How To Move Out At 18: Complete Guide To Afford Moving Away

Brittany and I went from home right to on-campus apartments, and we grew up budgeting and having summer jobs to make money for school, so we felt pretty prepared.

But I had friends who moved into apartments, had no idea how to pay their bills online, and found out they weren’t making enough money to cover their bills.

I know that some of you may be really stressed trying to figure out how to move out from home.

Luckily, we have plenty of steps and tips you can take to make sure your transition into independence goes as smoothly as possible.

Here’s how to move out at 18 like a pro and take the stress out of growing into adulthood:

How To Move Out At 18

1. Develop Your Moving Plan & Timeline

The first step of moving out is to develop a plan and timeline for moving out of your parent’s house. A plan will help you stay organized so that nothing slips through the cracks.

Make sure to include all the tasks involved in transitioning from living at home to living on your own, including:

  • Finding a place to live
  • Setting up utilities
  • Making transportation arrangements (if needed)
  • Getting furniture
  • Payday and paying bills on time

 You don’t want to start packing your stuff when you don’t move out for 2 months! Set realistic deadlines for each task; this will help keep you on track.

2. Get A Job Or Side Hustle

Before you move to your first apartment, find a job or start a side hustle. That way, you can pay your monthly living expenses and have enough money month to month.

You can start working on the side around school, and you won’t be limited to finding jobs just because you’re young.

There are many jobs that require little to no experience, like freelancing writing, proofreading, and more.

Check out our full list of high-paying side hustles– you have many options to earn money right away!

3. Open A Bank Account

A checking account can give you more financial freedom and control over your money when you move out at 18.

With a bank account, you can deposit checks, write a check, and use a debit card, allowing you to stay organized and easily track your finances.

Although checks are becoming less popular these days, they’re still a great way to pay rent and other bills without worrying about carrying more money or using a credit card.

Opening a checking account is relatively straightforward; most banks require two forms of identification (like a driver’s license or passport) and proof of address (like recent utility bills).

4. Save Money

Young woman saving money in a piggy bank

As a savvy person, even if you don’t want your own place, you should start saving up now! Even if it’s just small amounts here and there, every bit counts when you save money.

Look for ways to save extra money, such as eating out less or taking public transportation instead of your car to cut back on transportation costs.

You can also take this opportunity to start an emergency fund. An emergency fund is your safety net if unexpected expenses happen (like a medical emergency) and you need to cover the costs.

You can open a savings account wherever your bank account is or open a high-yield savings account with Chime and earn 1.5% back on your money.

5. Create A Monthly Budget

Creating a budget will help you figure out how much rent and monthly expenses you can afford in your new place.

Use a budgeting app like Personal Capital or Mint. Budgeting apps can help you visualize where your money is going and track your finances efficiently.

You can also use our FREE printable budget to create a realistic budget.

Your budget will have your fixed monthly expenses like rent, utilities, groceries, car, and loan payments, plus random other expenses like new dishes, a lamp, and stuff for your new place.

Once you know how much money is coming in each month and how much is going out, you’ll know if you have any money left to save or if you’re overspending.

6. Build Up Your Credit Score

Your credit score determines your eligibility for loans and other financial products, so it’s essential to start building up your good credit history now.

Building a payment history can lead to a good credit score, which will help you with everything in the future. Get store cards or gas cards, and start small- never use the total limit on a card!

Pay off any credit card debt in full each month to keep your credit score high and avoid paying interest.

You can also build your credit score by becoming an authorized user of someone’s credit card. The original credit card owner needs to have a good credit score and credit history.

If no one will add you as an authorized user, you can still build your credit score by getting an unsecured credit card. A secured credit card requires a cash deposit that acts as collateral against potential losses if payments are missed, or overdrafts occur.

Check your credit score with Credit Karma once you start using credit cards, and make sure you’re not overspending.

7. Learn To Adult

The valedictorian of my high school class confessed to me that she didn’t know how to do laundry at all one week before graduation and said she wanted me to give her a crash course.

