How much does it cost to leave home?

by wrylilt

So you want to leave home. Have you had a think about it?

So you want to leave home?

You've finished highschool and you've decided that you don't want to spend all your time doing more studying or staying in the house you grew up in. You want to get out, enjoy life, see how you go on your own and hopefully prove to your parents that yes, you can survive without them. It's a natural reaction and you're probably more likely to be in this situation if you're a teenager.

The idea of leaving home can be very exciting - you have the complete unknown ahead of you and you get the final say in everything - from where you're going to move to who you are going to live with.

But hold up - before you organize your first big house warming party and tell the postman to prepare to redirect your mail there is one important thing you need to take into consideration - and that one thing is money.

You May Legally Repin This Image
You May Legally Repin This Image

Sit down and do the maths

Sure, you have been paying your own phone bill since your mother caught you talking to your out of state boyfriend for six hours when you were fifteen, but that doesn't mean you know what to expect when you have to pay all the bills for running your own house.

On the right you'll find some areas you may not have thought of when planning to move out. You'll be surprised what new bills appear when you have to pay them all yourself...!

TIP: To get an idea of how much you may be paying in bills, ask your parents if you can see some of theirs, such as the electricity bill and the gas bill.

The List of Costs



  • ►Gas
  • ►Electricity


  • ►Weekly/Fortnightly or Monthly Rent
  • ►Bond

Communication & Media

  • ►Home Phone
  • ►Mobile Phone
  • ►Internet
  • ►Cable Television

Car & Transport

  • ►Registration
  • ►Repairs
  • ►Payment for buses/trains or petrol to get to and from work


  • ►Kitchen - saucepans, cutlery & crockery, refrigerator
  • ►Bedroom - bed and chest of drawers and/or wardrobe
  • ►Lounge - TV, computer, sofa
  • ►Bathroom - Towels
  • ►Laundry - Washing machine


  • ►Food
  • ►Toiletries - soap, shampoo etc
  • ►Cleaning products

Ideas to Reduce Costs

There are plenty of bills that can creep up on you unexpectedly, especially if you want to live in the same level of comfort as you had while living at home. Here are some ways to save:

Share a house - living with friends can be an eye opening experience. That friend you always thought was so neat might be a pig but involving your friends in this experience will give you a bit more security when taking this big step. It also cuts down on how much rent or board you'll have to pay.

Don't get what you don't need - If you don't need a TV, don't get one. And if you only do one load of washing a week then it might be cheaper to visit the laundromat instead of having your own washing machine.

Use public transport - a car loses value with age and also costs more. Between registration, repairs and just general fuel costs, you'll be surprised how much you can save just taking the bus or catching lifts with friends.

Find a place near where you work - if your car breaks down and you miss the bus it's a lot easier to get to work if you live a few blocks away than if it's on the other side of the city. And when you're the one paying the bills, it's important to keep your job!

Buy secondhand - You'd be amazed the discounts you can get on used items. Don't buy things new - get something that gives you your money's worth!


Updated: 05/06/2012, wrylilt
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katiem2 on 05/07/2012

Really good information I'm sure many don't figure out and yet everyone should. I can imagine young adults would be in for a difficult struggle without the knowledge and understanding of all the expenses to consider when leaving home and or paying all the bills, ALL! Great ideas.

dustytoes on 05/07/2012

When kids start out on their own it's good to have to be frugal and learn to budget their money and these are good ideas.

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