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Moving Out for the First Time

Are you a student or young adult preparing to leave home for the first time? Koala Box collects some info that you need to be aware and well-prepared of.



  • Ongoing costs: rent (house or flat), bond, renter’s insurance, utility bills (gas, water, electricity), food, entertainment, transport, just to name a few. And don’t forget if you have a credit card or a personal loan too, you’ll need to keep up those regular payments on top of your other bills.
  • One-off costs of moving: removalist fees or costs of hiring a moving truck, rental bond, connection fees for phone, internet, gas and electricity, parking permits, furniture and furnishings, linen and kitchenware, and many more knick-knacks and details. In most cases if you’re renting, you’ll be asked to pay 2 weeks rent in advance and a bond (usually 4 weeks rent) as a security deposit.


Choosing a place

The location of your rental property could affect your budget, depending on how close it is to public transport and shops. It could mean you end up paying more for a lot of taxis or for petrol.

Here’s where to start looking for places to rent:

  • Visit real estate websites. You can search by suburb, price, number of rooms and type of accommodation (e.g. unit, townhouse or house).
  • Call real estate agencies in the area to get a current rental list.
  • Check rental lists in newspapers or on student notice boards and magazines.
  • Ask your friends or work mates.


koala-box-flatmatesSharing with flatmates

House sharing is one of the easiest ways to save money when you move out of home. Splitting rent and household expenses for a four-bedroom house with three other flatmates could end up cheaper than renting a one-bedroom unit by yourself.

If you’re sharing, set ground rules with your flatmates at the start, even before you move in together.

You and your flatmates should decide how to:

  • Pay for bills
  • Share the cost of rent and utilities
  • Share responsibility for household chores
  • Withdraw from the rental lease when someone moves out
  • Pay a shared cost for food as a group, or shop individually


Formal living arrangement means sharing a lease with your flatmates.

There are different contracts you will need to sign when you live in a formal arrangement. You will need to sign the rental agreement as well as any contracts for services that are connected to the property like electricity, gas, water and internet. These contracts are legally binding, so you and your housemates will be legally responsible for paying the bills.

Make sure you understand the contract before you sign it. Can you afford the repayments? Check the small print and obligations of the contract. Can you cancel the contract and what happens if you do? Unfortunately, you cannot cancel some contracts just because you have changed your mind.

Informal living arrangement means you rent part of a house from another tenant but have not signed the lease. You will still need to pay for your rent and for services like electricity and gas. However, there is no legal contract as you have not signed a lease.

In a situation like this, the tenant you are renting from will have signed a written tenancy agreement with the owner of the house or unit. This makes them the ‘head-tenant’.

You should get a written agreement with the head-tenant that covers things like how much rent you will be paying and how shared household costs will be divided and paid. A written agreement can help set agreed rules and can be used to resolve disputes.

Here is a checklist of things you need to do before you move out for the first time:

  • koala-box-moving-out-keyUtilities– set up electricity, phone, internet and pay TV connections.
  • Furniture– find out if the place comes furnished, or budget for new or second-hand furniture.
  • Renter’s insurance- get online quotes if you want to insure your home contents. Your car insurance (if any) will also need to be updated as the new address may mean your insurance premium will go up or down.
  • Budget– complete a budget for your moving expenses, making sure you have enough money to cover the one-off and ongoing costs.
  • Removalists– book and pay for a removalist, or arrange to get help from family and friends. If you decide to do it yourself, don’t forget to calculate the packing expense. Koala Box’s plastic boxes will be the simplest and easiest option for you (no flimsy cardboard, no sticky tapes).
  • Research the area– where is the closest bus stop or train station, supermarket, ATM, petrol station and doctor? Are they within walking distance?
  • Bills and loose ends– pay off any existing bills before moving, and return DVDs or library books and cancel your memberships if necessary.
  • Sell unwanted items– get rid of any unwanted items you have to raise extra money for items at the new place.
  • Redirect your mail– make a list of everything that has your address on it or organisations that will need to be notified of your new address, such as your driver’s licence, your bank statements, your employer and your Medicare card.
  • Look into medical and ambulance cover– once you move out of home and begin living independently, you may no longer be covered by your parents’ medical insurance.


Smart tips

* Try to save 10% of your pay for emergencies  like not being able to work for a week, unexpected bills or extra travel costs.

* Smart packing and moving activity can save you some money, time, and energy. Check Koala Box’s service and price list to find a suitable package to help your first move out.

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