What you need to know about moving out of home

Starting university and thinking of moving out of home for the first time? Here’s what you need to know when you decide to fly the coop. 

A woman and man taking a break in a living room surrounded by moving boxes

Studying at university marks the start of a new chapter in life. And for many young people, this coincides with the desire to venture out on their own.

Moving out of home for the first time is a big step towards true independence and adulthood. But adulting comes with its share of responsibilities. 

If you’ve decided it might be time to make the move, here are a few things to consider to help make the transition that little bit smoother. 

How do you know when it’s time to move out?

This can be categorised under ‘questions only you can answer’. However, there are a few telltale signs that can indicate it might be time to live in your own space, such as: 

  • Feeling a strong desire for independence since leaving school
  • Wanting more freedom or feeling restricted by your current living situation
  • Craving privacy or a quiet study space
  • Wanting to forge stronger relationships with others who are at a similar stage in life.

While a multitude of factors are at play when deciding if moving out of home is the right step for you, ultimately, whether or not you fly the coop now you’re a uni student is entirely based on how ready you are for the level of independence required, and individual circumstance. 

There’s no ‘right' time or age to move out. In fact, according to Canstar the average age for moving out of home in Australia is going up, with the rising cost of living understandably a contributing factor.

Related reading: How to make friends at uni when you study online 

How much money do you need to move out?

The cost of moving out, along with the cost of living, varies depending where in Australia you plan to live, and who you plan to live with. 

Upfront costs you may need to factor in include your rental bond (which typically adds up to 4-weeks of rent), connection fees for utilities and internet, removalists, and any furniture or white goods. These are in addition to ongoing living expenses.

According to Savings, a good rule of thumb is to save up a minimum of three months’ worth of expenses on top of your upfront costs, plus a little extra for an emergency fund.


A woman holding a cup of coffee while on the floor surrounded by moving boxes

Andrew Dadswell from Moneysmart says putting together a budget can help you manage your money more effectively. “Break down your income and expenses to work out what you can afford to spend each month,” Mr Dadswell says. 

Tools like Moneysmart’s budget planner are a great place to start. It encourages you to think about all the basic expenses involved when moving out of home, such as groceries, utilities, transport and rent. Domain’s recent rental report is an another excellent resource for understanding what the typical cost of rent is in your suburb (bearing in mind that if you decide to share with housemates, you can split the cost).

Studying online can be a great way to curb those moving-out-of-home expenses, such as the relocation costs involved with moving near your university as well as the daily commuting costs involved in getting to classes. What’s more, the hours are more flexible so you can study when it suits you best, making it easier to fit study in around work commitments. 

Related reading: 5 ways to lower the cost of your uni qualification

How do you tell your parents you’re moving out?

Deciding to move out of home is an exciting time. But telling your parents you’d like to take the final step towards independence can be enough to dampen the excitement. 

After careful consideration and planning—which will show your parents you’re ready and have looked at the finer details involved in such a big step—you could ask to sit down with them to discuss your future plans.

Plan out how you’d like the conversation to go

Prior to broaching the subject have a good think about how you’ll communicate your plans to your parents. How do you want the conversation to go?

Explain the reasons you want to move out of home

Whether you want to move out with a group of friends or would like to experience what it’s like to live on your own, clearly explaining your motivations for moving out of home can help your parents understand and support your goals. 

Reassure them you’ve thought this through

Take the time to lay out your plans. Show them your budget, any potential houses or units you may have found to live, and ways you plan to look after your safety and wellbeing.  

Moving out of home checklist

When it comes to major life transitions, lists are always a good idea. So, here’s a checklist of what you need to think about, do, and plan for when moving out of home to make the process that little bit easier. 

  • Create a budget with your income and expenses
  • Figure out who, if anyone, you’re going to be living with
  • Find somewhere to live that suits your budget and needs
  • Research and organise your internet and utilities before you move (so you’re not caught without electricity or water)
  • Consider insurance for your contents
  • If you’re not moving into a furnished place, buy those basic household items such as a fridge, washing machine, bed, couch, and other furniture (Hint: Ask family and friends for donations, or try Facebook Marketplace for bargains).
  • Get your address changed with your bank, employer, Centrelink, the tax office, and the electoral commission, plus on your driver’s license and any other relevant services.


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