Running a home is a job in itself. Between cooking, cleaning, paying monthly bills and utilities, and working to earn money, the responsibility of managing a household should not be taken lightly. This may be part of the reason why so many young adults are choosing to delay this step. According to data reported in a Forbes article, 31% of 18- to 34-year-olds still live at home with their parents.
Some people move out immediately after high school, some move out during college, others wait until after college (when they get into a career), and some people live with their parents well into adulthood. Everyone is different.
When people do decide to move out on their own, they usually try and make some sort of budget beforehand. “How much of a rent payment can I afford?” people ask themselves when deciding on a place to live. “What about utilities, cable, Internet, food, and personal expenses?”
Although making a budget is a step in the right direction, there are several costs that people forget about during this process. When living at home, everything is provided, and it’s easy to forget that moving out means moving into an empty house. Here are a few costs you may forget about when you move out on your own for the first time.
Everyone gets sick. If you get a headache, cold, the flu, cramps, or any other sickness or ailment, you’re going to want an over-the-counter pain reliever. You may need some cold medicine or aspirin one day. At your parents’ house, these medications were probably on hand in the medicine cabinet, but in an empty house, they will not be available unless you go out and buy them.
According to the National Center for Policy Analysis, the average OTC medication costs at least $7. So, to stock your cabinet with 10 medications — from allergy meds to vitamins — you’re looking at around a $70 cost.
Kitchen essentials (like plastic wrap, foil, flour, and spices)
Most people budget for food, but it’s easy to forget that all of your spices — think salt, pepper, cinnamon, and sugar — are not already in your cabinet. The cost of these items can really add up. You also have to purchase all of your utensils aside from the usual forks and knives. You will need spatulas, serving spoons, and storage containers, just to name a few.
If you want to bake, your recipe may require aluminum foil or parchment paper. Some people even forget about appliances, like toasters and coffee makers — there are also pots and pans. Large pans can cost anywhere between $10 and $200, depending on the type of pan, the quality, and the retailer.
3. Cleaning products
You want to clean your house, wash your cloths, and do the dishes, right? It’s easy to forget that if you open up your cabinet under the sink, there will be no Swiffer pads, sponges, bleach, Lysol, dish washing detergent, or laundry soap. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, urban households spent close to $200 on cleaning and laundry supplies alone in 2011, and rural households spent nearly $150.
It’s really easy to forget that you need to own a screwdriver, wrench, toilet brush, or even a broom until you actually need to use one of these items. BLS consumer expenditure surveys indicate that typical households spend around $100 per year on small appliances and miscellaneous housewares. Unless you plan on borrowing these items from a neighbor every single time you need them, you should probably account for this cost.
Toiletries (like Q-tips)
At home with your parents, your bathroom may be stocked with cotton swabs, antiseptic alcohol, bandages, mouthwash, face wash, razors, and shaving cream. You probably have everything you need to get ready each day, plus the things you need on random occasions (like when you have a minor cut or scrape).
Of course, each and every one of those items comes with a monetary cost, and when moving into your own place, that’s a cost you have to account for. According to the BLS, households spend an average of $135 per year on medical supplies and another $608 on personal care products and services.
Stationery (like pens, pencils, and scissors)
Pens, pencils, printer paper, staples, scissors, and other stationery items do not come with the house, either. These are all items you have to buy to the tune of around $140 per year. That is, if you pay the household average cost for postage and stationery.
Need to mail a letter? You’ll need an envelope and stamps. Want to prepare a report? You may need to go out and buy things like highlighters, sticky notes, and other items you don’t even think about until you need them.