How To Move Out At 18

Do you want to learn how to move out at 18 with no credit, little money, or even no money? Here’s what you need to know. There are many reasons for why you may want to move out at a young age – perhaps you have a difficult home life, you want to move somewhere…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: March 26, 2024

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Do you want to learn how to move out at 18 with no credit, little money, or even no money? Here’s what you need to know.

There are many reasons for why you may want to move out at a young age – perhaps you have a difficult home life, you want to move somewhere new, or you just want your own space.

I moved out shortly after turning 18 (about a week or so after my 18th birthday) into a rental home, and while I was not prepared at all, I do think being prepared to move out at a young age is extremely helpful. I made many mistakes that led to many, many tears, money wasted, stress, and more.

Today, I want to help you avoid as many problems as you can.

After all, moving out at 18 years old (or any other young age) is already really hard, and there is such a huge learning curve.

Moving out when you turn 18 is a big step into becoming an adult. Even though it can be exciting, moving out for the first time needs to be planned carefully. Before you leave, it’s important to make a plan to make sure you can afford it and stay on your own.

This means finding a job, making a budget you can stick to, and saving money for unexpected costs.

How To Move Out at 18

Below are ways to move out at 18.

Recommended reading: Buying a House at 20 (How I did it)

Make a plan to move out at 18

I highly recommend having a plan if you want to move out at 18 years old.

Moving out at 18 is a big step, and making a plan will help everything go a little more smoothly.

You will want to think about things such as:

  • Where you will work
  • How you will pay your bills
  • If you will live with a roommate or on your own
  • What your budget will be like
  • What you’ll do if things get tough, such as if you can’t afford your rent
  • What you will do for health insurance and medical bills

And so much more.

I will be going further in-depth on many of these below.

how to move out at 18

Find ways to make money

If you are 18 and want to move out, then you will need to have a stable source of income, of course. There are many options for earning money, from traditional jobs to more flexible side hustles.

A full-time job typically gives you more hours and benefits like health insurance, which are helpful when you’re living on your own. If you have other things going on, a part-time job might be better because it offers more flexibility while still giving you money (but, you may not earn as much money). You can find job openings online, at job fairs, or on community bulletin boards. Jobs like delivering food can be either full-time or part-time, and companies tend to need people.

If you want to make more money, you can side hustle to make extra income – a way to make extra cash that you do alongside your main job. You could freelance by doing things like writing, teaching tutoring lessons, or designing graphics. Or, you could babysit for families nearby, walk dogs, or help people with tasks or errands. These little jobs can add up to a lot of money and give you the flexibility to work when you want.

When I was young and first moved out, I worked full-time at a retail store. I also eventually started a few side hustles (like blogging, freelance writing, and selling stuff online) so that I could pay off my student loans quickly. Living on your own is not easy, especially when you are young and your income is not that high – so side hustles may be needed so that you can make enough money to pay your bills.

Some helpful articles to read include:

Create a budget

When you’re ready to step out into the world at 18, you need a budget. I can’t think of any young adult who would not need a budget.

Budgets are great because they help you keep track of your money coming in and going out. With a monthly budget, you’ll know exactly how much you can spend on different things each month as it helps you see how much money you have and where you might need to cut back on spending.

A budget will help you to figure out if you can afford to live on your own, if you need to have roommates, or if you need to find a cheaper living arrangement.

Making a budget is easy. First, write down how much money you make each month from your job or other places. Then, write down what you need to spend money on each month, like:

  • monthly rent
  • food
  • phone bill
  • internet
  • car
  • fuel
  • utilities like electrical, water, trash, sewer, gas/propane
  • car insurance
  • medical/health
  • pet care
  • restaurants
  • cable, satellite, or any TV monthly subscriptions
  • household essential items, like toilet paper, trash bags, etc.
  • and some money for fun stuff too

Knowing your monthly expenses will help you to better manage your money so that you won’t go into credit card debt.

Recommended reading: The Complete Budgeting Guide: How To Create A Budget That Works

Save for the move (and open a bank account)

When you’re getting ready to move out at 18, saving money is obviously very important. If you can help it, I do not recommend moving out with no money saved.

