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How to create your budget

Figure out how much it costs to live on your own and create a budget.​​​

​Plan ahead and be prepared for what it will cost to live on your own. Whether you’re leaving home to go to school or start a new job, a budget can help you:

  • keep track of your income
  • manage your bills and other expenses
  • start saving
  • stay out of debt.

5 questions to ask before living on your own

  1. Where would you like to live? Look into rents in various areas. If you choose a place minutes from campus or work, you may have to pay more.
  2. What kind of place do you have in mind? Your options range from an apartment or condo to a detached home. If you’re going to school, you may have a choice of living on campus. You may save money if you have a roommate rather than live on your own.
  3. How will you furnish your new place? Consider costs like a bed, sofa, TV and appliances. You may save money by buying what you can second-hand.
  4. How will you get around? Your costs will be different if you use a car or public transit for your travel.
  5. What will it cost? Use this worksheet to add up your costs. It includes all of the expenses involved in setting up and running your new home.

When you’ve completed your worksheet, you can work out a budget you can afford.

Stay at home, rent or buy?

At age 25, Kit is thinking for the first time about moving away from home. But can she afford it? What’s her best option: stay, rent or buy?

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