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How to Move Out on Your Own

by Venus Sanders and Lisa K. Stephenson

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

I remember like it was yesterday, I was twenty-six when I decided it was time to leave home. Since then, it has been quite challenging. But I will be sharing with you some of the things I did to help better prepare me for life on my own. While some articles may tell you that there is a blanket checklist to go over as you prepare to move, realistically, there is not. Especially with the pandemic, inflation, and the rise of rent as well as other extrinsic factors. It may not be obvious to many, but importantly, you have to have a job, and not just any job, but one that is paying you a livable wage.

This is going to depend heavily on where you are located, but either way, for example, if are planning to move into the apartments near San Antonio and if you are earning a check bi-weekly, one check should be enough to cover your rent. I know that sounds easier said than done, but if you are not in a position to use one check for rent and the other for additional expenses, then you may have to improvise and consider other options.

So how do you get a good job that is going to pay you a livable wage? Research. Negotiate. Studies show that those with a college-level education can earn up to $47,070 and those without, $34,590. It might help to have a tax calculator handy to give you a better idea of how much you will actually take home. Ultimately, college is not an option for many, we know and as Sarah Aubert, CSU CO-Assistant Director of Curriculum Policy and Infrastructure stated, “On average, only 21% of Black students graduate college within four years while their white counterparts are twice as likely to graduate on time.”

This is in direct correlation with the fact that not only do Black children not graduate on time or at all, but they are also oftentimes looked over or lowballed in the career field as well; making it twice as hard to afford to live on their own. Personally, upon graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice, my first job at a law firm was only paying me $32,000/yr and that was in 2015. Repaying student loans, affording rent on that salary, a car, insurance and bills were almost comical. But after a few months of research and making myself an asset to their company I went in and negotiated for something better. In the interim, however, I did work a second job.

Related articles: Diversity in the Media

The determination of our livelihood begins within our educational institutions—from accredited schools to student loans, to graduating on time to negotiating our salaries based on the degree we’ve earned. Some may ignore this, but our educational system is ultimately what shapes us for our future in more ways than one. As you prepare to move, the best thing you can do for yourself is equipping yourself with knowledge both in and out of school (i.e. building credit). Pretty much all landlords and mortgage lenders will check your credit score before you can get anywhere near a place.

A credit score is a number that is determined by your past credit history so lenders can accurately tell how reliable you will be in the future to pay back loans. The easiest way to build your credit is by paying your bills on time. As tempting as it may seem, moving on your own does come with a lot of responsibilities and positive self-talk.

If you’ve found yourself in a position where you’ve moved out prematurely once and things did not work out, don’t beat yourself up, either. As mentioned by Dr. Eli Joseph, “Failure is a vital part of professional careers. Within these failing moments, a story of your journey to your success unfolds. Failure is a sigh of relief, and you often realize that you are not losing anything by failing.” With past experiences – whether good or bad – you learned something that can help you make better and more confident decisions going forward.

Once you’re ready you should begin creating a budget. If you’ve never lived on your own before, the shock of how much everything costs could be overwhelming and creating a budget will help reduce the sudden panic. You should filter in things like water, gas, electric, cable, internet, phone, car payments, car insurance, food and entertainment to name a few.

If you have lived on your own before but need that extra push to give it a go again, take the lessons you’ve learned before and apply them. There is no need to repeat the same mistakes. If your issue was budgeting, get someone to assist you. If it was salary, work on negotiating and finding a better job. Whatever the reason, do your research. Also, if you’re looking to cut some excess expenses, look about finding a place near to your job to help with commuting and if you need help with the rent, maybe a roommate.

We like to end each article with something light and fun. Here are some amazing items we recommend for that big first move to celebrate. Remember, it’s always important to celebrate every accomplishment no matter how big or small.


This is the countertop kitchen organizer you've been searching for to add much needed space to your countertop.

Made to hold all kinds of spice bottles, seasonings and sauces bottles, it also provides a knife holder, cutlery holder, hooks to hang cooking utensils, and a cutting board holder.

Knife holder holds up five knives, the railing on both shelves prevents items from tipping over, and the suctioned footpads minimize slipping around your countertop. Easily maintain a tidy and neat kitchen space with your frequently used tools at your fingertips with this kitchen organizer rack.

(Retail: $25.99)


This unique blend combines pure, sustainably sourced Marine Collagen with ingredients for inside-out vitality.

Our Marine Collagen peptides are activated through the hydrolyzation process for high absorption and work to support the natural ageing process by supporting collagen formation, skin integrity and structure, plus skin hydration and elasticity in females, and maintaining collagen health.

This is enhanced with the added benefits of 10 traditional and scientific evidence-backed ingredients that support skin health, relieve digestive discomfort, and support energy production and vitality to elevate your results. (Retail: $49.99)


Must be 21 or over.

A new American single malt whiskey that is 100% pot distilled, aged for a minimum of three years and finished in a sherry cask. ASM maintains meticulous control over the conditions within the oak of the sherry cask through careful selection and monitoring of the toast and char of the wood to ensure that the flavors are developing perfectly.

The obsessive attention to detail during secondary finishing minimizes harshness and smooths out the liquid, with batch consistency guaranteed. This adds complexity with nuanced, yet distinctive notes. (Retail: $61.99)


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