Think about all the costs you’ll face – like rent, your first security deposit, food, and any unexpected things that pop up. You’ll want to tuck away money for this.

How much should you save to move out? A good rule is to save at least three to six months of living expenses. For example, if you spend $1,500 a month, aim to save between $4,500 and $9,000 before you head out on your own.

This will be your emergency fund. An emergency fund is money you save up for unexpected things that might happen. This could be paying bills if you lose your job or if your hours or pay get reduced. It could also cover unexpected expenses like a car repair, medical bill, or fixing a broken window.

An emergency isn’t something like buying a birthday present, a new TV, or going on vacation.

Having an emergency fund is smart because it can stop you from getting into debt you don’t need. Some people rely on their credit cards for emergencies, but that’s not a good plan.

I also recommend getting your own bank account for all of the money you save. It’s a safe place for your money, and it helps you track what you earn and spend. Plus, you’ll need it for things like direct deposit from jobs or paying bills online.

I personally use Marcus by Goldman Sachs for my savings account as they have a very high rate. You can get up to 5.50% at the time of this writing through a referral link bonus. According to this high-yield savings account calculator, if you have $10,000 saved, you could earn $550 with a high-yield savings account in a year. Whereas with normal banks, your earnings would only be $46.

how to move out at 18 with no credit

Improve your credit score and history

When you’re moving out of your parents’ home, having a good credit score is super helpful. This is because your credit score and credit history may be used for things like getting approved for an apartment and getting signed up for utility bills.

If your credit score is low, then you may be denied an apartment and even have to pay large deposits to get signed up for utilities (like water and electric).

Here are some important things to know:

Understand credit utilization – This is all about how much credit you’re using compared to how much you have. Try to use less than 30% of your credit limit. Say your card has a $1,000 limit. Aim to spend no more than $300.

Always pay on time – You should pay every bill on time, every time. Even being a little late can hurt your credit score a LOT!

There are other ways to improve your credit, such as by getting a secured credit card or becoming an authorized user on a family member’s credit card.

Here are two really helpful articles I recommend reading:

I also recommend keeping an eye on your credit by checking your score and report. Sites offer free checks, and it’s good to know where you stand. That way, you can fix any mistakes fast.

Think about where you’ll live

When planning to move out at 18, picking where you’ll live is a huge step.

Here are some things to think about:

  • Think about who you’ll live with. Living by yourself can be expensive so sharing rent and other bills with roommates can save you money, but make sure you choose your roommates wisely. You’ll be sharing your space with them, so it’s important to pick people who are responsible and trustworthy (and will actually pay the bills!).
  • Try using online tools to compare different areas. You can check things like crime rates, public transportation options, and how close they are to places you need, like grocery stores.
  • Think about the cost. Can you pay the rent and utility bills every month? Make sure to include these costs in your budget. Sometimes, living a bit farther from popular areas can be cheaper.

For my first home, I rented a very small 400-square-foot home with no real bedroom. But, it was within my budget and next to my college (I lived a few miles away), and surprisingly affordable.

Talk to your parents

When you’re getting ready to move out at 18, it’s important to have a conversation with your parents. This might feel hard or even impossible, but remember that clear communication is important.

I recommend choosing a time to tell them when your parents aren’t too busy or stressed as having this conversation when everyone is relaxed can make it easier for everyone to talk openly.

I think it is also helpful to think about how your parents might feel. If you’re the first to leave the home, they might find it tough. Try to understand their perspective and mention that you’ll stay in touch and visit.

And, be ready to show them your plan. Your parents will want to know you’ve thought things through. If you’ve been saving money, let them know. Talk about your job and how you’re managing to support yourself. It’s good to tell them about the place you’re planning to move into and how you chose it.

How to move out of your parents if it isn’t safe

So, after reading the above, I know that some of you may not have a good home life. You may not feel safe telling your parents that you are moving out.

If that’s the case, then I recommend reading this section.

