Moving out of home costs
You'll need to consider your rent and bond, electricity, Internet, furniture and whitegoods plus the ongoing costs for groceries and household items when tallying up the cost of moving out. We can help you do this.
Whether you’re moving into a rental share house or your own place, moving out of home and getting set up can be an expensive exercise if you're not prepared. Here's a rough breakdown of the costs you can expect when moving out.
You’ll have to pay a rental property bond to your real estate agent prior to moving into the property. This can be three or four weeks rent depending on the landlord’s policy. This will obviously depend on how much the rent is, but can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars.
Depending on the rental agreement made with the real estate agent, you may be required to pay the first fortnight or month upfront when you move into the property. The holding deposit will be subtracted from the upfront amount you’re required to pay.
Before you move in your should find out whether you’re eligible for any government entitlements. If you’re a student, for instance, the government provides a living away from home allowance and a youth allowance. Centrelink payments can also help you make ends meet if you’re unable to find work while studying. For up to date information about government benefits and entitlements, check the Centrelink Department of Human Services website.
Moving your personal items may require the services of a removalist. Removalists charge by the hour. Prices can vary and you need to pay for two people to come and move your things.
If you have a friend with a van, ute or truck, ask them if they can help for a case of beer or something similar. Or, you can hire a van, truck or trailer yourself.
You should have these items from the first day you move into your new place.
- A fridge. The price will depend on the size, brand and condition, whether it’s new or second hand.
- Furniture. Your table, chairs and couch don’t have to be designer brands, they just have to do the job: give you somewhere to sit and somewhere to eat that is not your bed.
- A bed, linen and pillows. You’ll need somewhere to sleep. A word of advice: sleeping on the floor gets old very quickly.
Non-essential household items
Aim to get these items as soon as possible after you move into your new home.
- Washer and dryer. Although self-service Laundromats are not that common in Australia, they do exist. You may have to do a little searching though. Keep in mind that it will probably cost you approximately $10 to wash and dry your clothes, dry cleaning services are more expensive. If you plan on being in your home for a while, it’s a good idea to get a washer (at least). Dryers are a different story, harness the power of the sun and use a clothesline instead.
- A wardrobe. This is listed as non-essential, but in reality, you’ll need somewhere to hang and store your clothes. Some places come with built-in-wardrobes, but not all apartments and houses have this. Think about somewhere to put your clothes, you can’t keep them piled up in a corner of your room. A tidy rom is a tidy mind, right?
- Kitchen items. Although not essential, items like a toaster, kettle, pots, pans and cutlery make cooking at home possible. Cooking at home stops you from eating out. It’s nice to eat out from time to time, but it’s expensive. Most second hand stores sell these items for cheap. If you’re not picky about this sort of stuff, you can get a bargain from the Salvation Army and get your entire kitchen fitted out in one trip.
Once you’ve moved in, you’ll need to consider the following:
Do you have an Internet connection? In most cases, you’ll need to provide proof that you’re a tenant in the property you want to hook up with a connection. The ISP will ask that you fax them a copy of your rental agreement. Keep in mind that if you’re setting up a new internet connection, you’ll have to pay a connection fee. You have to pay for the first month when you set up the connection as well. Estimated cost: Around $60 a month.
Have you registered with the electricity and gas provider? This is one of the first things you should do. Give the utility company a call and let them know that the rental property has changed hands. They’ll send out a technician to do a read of your electricity, gas and water usage so they can start a fresh agreement with the leaseholder. The cost will depend on how many people are in the house, how big the house is and how much you use high-cost appliances like the heater. Estimated cost: a few hundred dollars each quarter.
Get your mail redirected to your new place. This is free.
Depending on the area you live in, insurance may be something to consider. If you’re living in a neighbourhood where break-ins are not uncommon, home and contents insurance may be a good idea.
General living expenses
Expect to pay for the following when you move out of home.
- Mobile phone. If you're not already paying for your phone bill, it's likely you'll now start to. Estimated cost $30-80 a month depending on your plan.
- Food. Remember to factor weekly in grocery costs to your budget. As a starting point, you can budget for around $100-200 a week.
- Car. Do you have a car? If so, there’s petrol and registration to think about. You will also need to assess the parking situation on your new street. The last thing anyone needs, or wants is parking fines. Fines from the council for illegally parking are an easy way to blow your budget.
Remember that the first month after you move out of home is generally the most expensive. Things will settle down in the second and third months. Once you have some of your major costs out of the way, you should have an idea of your genuine month-to-month expenses, and be able to budget accordingly.
If you don’t already have a savings account, it’s a smart idea to get a separate account to your everyday account so you can put some money away from a rainy day. By putting your money in a savings account, you’ll avoid the temptation to spend it. We’ve made it easy for you to compare savings accounts by listing them in the table below.
Compare savings accounts
If you want to vacate the property when your lease expires, moving out can be just as expensive as moving in. Although you don’t need to purchase your essential household items again, after your first stint out of home, you’re probably moving out with more than what you moved in with. These items need to be moved to your next place.
Anything you want to throw out can be disposed of by calling your local council and arranging for a roadside rubbish pickup. This is a good way to deal with large and bulky items, like an old barbeque. This is a free service from the council.
You also need to have the property in tip top shape if you want to get your bond back from the real estate agent.
The real estate agent will want pretty much every surface in the property cleaned, including the walls and the carpet. You can save money by doing the cleaning yourself (the agent will recommend that you employ the services of a professional). It’s probably a good idea to get a professional cleaner. Real estate agents will always tend to find something that isn’t to their expectations, and they will subtract the cost of cleaning from your rental bond.
The agent will come and do a final inspection on the day your lease is set to end (or around that time). You will need to hand the keys back, and arrange for the return of your rental card.
You will also need to make sure you’ve done the following:
- Cancel your Internet connection. Depending on the type of contract, you may be charged early contract exit fees; however, most ISPs will allow you to end your contract at any time. Make sure to double check the terms of your contract before you sign on the dotted line.
- Redirect your mail. You can call each of the businesses and companies and let them know about your change of address, or call Australia Post and get them to hold your mail and redirect it once you have a new address.
- Speak to the electricity company. You’ll need to get someone from the electricity company to come and do a final reading on your meter. If you don’t you may end up paying for the next tenant’s power and gas.
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