Are you ready?

Your home, your rules. Are you itching to live on your own? First, you need to consider whether the time is absolutely right and whether you have enough money.

The right time for living on your own

Becoming independent by moving away from home is a natural part of life. It is very individual, although it usually takes place between the ages of 18 and 20. It is impossible to determine a specific age when one is ready to move away from home. There are many reasons as well: studying, work or starting a family. The key factor is how well you feel you will get by and how used you are to taking responsibility for your own affairs. If it feels like the right time to move out on your own, you should give it careful thought. Even if becoming independent is ‘in’ right now, you should carefully consider and discuss the matter with your parents as well. They can give you many useful tips. Becoming independent brings many freedoms and temptations, but it also brings challenges and responsibilities. You should talk with your friends who are living on their own about what living independently entails. Living on your own successfully is based on balancing your finances. Spending and housing go hand in hand. After you have moved on your own, you are expected to get by on your own financially as well. If these things seem difficult or alien to you, you should get thoroughly acquainted with them before moving into a home of your own.

There are many forms of housing

When you move away from home, you can live by yourself, together with a friend or in a shared apartment with people you did not know before. Every form has its advantages and disadvantages. The most common first home is a rental apartment. It is an easy and not very binding form of housing. You can easily terminate an indefinitely valid lease if your life situation changes. You can look for rental apartments provided by the municipality, private landlords or housing agencies or with online search engines. Because there are many apartment providers, there are differences in matters such as applying for one, price levels, conditions and practices, and you should take your time looking into them. You can also buy an apartment either fully or in part through various loan and ownership arrangements. These are more binding forms of housing, and nowadays banks require some level of self-financing contribution. The options are an owned apartment, a partially owned apartment or a right-of-occupancy apartment. You can find more information about these forms of housing online or you can ask your bank about them.

Managing your finances

When you are living on your own, you are expected to be financially independent. Before moving away from home, it is a good idea to look into the prices of things and what sorts of expenses come with everyday life. Living independently requires a regular income and maintaining a balance between income and expenses. It is important that your income is always higher than your expenses. To help you plan your finances, you can utilise a budget calculator, for which there are ready-made templates. You can use it to plan, calculate and see tangibly where your money is spent. Having some perception of this will help you regulate your monthly spending. You can finance your living with paid work or, depending on your situation, with regular subsidies. These include a general housing allowance, a labour market subsidy for the unemployed as well as a student financial aid granted by the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) and a student loan granted by your bank. It is also possible to receive social assistance under certain conditions. Those who have had an apartment for three months before entering military service are entitled to a conscript’s allowance.

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