18th April 2019

4 tips on how to avoid going broke when moving away from home

Perhaps you're leaving home to go to university, move in with your partner or simply because it's time. Congratulations! From now on, you can deck the entire place out from top to bottom in your favourite colour and listen to loud music at three o’clock at night to boot. But now everything will cost money, too: here are some important tips on how to avoid going broke straight away.

1. Cut down on the cost of living

Regardless of whether you rent or buy, pay attention to the energy rating: most new buildings have an energy performance certificate and are classified in categories A to C, which is very good. Most average properties, however, are in categories D to G, which means that they have higher energy consumption. When renting, check whether the doors and windows are airtight and follow simple rules to keep your living costs down:

  • Ventilate twice a day and only every now and then in winter in order to prevent humidity and mould.
  • Close the windows when the heating is turned on.
  • Maintain an appropriate temperature in every room. You should neither freeze nor emulate a tropical climate at home.
  • Keep room doors closed to prevent heat from escaping.
Water and electricity consumption are also important factors. As you already know: turn off the lights when you leave a room and turn the tap off when you clean your teeth...

2. Learn to cook and shop

Surprised? A croissant in the morning, a sandwich at lunch, a takeaway coffee and a pizza delivered in the evening: food costs soon mount up! If you learn to cook a few simple recipes, stock up on supplies and write a shopping list for the week, you won’t buy too much and you'll end up eating better and for less.

3. Take out home insurance

Although damage from floods, forces of nature and fire, for example, doesn't happen that often, when it does, it's really expensive! With home insurance, you're already covered for a whole range of different types of household damage, and you have peace of mind should the worst happen, too.

4. Build up a cash buffer

The best way to do this is to build up small safety nets so you don't find yourself strapped for cash when the next major job needs doing. Some tips:

  • Save money regularly by setting up a monthly standing order, for example, so you no longer even have to think about it.
  • When you start working, consider taking out a supplementary pension plan to allow you to enjoy a comfortable standard of living in your old age, too. Your older self will thank you! Moreover, you can offset the supplementary pension against tax.

Don't want to rent forever? When buying or building a home, the government can help you with a government guarantee. To be eligible, however, you must have saved €290 per year over three years. A building loan agreement will enable you to save money and get an attractive interest rate on the loan and a government guarantee later on. The building loan agreement is also tax-deductible.

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