Almost every 18 year old goes through a point in their life where they want to move out of mom and dad’s house and start life on their own. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done but can definitely happen if you really want it to. The most important thing to realize is that you’re now responsible for everything, and I mean everything. Grocery bills are no longer paid for by your parents; it’s up to you to go and buy everything you need for the week. If you’re going to be renting an apartment, you’ll need money coming in constantly in order to pay for rent and utilities.

If you want to start looking for houses for rent in Austin, TX and you’re only 18, here’s the easiest way to make the move and start life on your own.

Have a Solid Job

By solid, I don’t mean working part-time at the downtown coffee shop. You’ll want a full-time, Monday through Friday job. Make sure it’s with a reputable company that isn’t going to lay you off in the next year or so. If that job doesn’t pay that well and you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you’ll need to turn to other ways to make extra income. A good rule of thumb is that 30% of your monthly income should be going to your rent.

Make a Plan

Develop a good, quality plan and stick to it. Map out how you’re going to successfully move and prepare yourself for living on your own. Don’t make this plan a few weeks before you pack your bags and move to the apartment, start planning 6-8 months beforehand so you can be positively sure this is what you want and talk it over with your family. If your family supports your move, they’ll be able to give you tips and advice for starting out on your own for a smooth transition.

Increase Your Credit

At 18, your credit score isn’t going to be out of this world, since you haven’t been making major monthly purchases yet like rent or a house mortgage. If you don’t have any credit history, you won’t be able to get an apartment since the landlord performs a credit check. A way to get around this is to piggyback on your parent’s credit card as an authorized user until you can build up your own. Doing this will build up your credit and kickstart your journey into the wonderful world of using a credit card.

Calculate Your Living Expenses

Take everything you will be paying for over the course of a month and add it all up. Anything from buying groceries, rent, and utilities to the occasional shopping trip or eating at a restaurant on the weekend. All of these small things add up, plus you’ll want to have a little leftover to stick in your savings account in case things take a turn for the worse. Incorporating hospital bills and dental visits are vital here as well, as you never know when you’ll get a cavity or sprain an ankle.

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