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Moving out of home

From flatmates to furniture, figure it out before you move out

Page reading time: 3 minutes

Moving out for the first time is exciting. Make a plan so you don't get stuck with an unexpected bill. Use our checklist to stay organised.

Work out what you can afford so you can cover all your expenses. If you’re sharing with flatmates, agree on the ground rules before you move.

Costs of moving out

Moving out means more than just paying rent and other bills. You also need to plan for one-off moving and connection costs.

If you have a credit card or a loan, you'll have to keep up with those repayments on top of your everyday living expenses.

Here are some costs to consider:

Ongoing costs

One-off costs

  • rent
  • utility bills including gas, water and electricity
  • internet and phone bills
  • groceries
  • transport
  • contents insurance
  • rental bond
  • up to four weeks rent in advance
  • connection fees for utilities and internet
  • removalist fees or van hire
  • furniture and homewares
  • parking permits

Make sure everyone's name is on all the bills. If a bill is addressed only to you, you're the one legally responsible for paying it.

Work out what you can afford

Before you move out, create a budget. This will help you work out your income and expenses, and what you can spend on your new lifestyle.

Sharing with flatmates

Sharing a place can be cheaper than renting on your own. But make sure you and your flatmates agree on responsibilities at the outset.

Set the ground rules

Organise how you and your flatmates will:

Make sure you arrange to pay your rent and utility bills on time. Not paying on time can affect your credit score and rental history. You could even be evicted.

To sign or not to sign

If you sign the lease contract, you're in a formal living arrangement. You need to add your name to utility services connected to the property like electricity, gas, water and the internet.

Utility contracts are legally binding, so you and your flatmates have to pay your bills on time.

You may rent part of a house from another tenant. If you haven't signed the lease, that means you're in an informal living arrangement.

Get written agreement from the other tenants about how much rent you'll pay and how household costs will be divided. If you don't and something goes wrong, you may not be able to get your money back.

Before you sign anything, make sure you understand your responsibilities. Find out more about rental bonds and leases.

Moving out checklist

There's a lot to organise when you move out. Use our checklist to help make the move as smooth as possible:

Budget

  • Do a budget to work out what you can afford.

Research the area

  • Make sure the area has what you need, for example, public transport, or a supermarket, petrol station or pharmacy.

Furniture

  • Find out if the place comes furnished. If it's unfurnished, budget for new or second-hand furniture.

Unwanted items

  • Get rid of unwanted items, or sell them to raise extra money.

Bills

  • Pay off any existing bills before moving.

Removalists

  • Book a removalist, hire a van, or ask family or friends to help.

Utilities

  • Sign up for electricity, gas and water connections.

Internet

  • Sign up to an internet provider.

Insurance

Mail

  • Redirect your mail and subscriptions.
  • Give your new address to organisations that will need to send you information like a bank statement or driver's licence.

Memberships

  • Change or cancel any memberships you won't use (for example, local clubs or the gym).
Teenage girl standing.

Georgia finds a flatmate

Georgia wanted to move out to be closer to her uni. She worked out that a lot of apartments in the area were $350 a week or more. It sounded like a lot, but Georgia thought she could make it work.

Georgia’s older brother suggested she do a budget. He explained that it would help her work out how much she could afford to pay on rent, bills and everyday expenses like groceries.

Georgia hadn’t actually thought about bills and other expenses. She took the time to do a budget, and it showed that most of her income would go towards rent. She wouldn’t be able to afford much else, including paying off her credit card from her holiday last year.

She decided to wait a few months so that she could pay off her debt and save up some more money. In the meantime, she found a friend that she could move out with. Sharing a place worked out a lot cheaper than living on her own.