Sometimes, home isn’t the safe place that it’s supposed to be. If you’re in a tough situation and need to leave at 18 but can’t talk to your parents about it, you’re not alone.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Find an adult you trust – Look for someone you trust, like a teacher, counselor, or family friend. They can maybe give you support and help you figure out your options.
  2. Plan ahead – Start thinking about where you’ll go and how you’ll support yourself. Look into shelters, transitional housing programs, or staying with a trusted friend or relative.
  3. Know your rights – As you turn 18, you have rights. Learn about your options for housing, education, and employment because there may be resources available to help you.
  4. Stay safe – If you’re in danger at home, prioritize your safety. Contact local authorities or organizations that can help you leave safely.
  5. Take care of yourself – Moving out can be tough, but remember to take care of yourself emotionally and physically, such as by talking to friends, finding support groups, or talking to a counselor if you need to.

Leaving home at 18 without being able to talk to your parents is hard, but it’s not impossible. Reach out for help, make a plan, and remember that you deserve to live in a safe and supportive environment.

Get free stuff for your new home

One of the big challenges of moving out on your own is affording all of the different things that you need.

Luckily, there are ways to get things for free or really cheap.

Some of the top ways include:

  • Facebook Buy Nothing groups – This is my favorite place to start if you want to get things for free. These groups promote recycling and reusing items instead of throwing them away when you’re done with them. To begin, look for and join a local Buy Nothing group on Facebook. You can search for groups for your city. People list their free stuff all the time, such as furniture, electronics, clothes, and more. You can even make a post asking if anyone has something that you need.
  • Ask family and friends – Your family and friends might have extra stuff they’re willing to part with. They might even be happy to see it go to a good home – your new home!
  • Check online platforms – Websites like Craigslist, Freecycle, and Facebook Marketplace can be goldmines for free furniture. People often list items they want to get rid of quickly.
  • Visit thrift stores and yard sales – Thrift stores and yard sales sometimes offer “free bins” or low-cost items they want to get rid of fast.
  • Attend college move-out days – If you live near a university, go there on move-out day. Students tend to leave behind perfectly good furniture that’s yours for the taking.
  • Community centers and churches – These places often have bulletin boards with listings for free items.

Always be safe when arranging pickups, especially with strangers. Always bring a friend or let someone know where you’re going.

Helpful articles:

how to move out at 18 with little money

Handling utilities and bills

Dealing with utilities and bills is a big step in moving out. Utilities are services you need like water, electricity, gas, and the internet.

Before you move, call or visit the websites of local utility companies. You’ll need to set up accounts in your name. This might include a deposit fee, so be ready for that.

I recommend making a list of all your expected bills. Rent, electricity, water, internet, and maybe gas are usually the basics. Add them up to see how much you’ll spend each month.

After you move in, you will want to find out when each bill is due. It’s your job to pay them on time as paying late can lead to extra fees or even getting your services turned off. Some companies let you set up automatic payments, and this means the money comes out of your bank account on its own each month. This can make sure you’re always on time.

You will want to hold onto your bills and receipts. This way, if there’s ever a mistake with a bill, your records will help fix it.

You can save money by being smart about using your services. Turn off lights when you leave a room and unplug electronics that you’re not using. You might also shop around for better deals on services like the internet.

After you get your first set of bills, you will understand why your parents wanted to keep the air conditioning off or why they always asked you to turn the lights off – things can be expensive!

Also, remember that different times of the year will impact your bills. For example, your electric bill will most likely be a lot more expensive in the summer than it will be in the spring or fall.

Maintain your home (housekeeping)

Moving out at 18 means taking on the responsibility of housekeeping. You might be surprised how quickly your new home can become cluttered and get dirty.

Keeping your home nice starts with regular cleaning, and I recommend setting aside some time each day for tasks like washing dishes, making your bed, and tidying up the living area. This way, messes won’t pile up and become overwhelming.

Then, once a week, dedicate your time to deeper cleaning such as vacuuming, mopping floors, cleaning the bathroom, dusting, and doing laundry.

Housekeeping also requires tools and supplies, so you will want to plan your budget to include items like sponges, cleaners, and trash bags.

