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Money tips when leaving home for the first time

Moving out and managing your own money for the first time can be a daunting prospect. Here are some tips to help you find your feet.

Take a look at your finances

Before you start looking for a place to live, it’s useful to know what you can afford.

Creating a budget can help you plan how you’ll spend your money. You’ll be able to see how much you have coming in, to cover rent and bills for example, and what you’ll have left over, for things like food and socialising. Use our budget planning tool to help.

If you can, it’s worth building up a safety net before you move out. This can help you pay for any unexpected expenses that may crop up.

If you don’t already have a bank account, you’ll need one to keep things running smoothly. For day-to-day spending and income, a current account can be used to:

  • pay bills
  • set up regular payments, such as Direct Debits or standing orders
  • receive money, such as your salary or other payments
  • withdraw money at cash machines
  • shop with a debit card

Explore: Choosing the right current account

If you have a current account with HSBC, you can use the Balance After Bills feature to help manage your money until payday. It takes into account regular outgoings, such as standing orders and Direct Debits, and estimates how much you could have left for the month ahead. 

Balance After Bills is only an indication of what you could have left. You should always make sure you have enough funds to pay your bills.

Balance After Bills is a feature on our mobile banking app, available on compatible devices.

Where to live

If you’re moving away from home for the first time, it’s likely you’ll be renting a place to live. You might want to consider the following when choosing somewhere:

  • how much you can afford to pay each month, including bills
  • any additional costs, such as a tenancy deposit, furniture and contents insurance
  • whether you want to live alone or share with others
  • how far you’re willing to commute

If you choose to live somewhere that isn’t close to your workplace, remember to factor in the extra cost of travel. And check the public transport links if you’re not planning to drive.

We also have other guides for managing your money when you move out of home.  

Preparing to move out

Before you actually leave home, it’s a good idea to plan ahead so you can work out how much money you need:

  • note down when you need to pay your deposit or when you exchange contracts
  • find out what’s included in your new home – some rentals include appliances, such as washing machines and fridges, but others may not
  • work out what extra items you might need to buy – kitchen and cleaning items, for example
  • arrange transport – if you need a van, that’s another expense you’ll have to take into account

You may have plenty of belongings you can take with you, so you don’t have to spend too much when you first move in. Or you could let people know what you need and potentially get some useful housewarming gifts.

Our moving day checklist can help you know exactly what to do, who to contact and when.

Stay in control of your spending

Remember to use your budget to make sure your money doesn’t run out before you get paid again. If it has fallen by the wayside, look at ways to get your budget back on track.

You may be able to make savings too. For example, you can save on transport costs if you’re eligible for a Railcard, or a National Express Young Persons Coachcard (if you're aged 16 to 26 or are a full-time student).

There are also ways to save on food shopping, your energy bills and any subscriptions you may use.

If used responsibly, a credit card can be helpful for emergencies or unforeseen expenses. But remember – anything you spend on a credit card must be paid back, so don't be tempted to overspend.

Explore: How to get your first credit card