5 Things To Consider When Leaving The Nest

Find the right place to fit how you want to live

What this means is really think about what kind of property and living situations is going to best suit your lifestyle. Ask yourself: Will you be happy out in the suburbs living in a shared house, or is a slick inner city studio apartment more your style? Can you live alone, or is a flat share a better option to support you during your first time away from home? And the all-important question of what can you actually afford?

Start your search online, and put together a shortlist of places you think you could happily live, but remember, photos can be deceptive, so it’s important to go along to open houses. This will help you become more accurate with your online searches as you notice things in properties that you do or don’t like. It will also start to develop your sense of geographical awareness and areas that you might prefer, and will give you a more realistic picture of what your budget will get you.


Be prepared for the financial aspect of living away from home.

By getting prepared in advance, calculating your known monthly incomes, and planning a budget for food, bills, transport, and extras, you will put yourself in the best possible position to stay on top of your finances.

Paying bills and rent on time should be high on your priority list to avoid a bad credit rating. Later in life if you go to buy a home, someone will be looking at how you’ve managed your finances.

Remember that there is also some heavy start-up fees when moving into a new place such as a bond, letting fees rent in advance, power and Internet set up and connection fees, as well as movers and furnishings for your new home. It’s also a good idea to take out some home contents insurance – just to be safe!

Finances are often one of the biggest and hardest learning curves. After you deduct all your living expenses from your income, your shopping and entertainment fund will likely be less than you’d want. That being said there are plenty of free and cheap things to do in the various cities around New Zealand so check out the posts on those too.


Keep on top of the housework/chores

Without sounding like a nagging parent, keeping on top of the chores will actually make you feel really good, and if you’re in a shared situation, it will keep contributing to a respectful and equal house environment.

It’s also important to look after yourself. When it comes to cooking, get into a rhythm of preparing meals for yourself - rather than skipping meals, living off 2-minute-noodles, of relying on takeaways every night (which will eat into your budget too).



Living on your own for the first time, you’ll face lots of new challenges, including living with other people. Communication is key to all your relationships – especially those with your flatmates. Setting (and sticking to) ground rules at the start, being open and respectful of each other, and communicating clearly will be key to a happy household.


Don’t forget about your parents

Remember that whilst this is a new experience for you, it’s also a new experience for your parents. Try to give them a call every so often, or go home for a meal with them. You’ll probably find you actually have missed them too. And whilst parents love to help, try not to land on their doorstep with a whole lot of washing or fixer jobs too often!

Hopefully, that helps to prepare you a bit more for your first move out of the home. It is a bit scary, but it’s also really exciting. The reality is, at some point in your life, the time will come for you to move out of home, and if you can handle it maturely, and respectfully, you will find that the progression is natural and will prepare you for whatever your next step is.


Written by Samantha Chalmers