Other friends had no idea how to make meals that didn’t involve a microwave- and I know some of you fall into this category!

Before moving out, take some time to learn basic life skills such as cooking simple meals, cleaning dishes, shopping for groceries, and doing laundry properly. These skills will help once you’ve moved into your new place.   

8. Talk To Your Family

Daughter talking to mother on the couch about moving out

Before moving out, unless it’s a dire situation, you should include your family in the decision to find your own place.

It’s important to remember that although they may disagree with your decision, they care about you and want what is best for you. Try to approach them with respect and understanding. 

Show them the budget you created, talk about how you’re trying to work and save money, and show them exactly how much money you’ll need each month and where it will come from.

Having these details worked out ahead of time will help alleviate their worries and show them that you are serious about taking care of yourself. 

9. Get Bills In Your Name

Now comes the fun part – applying for utilities and insurance in your name! This can include electricity, water, natural gas, internet/cable/cell phone services, garbage collection, and car insurance.

Make sure to research ahead so that everything is ready for use upon arrival when moving into your new home!  

You may be limited to what companies supply your water and other utilities to your apartment or house because of where they are, but you have many insurance and cell phone options and should look at multiple rates.

10. Find Lodging In Your Budget

Moving out of your parent’s house is an exciting rite of passage, but it can be challenging to find affordable options.

Do your research and check the rental price and the security deposit for different housing types.

Make sure to read reviews of potential places to get a better idea of what living there is really like from people who have lived there before.

Reading over the contract before you sign is critical, too, as it may inform you about any hidden expenses and fees you may have missed when researching, like parking fees, added fees for yard care, and more. 

11. Get Roomies You Know Well

If the cost of living on your own is too much for your budget, look for roommates so you can split rent and living expenses.

When possible, try to move in with someone you already know well- ideally, someone who has been a friend for at least a few years.

It takes away some of the risk associated with choosing a stranger as your roommate since chances are that you two already have similar values and lifestyles, which will make living together much easier! 

But as you know, even family have their fights, so not every living situation may be perfect between friends. Talk out expectations early on, know what stuff is yours, and have insurance on whatever you have.

12. Get Free Stuff For Your Place

Colorful couch and pillows with coffee table

Furnishing a whole apartment or house can be expensive. Fortunately, there are various ways you can get free stuff for your place when you move out at 18!

One great way to get free stuff for your new place is by visiting online freebie sites like Craigslist or Freecycle.

You can find everything from furniture to kitchenware on these sites- all for free! Inspect any items before taking them home, as some may not be in the best condition. And always wash things once you get them home.

Another great way to acquire free stuff when you move out at 18 is by reaching out to family and friends who might have items they aren’t using anymore. They’re usually happy to let you haul it away for them!

What NOT To Do When Moving Out

Avoid Keeping The Move A Secret

Keeping your moving secret may seem like the best way to avoid any potential arguments or drama, but it could actually be more harmful than helpful in the long run.

If your parents don’t know where you’re going or how they can contact you, it could create an atmosphere of worry and mistrust between both parties that could carry on for some time after the fact. 

If you’re moving out for your own safety or want to move out before you turn 18, consider contacting a shelter or a domestic violence hotline for help to make sure you’re taken care of.

Don’t Skip The Planning Phase- No Winging It!

Even though it may seem time-consuming at first, planning everything before moving out of your family home is key!

You can’t just find an apartment and pay for it out of nowhere- you need work and money to get food and shelter, no matter how old or young you are.

Make sure you have your plan and research done to start off in the best place possible and make it work long-term. You don’t want to run out of options (and money!) and have to break your lease early.

Never Move In With Strangers

Man sitting on floor with boxes while mom and kids are being loud

It can be tempting to accept an offer from someone offering a room in their home for cheap rent. But this is one mistake that you definitely don’t want to make!

Living with strangers can expose you to all sorts of potential problems, including theft, sexual harassment, general discomfort, or worse.