Make friends in your new community

Moving out at 18 is a big step, and making friends in your new community is important. It can make your new place feel like home. When you move, you might not know many people, but there are fun and simple ways to meet people.

Here are some tips:

  • Get to know your neighbors – Start with a smile and say hi to your neighbors.
  • Join local groups or classes – Look for groups that interest you. Love to paint? Find an art class. Enjoy cooking? Maybe there’s a cooking group nearby. Like rock climbing? Go to the local climbing gym. This way, you meet people who like what you like.
  • Visit community centers – Many towns have a community center. They have activities like sports, games, and events.

Making friends might take time, but it’s totally possible! Just be yourself and be open to talking to new people.

Balancing work and personal life

I’m guessing you will have a lot going on, between trying to work full-time and enjoying your life, and even possibly furthering your education.

I recommend trying to schedule your time so you don’t get too busy. Use a calendar or app to make sure you’ve got time for work, taking care of your place, and doing fun things too.

It’s okay to say no if you’re too busy. If you’re working a full-time job, you might not be able to hang out with your friends all the time. It’s all about finding a healthy balance between earning money and enjoying life. I had to say no to my friends many times because I was simply too busy. If your friends still live at home, it may be hard for them to understand this unless you explain your situation.

Plus, remember to take breaks. When you’re planning your week, set aside some time just for relaxing. Watching a movie, reading, or hanging out in the park are all great ways to unwind and give your mind a break.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are common questions about how to move out at 18 years old with little money.

How can I move out fast at 18?

To move out quickly, focus on making a steady income and finding affordable housing. Create a budget to manage your expenses and look for immediate job openings or housing options. Saving as much money as you can right now is also super helpful.

How much money should I have saved by 18 to move out?

Aim to save at least 3 to 6 months of living expenses before moving out. This safety net can cover rent, groceries, and unexpected costs, giving you financial stability as you start on your own.

Can you move out at 18 while still in high school?

Yes, you can move out at 18 while in high school, but make sure you have a support system in place. Balancing school responsibilities with living independently can be very hard.

How to move out at 18 with strict parents?

When moving out at 18 with strict parents, communicate your plans clearly and respectfully. Prepare a well-thought-out plan to show them you’re serious and capable of managing your own life.

Can your parents not let you move out at 18?

When you turn 18, you’re legally an adult in most places, and you can decide to move out even if your parents don’t agree. However, it’s important to respect their opinion and explain your reasons. There are some places where you have to be older, so make sure you do your research.

Do I have to tell my parents I’m moving out?

While you’re not legally required to inform your parents in most places, it’s nice to talk about your decision with them, as transparent communication helps maintain a positive relationship after you leave.

Can I move out at 18 without parental consent?

Yes, in most places, at 18 you’re legally permitted to move out without parental consent. You will want to make sure this applies to your local area.

What things do you need when moving out of your parents’ house?

There are many things that you will need to move out of your parents’ house such as a bed, blanket, pillow, kitchen supplies, towels, a place to eat, a dresser, cleaning supplies, groceries, and more.

Is it realistic to move out at 18?

It is realistic to move out at 18 if you have a reliable income, a budget, and a plan for handling responsibilities. You will want to be as prepared as possible to move out at a young age because there will be many hurdles thrown your way, most likely.

How To Move Out At 18 – Summary

I hope you enjoyed this article on how to move out at 18 years old.

It’s really important to have a plan for a successful move when you are just 18 years old.

You’ll need to find ways to earn money regularly, like getting a job and even doing extra work on the side.

Having savings in the bank and an emergency fund will help you handle unexpected expenses without ruining your plans.

There are also many other things to think about, such as the cost of living, utility bills, your credit score, and more.

I moved out when I was just 18 years old, so I completely understand where you are coming from. I had no financial help from my parents and found and did everything on my own – from making money to finding a place to live, making all of my own meals, and more. It was hard, but it was what needed to be done.

Do you plan on moving out soon? Do you have any questions for me on how to move out at 18?

Recommended reading:

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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