People truly step into adulthood when they move out of their family’s house. Whether you are 18, 25 or 30 years old when you move out, it will make a great significance on your life as you become fully independent. Even if you are living alone or with roommates, there are several factors you need to consider when you move out for the first time:

Manage your finances.

First time movers often forget to calculate the extra costs, such as one month or two month deposit, water, electricity, gas and real estate agent fee. Luckily water, electricity and gas are not very expensive in Hong Kong, but an extra month of deposit can take a toll on your finances. Make sure your savings account has enough to include these extra costs, so that you still have money left for cost of living, such as food and public transport expenses.

Read the lease carefully.

Before you sign the lease agreement, make sure you have read it a few times over and between the lines. If you are unsure of certain legal or real estate terms and conditions, make sure you ask your real estate agent to explain them clearly. Also, consider the duration of the lease – if you sign a two year lease, you will be required to stay in the same apartment within this time period.

Learn to do laundry.

Your parents or domestic helper may have done your laundry before, but you won’t have this luxury anymore when you move out. If you have a washing machine at home, make sure you learn how to do laundry properly, so that your white shirts don’t turn into pink shirts. If your apartment does not include a washing machine, there are always a few shops that provide laundry service near residential areas.

Keep a spare key in a safe place.

Give a spare key to someone you trust – in case of emergency (for example when you lose your house keys), you can simply ask the trustee for the spare key. Avoid hiding your spare key in obvious areas such as under your door mat, because this will increase your chances of getting robbed.

Communicate open and honestly with your roommates.

Even if your roommate was originally a stranger or a good friend, make sure you communicate frequently to avoid unnecessary conflict and arguments. Before you move in with your roommate, set up some ground rules and make sure the both of you follow them. If you are unsatisfied with something, lay your cards on the table and communicate in a calm and collected manner.