So, you’re moving out for the first time. Chances are you feel a mixture of excitement, anxiety, happiness, and sadness as you plan to venture out on your own. That’s normal since it’s such a big step for anyone to take in life. Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate some of the negative emotions and protect yourself out in “the real world.” If you’re about to leave home for the first time, here are some tips that can help keep you safe and put you in a good financial position.
Establish Good Habits
You may have had it pretty easy living at home, not having to worry much about safety, cleaning responsibilities, and budgeting. If this is the case, the first thing you need to do is start forming good habits that will help you succeed; ideally, you will establish these habits before you move out. Think about what life will be like on your own, and start to pick up healthy habits to ease the transition, such as doing house chores, creating a budget, and waking up early.
Save Up for a Down Payment
Although you may want to jump into homeownership as quickly as possible, it’s very important to take this process one step at a time. Instead of a low down payment, which will result in higher monthly mortgage payments, take some time to save some money. That way, you can afford a higher document payment, which will result in a smaller home loan. It might take a little longer than you’d like, but you’ll end up saving money in the long run.
Pick a Safe Neighborhood
Choosing a safe place to live is half the battle when it comes to staying safe out on your own. Visit any area you’re considering, research the crime rates, and talk to people who live there to get a feel for the place. No matter how safe the neighborhood, you will want to consider investing in a quality home security system.
Look Into Life Insurance
Even though preparing will better your chances of living a safe and happy life, none of us knows what the future holds. That’s why it could be worth your time to inquire about life insurance. If you were to die unexpectedly, the right kind of life insurance policy can help your family by covering a good portion of funeral costs, medical expenses, and lost income. Plus, it’s easy to purchase life insurance these days, as you can buy a policy from home and use online calculators to figure out what kind of coverage will work best.
Use Credit Cards
There are advantages and disadvantages to using credit cards. Using debit cards can help keep you accountable to your budget because you will likely have to pay overdraft fees if you overspend. However, with the prevalence of cybercrime these days, it’s safer to use credit cards for transactions. This is because credit cards come with better fraud protection. If someone steals money off your debit card, it comes directly out of your bank account, and it can be a lengthy process to get that money back. Conversely, credit companies can quickly cancel any money you owe for unauthorized charges.
If You Lose Your Debit Card, Cancel It Immediately
Nonetheless, using a debit card may sometimes be the most practical option. If you ever lose your debit card, however, it’s critical that you call your bank as soon as possible to have the card canceled. Thieves don’t need to know your PIN to spend your money, as a lot of establishments will run debit cards as credit with no signature required.
Going out on your own is the start of a new chapter and, in many ways, it’s an opportunity to learn who you are. Make the most of it by developing good habits before you move out and choosing a home in a safe neighborhood. Also, considering life insurance will provide a cushion for your loved ones if you were to unexpectedly pass away. Finally, opting to use credit cards can help secure your money, and if you use debit cards, be sure to cancel them if you ever lose them. With these tips, moving out will feel like an adventure!
Photo Credit: Burst