Those things can happen with people you know, just like anything can happen, but stranger danger is a higher risk you don’t want to take in this situation.

Don’t Take Stuff From Home Without Asking

When it comes to your clothes, shoes, and some stuff, that’s all set to be packed up and moved. But what about the bed and furniture, that storage cabinet in the bathroom?

Taking some stuff from your parent’s home may seem like no big deal— but it might not all be a free game for you!

Taking things without permission can cause hard feelings and is disrespectful to your parents. If you want something, ask first!

Chances are they will be more than happy to give it to you if they can- and if not, you should respect their wishes by leaving it alone. 

Avoid Over-Using Your Credit Card

Couple online shopping with credit card in hand

When you move out, relying on your credit cards for everyday purchases can be tempting. But it can lead to overspending and debt if you use too much of your credit limit.

To avoid this, make sure only to use your credit card when absolutely necessary and make sure your purchases fit your budget.

If you’re not sure you can pay it back, don’t do it! Most big purchases aren’t worth the extra debt hanging over your head.

Jobs For Teens & Young Adults

Moving out of your parent’s home is a big milestone, and as a teen or young adult, you want to make sure you can support yourself financially.

Money is necessary to cover your new apartment rent, utilities, food, and other necessities.

That’s why having a job or side hustle when you move out is so important!

1. Proofreading

proofreading a paper with a red pen

Proofreading is the process of carefully checking written material for errors such as typos, grammar mistakes, and inconsistencies.

It’s not just about finding mistakes in a text – it’s also about making sure that all formatting is correct and consistent throughout.

A free workshop by Proofread Anywhere can help you learn how to start a proofreading business and make the most money possible.

2. Freelance Writing

Becoming a freelance writer can be smart if you’re new to the workforce. You don’t need any prior experience or qualifications; you need the willingness to learn and improve your craft.

You can write for magazines, blogs, newspapers, social media, and more and make over $15 an hour as a new writer.

You can also choose when and how long to work, making it perfect for those who want flexible hours and online jobs but don’t want to commit to a full-time job right away. 

You can find freelance writing jobs on job boards like Upwork and FlexJobs.

3. Food Delivery

Food delivery is one of the best options for teens and younger adults.

Why? It’s flexible, offers good pay, and is essential during these uncertain times. You can choose your own schedule and work around school or other commitments.

One of the main benefits of working as a food delivery driver for companies like Uber Eats, DoorDash, or PostMates, is that the hours are usually flexible.

Another great benefit of food delivery jobs is that you get tips on top of your hourly rate.

4. Tutoring

virtual tutor teaching lesson

Tutoring is ideal for teens and young adults because it offers the flexibility needed to balance school, work, and other activities.

I tutored English in high school and college, and it was basically like getting paid to help someone study or better understand the lessons.

You could tutor in math, chemistry, history, SAT prep, and anything else! Just be sure you know your stuff, or your students won’t improve in class.

You can find tutoring jobs on sites like BookNook. You can also reach out to local schools and universities in your area to inquire about available tutoring positions.

5. Babysitting

Babysitting can be a great way for 18-year-olds to earn some extra cash. It can also be a great way to get some experience working with children if you’re pursuing a career in early childhood education or something similar.

One of the best ways to find babysitting gigs is through word-of-mouth recommendations from friends, family, and neighbors.

You can also join sites like or Sittercity to connect with families and get babysitting gigs lined up quickly.

Final Thoughts

Young couple holding the keys to their new home

Learning how to move out at 18 can be overwhelming, but if you take it one step at a time and follow our Savvy tips, it doesn’t have to be as daunting as it may seem.

This can be an exciting journey into adulthood, and the more you prep, the fewer bumps you hit in the road!

You can make money with the best side hustles or a few quick bucks with apps like Survey Junkie, which will make it easier to afford an apartment at 18.

Make money, save money, and learn to be smart with money- that way, you can put your best foot forward!