Moving out for the first time?
It's an exciting time when you decide to move out from home for the first time. It is important that you are prepared financially for the initial and ongoing expenses.
First thing you should do is work out a budget to make sure you can afford everything.
Here are some expenses to keep in mind.
One off costs:
- Four weeks rent in advance
- Connection fees for utilities and internet
- Removalist costs or van hire
- Furniture and homewares
- Do you require a parking permit in your street?
- Rent – monthly in advance
- Utility bills – gas, water, electricity
- Internet and phone bills
- Contents insurance
Important things to remember
- Set the ground rules in the beginning – how will you pay bills, rent, groceries?
- Get written agreement from the other tenants about how much rent you'll pay and how household costs will be divided. If you don't and something goes wrong, you may not be able to get your money back.
- The person whose name is on the bill is responsible for the bill.
- State and territory governments offer interest free loans to help people on lower incomes pay their bond - www.housing.vic.gov.au/rentassist-bond-loan
What if things don't go as planned?
If things don’t go as planned, there are places you can contact to help you understand your rights, responsibilities and options;
- Start with Deakin Student Legal Service - DSLS provides free and confidential legal advice, information, referral and education to students enrolled at Deakin University. The qualified lawyers can provide advice on legal matters such as tenancy and housing - www.eclc.org.au
- If you have a problem with your landlord or another tenant, contact your local tenants' union for advice - www.tenantsvic.org.au or 03 9411 1444
- If you need information about renting rights and responsibilities contact Consumer Affairs Victoria - www.consumer.vic.gov.au/housing/renting
- If you're homeless or in a housing crisis, your state or territory government can help. They provide emergency temporary accommodation in places like low-cost hotels, motels and caravan parks - www.housing.vic.gov.au/crisis-emergency-accommodation or call 1800 825 955.
How can a financial counsellor help?
Financial Counsellors help people who are experiencing financial difficulty. They are skilled professionals who will guide you through your options and help you plan your way out of debt. They may be able to assist you by:
- Doing a full assessment of your financial situation, including regular income and expenditure, assets and
liabilities, to help you fully understand your position, create a budget and put a plan into place
- Providing advice on how to negotiate with your creditors, government agencies or other providers
- Negotiating directly with your creditors in certain circumstances
- Providing advice about what options, rights and responsibilities you may have
- Referring you to other services you may need, such as legal services, crisis food and accommodation
services, and health services
What can a financial counsellor provide information about?
They can provide information and advice about:
- Credit and debt-related matters
- The rights of debtors
- How to lodge complaints with various ombudsman schemes if you feel you are not being treated fairly and
whether you should have been given a loan in the first place
- Working out a realistic payment plan for debts
- How to access other specialist support services, including gambling, family support, personal counselling,
legal aid and emergency relief
It’s then up to you to make the decisions about how to manage your situation with the advice you’ve been given.