There are different circumstances for moving out, but there seem to be two major ones people go through in life. The first is moving out for college, and the second is moving away after college. Moving out to live in a college dorm is moving out on training wheels. While it has its challenges, there are many systems in place to help you out when you need it, i.e., meal plans, planned activities across campus, and pretty much everything else in college. Although by no means am I taking away from how hard that transition can be, I have to say, from my personal experience, moving out after college is way more complicated.
Cost of Moving Out
Rent is possibly the most annoying recurring bill in adulthood. At least with a mortgage, you own the property, but rent is paying someone for a roof over your head with no say on anything. It’s also so freaking expensive in major cities. For those of you who grew up where the cost of living is cheap and moved to where it is costly, I’m so sorry you had to go through that shock factor. I grew up in South Florida, so even now, my 600 square foot, one-bedroom apartment in downtown Portland seems relatively cheap in comparison. Nevertheless, rent is and will always be a big part of your monthly budget, so make sure to sit down and make one. If you need help setting up a budget, we have you covered.
Amenities play into how much your rent will be, along with the location and size of your apartment. Amenities can be a luxury, and some can be hard sticking points. My first apartment in Portland had almost no major selling points outside of having a roof over my head. The oven was the size of an Easy-Bake Oven. I’ve seen bigger mini-fridges than the one I had in that apartment. There was no air conditioning or dishwasher, and there were no in-unit laundry machines. But the rent was cheap, so that was nice. Picking one or two of these can help narrow down picking an apartment, but it may increase the cost of your overall rent. Good luck finding anything cheap in the PNW with air conditioning. (I’ve looked.)
Packing is my least favorite thing in the world, and I’ve done it once a year since I graduated. My move from Florida to Chicago wasn’t too bad since I didn’t own furniture and the drive was pretty. However, my move from Chicago to Portland can kick rocks. My job paid for the vast majority of my move, thankfully. But a U-Haul should not cost $2643. That’s right. I still remember how much it cost me. Oh, and you can expect to spend around $300 on boxes, tape, and other packing materials. Honestly, it’s a rip-off, but what can you do?
The Big Road Trip
I hate driving during road trips. I get so antsy and bored just staring at trees and rocks. My mom, who drove with me across the country to help me move, is my opposite. She gets bored and antsy sitting in the passenger seat, “doing nothing,” as she likes to put it.
If you can get someone to help with the drive, make sure they are someone you can tolerate for extended periods while locked in a car. My list is four people long. My mom was the only one available, but she drove 65% of the time, so no complaints from me.
The biggest thing to do when planning out your road trip is to plan it out. It sounds dumb written out like that, but it’s true. In the wise words of Leonard Snart, “make the plan, execute the plan, expect the plan to go off the rails, throw away the plan.” Of course, it’s always nice to have a plan to rely on when things go off the rails. At least then you have an idea of what needs to get done. For example, my plan for my road trip included the cost of gas, food, and destination goals (hotels). If you can get an idea of how much that will cost, you can start saving for it on top of everything else that moving will cost you. Here is a road trip gas calculator that can give you a rough estimate of how much you will spend.
Moving is the most stressful thing in adulthood, with divorce and getting married come in second and third place. So you are probably going to feel super stressed and overwhelmed at times while planning your move. That’s normal. You have to remind yourself how exciting it is to move to a new city or state that you will eventually get to explore. Whether you are moving for a job or getting out of your hometown, I hope it goes smoothly, and you love where you end up.