. This stash of cash should be able to handle sudden events like unexpected car repairs, medical emergencies, or a job loss. It’s like your secret superhero, there when you need to rescue your financial sanity. 

How to determine your monthly budget

Here are some tips to help you determine your monthly budget for living expenses. 

Know Your Income

The starting point for any budget is knowing what’s coming in. Include everything – your job pay, side gigs, that money grandma slips you every now and then. Yes, even that. 

Expense Categories

Split your expenses into categories. Some usual suspects would include rent or mortgage, utilities, groceries, transport, health insurance, entertainment and don’t forget a slot for saving. 

Adjust According to Goals 

Want to save more? Allocate more to the ‘savings’ category. Dream of a romantic dinner in Paris? Stuff more into the ‘entertainment’ category for a while. Your budget should reflect your dreams, not suffocate them. 

Follow the 50/30/20 rule 

This is a cool trick that people in the know use. Allocate 50% of your income to essentials (rent, food, utilities), 30% to personal needs (entertainment, hobbies, which may include your Netflix subscription), and 20% to saving or paying off debt. Feel free to tweak it to match your situation. 

That wasn’t so bad, right? Now, repeat this budgeting magic every month, and you’re on your way to becoming a pro at adulting.

Costs associated with renting a place

Renting a place isn’t as simple as plucking a bill from your wallet and tossing it at your landlord every month. There’s a bit more to it: 

The Rent 

Rent is not one-size-fits-all. It can be broadly different depending on the type, size, and location of the place. And guess what? Sometimes, it even includes utility bills, so always get clear about this first.

More: Guide to Finding Short-Term Rentals for Travel & Temporary Housing

Security Deposit 

Landlords love security, so they will ask you for a security deposit. This is like a safety cushion for landlords against any damages, or if you suddenly decide to pack up and leave without paying the rent. 

Moving Costs 

You can’t teleport, can you? Unless you can fit your life into a backpack, you’ll likely need professional movers, or at the very least, a rental truck. These little ninjas can sneak up on your budget.

Check out: How Much to Tip Furniture Delivery Guys

Application Fees and Credit Checks

Here’s the fun part, application fees. This small fee is there just for the privilege of applying for the apartment. Also, many landlords want to be sure they’re giving their precious apartment to someone who can and will pay the rent. So, they might perform a credit check and yes, you’ll be paying for that too. 

Utility Costs

If your rent doesn’t include utilities, you’ll have to pay for them separately. I’m talking about water, electricity, gas, internet, and sometimes, even garbage collection. Always confirm what’s included and what isn’t. 

Renter’s Insurance 

Now, you might think, “Hmm, my landlord has insurance, so I should be good.” Well, sure. Their insurance covers damage to the building, not your personal belongings. That’s where the renter’s insurance steps in. It covers your personal property like electronics, clothing, and other valuables in your house.. 

Living in a lightning-prone area? Fear no more; the renter’s insurance will replace that  TV. Or if a pipe bursts and your laptop goes for an unexpected swim, renter’s insurance has got your back. 

The cost depends on how much you own, where you live, and how much coverage you want. But more often than not, it’s pretty affordable. 

Unexpected costs to prepare for when moving out

You need to prepare for these unexpected costs that often slip under the radar: 

Appliance Repairs 

Regular appliance repairs or replacements can be a real ding to your wallet. And most times, they’re as unpredictable as a weather forecast! 

Pet Expenses 

Got a hamster, cat, or dog you’re moving with? You’d be surprised how much the little furry buddies can add to your expenses. Think vet fees, pet food, litter, toys, and even insurance. 

Car Repairs and Maintenance 

If you’re lucky to have your own set of wheels, then bear in mind that vehicles can be like that needy friend who always wants attention. Tire replacements, oil changes, brake checks, and the rest of it – yep, they all count towards your expenses. 

Unexpected Travel 

Then there’s the inevitable but often neglected travel expenses. Your best bud might decide to get married in Vegas, or a family emergency calls for immediate travel. These are real-world scenarios that cost real-world dollars. 

Sudden Job Loss 

Job security isn’t always a guarantee. It might seem pessimistic to plan for a rainy day, but a safety net in the event of unexpected unemployment can provide you immense emotional and financial relief. 

How to cut down on expenses when living on your own

Let’s be crystal clear, no one is suggesting you stop living simply to save bucks. But a little frugality never hurt anyone, right? Plus, it’s your hard-earned money. Here are a few practical pointers to help you cut down the costs: 

Prioritize Needs Over Wants 

Remember when your Mom used to tell you, there’s a big difference between needing a new pair of shoes and wanting the swanky ones endorsed by your favorite celeb? She was right. Stick to buying essential stuff – like groceries, not the limited-edition popcorn-flavored lip balm. 

Cook At Home 

Buying a pizza from the joint down the street is convenient, but cooking at home is undeniably cheaper and usually healthier. Not to mention, the cool cooking skills you’ll master!

Read also: 20 Dirt-Cheap Meals Under $5

Smart Shopping 

Love brand-name clothes? Buy ’em during the off-season sales. Do you have a taste for fancy organic foods? Check out local farmers’ markets instead of high-end grocery stores. Cut back on nonessential costs wherever you can. 

Fringe Benefits 

Does your job have perks you’re not using? Like free gym access, phone service, or carpooling? If not, it’s worth seeing if any local businesses do. Those little add-ons can save you big money sweat-free. 

Ditch Your Car 

If it’s practical, consider public transport, carpooling or even cycling. Cars can be a money guzzler with fuel, insurance, repairs, and all those sneaky costs. Plus, the environment will love you for it. 


Living with a roommate can drastically cut your living expenses in half. Just make sure you lay down some solid ground rules on cleaning, noise, and guests to avoid any unnecessary drama.

Final Thoughts

Going out on your own is a rite of passage, an adventure of sorts. While this guide has been all about money, the real wealth you will gain from moving out is the life skills, the independence, the confidence, and one heck of an exciting journey. Just make sure you’ve got the issue of money sorted out before you step out of that door.