Is $5000 enough to move out? Sure, you may not be able to get all the bells and whistles, but it can definitely get you started with the basics.
I’ve been asked this question often; honestly, the answer depends on your lifestyle and where you are moving. It’s a big life decision and also a test of your financial maturity. No matter how much money you have, only careful budgeting and planning can make your move successful.
Factors that Influence if $5000 is Enough to Move Out
Before we start making a budget and moving plans, it’s important to understand that everyone has different circumstances. So let’s discuss a few key factors determining if $5000 is enough for you to move out.
Moving out to Indiana is not going to be the same as moving to California. Even within the same state, you’ll see a significant difference in rent, cost of food, transportation, and other expenses every few miles. So don’t expect to just rely on your current budget estimate.
You can use a cost of living index to get an idea of how much it’ll cost you in different cities.
Income & Job Prospects
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to secure an income source before you move. A lot of people, especially college students, just move out for the sake of it, relying on potential job opportunities. That doesn’t always work out; in fact, most times, it fails. And they end up either moving back or depending on family members.
So make sure you have a solid job offer before you move out.
The Size of Your Move
Are you moving out of a closet-sized apartment or taking everything from your parent’s house? The size of your move can significantly increase costs. If you’re moving out with a lot of stuff, you’ll need to factor in the cost of boxes, packing supplies. Plus, renting a truck/moving company services charges, if necessary.
But it’d also mean you’d have to spend less on furnishing your new home. It’s a matter of weighing your options and picking the least expensive option, so do your research.
Personal Financial Habits & Expenditures
If your current lifestyle includes a lot of shopping, eating out, going to the movies, etc., and you plan to keep doing it as you move out, then your $5000 is likely to go much faster. So honestly assess your expenses, and create a budget that can accommodate both the necessities and some luxury items too for the time being.
Expenses you should consider when moving out
I usually divide moving costs into two categories:
- Rent and security deposit
- Utilities (electricity, water, gas)
- Household supplies
- Transportation (car expenses, public transportation)
- Insurance (renter’s insurance, health insurance)
- Household items
- Emergency fund
- Moving expenses
- Dining out and entertainment
- Gym memberships
- Subscriptions (streaming services, Internet, and cable)
- Clothing and personal care
- Home decor and furnishings
How Much Money Should I Save Before Moving Out of My Parents’ House?
Save at least 3 months’ rent, utilities, and other expenses before you decide to move out. That’ll ensure you’re in the best situation possible if something fails, and it also helps with getting good deals when renting an apartment.
I also recommend having an emergency fund of at least $1000 to cover any unexpected expenses.
How to Calculate Your Moving Out Budget?
Here’s my 4 step process of creating a budget for moving out.
Step 1: Calculate Your Net Income
Add all your income sources: your job, investments, and side hustles; subtract taxes and other deductions. Don’t forget to include any money coming from family or friends as a loan or gift.
Analyze at least three continuous months of income to get a better idea.
Step 2: Calculate Potential Expenses
Make a list of all the expenses you can think of (the list I shared above should help). Categorize them into fixed expenses (rent, car payment) and variable expenses (groceries, entertainment).
Step 3: Estimate Your Budget
Allocate a percentage of your income after taxes to each category according to the priorities you’ve set in Step 2. A good rule of thumb is to keep essential expenses under 40% of your income and non-essential expenses under 10%.
Now remember that all expenses won’t be the same every month, so also leave a buffer of at least 10% for unexpected expenses.
Step 4: Predict Your Moving Out Cost
Once you have a good idea of your expenses, use the cost of living index to find out how much those expenses will cost in the city and area you’re moving to. You can also make a rough estimate by looking at your parents’ or friends’ monthly bills.
Now add up all the numbers, and you’ll have a good estimate of how much money you’ll need to move out. Compare it to your budget and see if you can cover the costs. If not, you’ll need to either increase your income or reduce expenses before moving.
How to Afford to Move Out on a Low Budget?
$5000 is a reasonable budget, but it may not be enough in expensive parts of the country to cover all your expenses. Here are some tips to help you afford to move out on a low budget.
Find a Roommate
Sharing rent and other expenses can help make an otherwise unaffordable city more affordable. But it’s also important to find a compatible roommate who will be responsible and respectful of you.
Set clear rules on sharing responsibilities and expenses, and ensure both of you agree with them.
Explore Alternative Housing Options
Hunting for an affordable apartment can be a real struggle in competitive markets. Consider renting out a room or studio apartment or check co-living spaces. If you have the flexibility, taking on some trade-offs could save you a lot of money in the long run.
I’m not going to suggest you live like a monk, but it may be wise to cut unnecessary expenses. Little changes like making coffee at home, taking public transportation, and thrifting furniture instead of buying it new can make a huge difference.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1- How much money should I have before moving out?
Saving at least 3 months’ rent, utilities, and other expenses before moving out, plus an emergency fund of $1000. If you’re moving far away, you may also want to save a little extra for travel and moving costs.
2- How can I estimate utility costs?
Your best bet is to check with the utility companies in your area and ask for an estimate. You can also talk to your parents or friend who live nearby to get a rough idea of utility costs.
3- What is renter’s insurance, and do I need it?
Renter’s insurance is a policy taken out by renters that cover damages to personal property caused by accidents and theft. It also provides protection from liability in case of an injury in your rental unit. Depending on where you live, renter’s insurance may be required by law, or it could just be good practice.
4- Is $7,000 enough to move out?
Yes, $7000 is a good amount to move out. You should have enough to cover your needs for the first few months in the new place and some more left for unexpected expenses. Make sure you create a budget and stick to it so you won’t run out of money too quickly.
5- Is $10,000 enough to move out?
$10,000 is pretty generous – you should be able to move out comfortably with this budget. With this budget, you can even indulge in some non-essential luxuries like home decor or entertainment.
6- How to tell if I’m ready to move out?
If you have saved enough money, are financially stable and responsible enough to manage your own finances, and know what kind of living arrangements work best for you, then you’re probably ready to move out. To be sure, you can talk to friends and family who have gone through the same experience to get their advice.
Bottom Line: Is $5k enough to move out?
The honest assessment is that it depends. Depending upon where you are moving and your current lifestyle, $5000 may or may not be enough for you to move out. But with careful planning and budgeting, it’s certainly possible to cover your basic expenses and move out on a budget.