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I Got Bills (Part 3): The price of one of life’s great milestones

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I have always been extremely independent and growing up I could not wait to be able to move out and be on my own. From as far back as I can remember I planned how my flat would be decorated, the food I would eat, the area I would like to be situated in and all the fancy gadgets I wanted to accumulate. Starting out on your own can be exciting, that is until you look at the cost. Analysing the situation now, a bachelors flat with running water is probably more obtainable.

According to Numbeo: rental and entertainment is most expensive in Cape Town, whilst groceries and the general cost of living is highest in Johannesburg. Regardless of where you live in the country, the cost of moving out is relative and you need to prepare before-hand.

Rental varies depending on where you would like to be situated. It is recommended, by Apartment Therapy, that you budget to spend approximately 30% of your monthly income on rental. Following areas that fall into your price range on apps and sites showcasing property can help you narrow down your search and refine your options. Partnering up with a friend or sibling can give you a broader selection pool and take some of the financial pressure off without sacrificing your living standard.

Insurance and medical aid is an important consideration before taking the big step. If your employer does not cover- or insufficiently covers you, you need to look at insurance packages to ensure you are not left stranded. Many financial services companies now offer packages based on your income which can be greatly beneficial to someone who is starting out.

Transport and vehicle expenses can simultaneously vary, depending on whether you are relying on public transport or running your own vehicle. Record how much you spend on travel expenses in a given month and remember to budget for that when leaving the nest.

Although the luxuries and gadgets will come with time, being able to equip your new home with all the necessities is an important consideration for before you leave. Whether you are going to rely on hand-me-downs or buy new or second-hand goods, you need to budget in the cost of essentials.

My advice: stay at home as long as you can, but do not take it as a free ride. Use your family’s hospitality as a time to save and get ready for what awaits you. Make a budget of what start-up costs you need to save for, as well as a monthly budget of living expenses. If you make provisions for the future and plan for the great unknown, your goals are attainable. Who says you can’t decorate your apartment the way you desire, eat the food you enjoy, live in the area you choose and indulge in the luxuries you deserve? Through planning and sacrificing now, you are able to indulge later on.

With that said, don’t forget to live a little. All I am suggesting is that we spend less on things that have an expiry date and more on the things that provide us with perpetual benefits.

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