How I Moved Out at 18
and never looked back.
Apparently, during a time where more young adults were moving back into their parents’ houses, my husband (boyfriend at that time) and I took a leap of faith and rented our own apartment.
It seems like an easy process looking back, but I will never forget the troubles of living on my own. We can say once we moved out, though, that was it. There was no turning back.
I moved out of my parent’s house at age 18 in 2009. It wasn’t easy. I did most of it on my own with a little help from my grandma. I had all the luck in the world.
I had just been asked to work full time at the office I was working part-time in. I had been with my boyfriend for almost a year, so I easily had someone to move into a place with. I had just taken an accounting class in high school and loved it. I had great organizational skills and money skills at a young age.
There were many factors I feel contributed to my success. However, it took a swift kick in the a-double to get me out of the house first.
THE NUDGE FROM MY PARENTS
I was living the dream. Living at my parents for free, the only things I paid for were my cell phone bill and car payment. Which back then was only $80 a month for a cell phone and $200 a month for my car loan.
I wasn’t going to school. I had dropped out of high school at the beginning of my senior year. I had it made as an 18-year-old as far as I was concerned, but I did work a full-time job.
I stayed out late every night, hanging with friends. I was 18 but still living under my parent’s roof, so they gave me a curfew of 10:30 pm every night. I can’t count how many times I was a few minutes late.
I would get grounded and not be able to go anywhere. It was ridiculous, but I understand now that I’m older. It’s all about respect. They were looking out for me since I had to go to work at 8 AM every morning.
The only household chores I had were taking out the garbage and loading and unloading the dishwasher. Not to mention I’d been doing my own laundry since I was 13.
Every once in a while, my parents would make a sly comment about me moving out. I ignored them. I had no idea when or even how to go about moving out. So I pushed the issue aside.
THE SWIFT KICK
On Memorial Day weekend in May 2009, I rented a room at Motel 6 for my boyfriend and I. We’d never stayed all night together on our own. We had stayed the night at a couple of parties together, but never by ourselves.
Little did he know it was the beginning of a trial run of living together. We spent the weekend together going out to eat for dinner each night, watching television together, and just talking about life. It was interesting. It helped me figure out I for sure wanted to ask him if he’d move into an apartment with me.
Sometime in June that next month, I was in the shower one day, getting ready to go out to see my boyfriend. My step-dad banged on the bathroom door.
“WHAT?” I yelled. There was a pause. Then what he said hit me like a ton of bricks. “I want you out of this house by the end of August.” That’s all he said, and he walked away.
I stayed in the shower a little longer just to cry. I knew this day was coming, but not this soon. I had to figure out what I was going to do. I felt so hopeless that I didn’t know what I was doing with my life, but everything happens for a reason.
I called my grandma after I settled down that night. She’d always helped me with my finances, getting a car, and everything I needed. She was always there to help. She suggested I start looking at different apartments and find “the one.”
I looked at 3 different apartments, but there was one I absolutely fell in love with.
It was an upstairs-downstairs apartment; the living room, kitchen, and closet were downstairs. The bedroom, the walk-in closet, and the bathroom were all upstairs.
I found this layout to be so cool, and it was very spacious.
I applied for the apartment with my grandma as a cosigner. I didn’t expect I’d find one this quick. They accepted. It was all happening so fast.
Then came the money troubles. They required an $800 down payment which included the first month’s rent and a deposit to hold the apartment.
I called grandma after they called me and told her I probably wasn’t going to be able to get the apartment. I explained how much they wanted for the down payment, and I had little to no money saved up. This was all sprung on me quite quickly.
She offered to pay it if I paid her back. So that’s what we did. I signed my lease for a year, got my keys, and was now the tenant of my own apartment.
After asking my boyfriend if he felt like we should move in together, I got a resounding “Yes”! He was so excited to live out on his own and live by his own rules, as was I.
Plus the fact we were in love and would see each other almost all day, every day.
He asked his foster parents if they’d be okay with him moving out on his 18th birthday at the end of July. They were hesitant at first but later were happy with the idea. So the packing and the buying commenced.
I spent my nights making lists of all the things we would need for our apartment, constantly texting or calling my boyfriend for his opinion. I went to the store and purchased what I thought was everything we needed. I started with kitchen utensils and ended with buying a microwave. Don’t forget the bathroom mats and towels!
I made a budget estimating all our expenses as far as groceries and bills. These were way underestimated as I had no idea how much these things would cost us. But it gave us a rough outline of how much money we would need from our checks to make ends meet.
Next thing you know, we were all moved in and as happy as could be.
Once we moved in, however, it seemed like there was always something we forgot to buy. For instance, our first home-cooked meal together, we had no salt or pepper. I think we went without it that night.
There will be things you don’t think about, that being my prime example. Some things you will rarely buy again after you move out once you are established.
Moving out was such an overwhelming experience. I was terrified. What if we couldn’t pay our bills? What if we lost our job(s)? So many “what if’s.” It’s fairly simple.
Don’t buy more than you can afford. Keep a budget. Pay all your bills in full and on time. Save. Save some more. Especially for emergencies.
You never know when you will hit a pothole and have to pay for a brand new tire. (This happened to me this week out of nowhere.) Or get in a fender bender in your car and have to pay your $1,000 deductible for your insurance to fix it.
Moving out is an amazing adventure that almost everyone does at some point. Have fun with it and enjoy the memories while you can.