I’ve settled into a routine and it’s now far easier to manage
Elyse Goodwin is only 19 but has already moved out of her Newcastle home. She is studying environmental science at the University of Sydney, financing the move after working as a nanny and doing casual weekend shifts at a restaurant. “I always love to challenge myself and I thought being so young and moving to the big city there would be a lot of options for work and places to live.
My parents helped me develop some independence so when I did move out it wouldn’t be a struggle; I could cook my own food and ask for help from people.
Even so, they were pretty shocked when I told them I was moving out. But I explained I could afford it and it was a great opportunity for me to live in Sydney. Now they see me as very mature. I think maturity plays a massive part. If you feel comfortable living with a bunch of strangers and being able to make friends then I think you’re ready.
But there are a lot of 19-year-olds that aren’t ready to leave the comfort of their parents. They are not self-sufficient at home and would definitely struggle.
I was initially looking at off-campus accommodation, but I found people were seeing my age and immediately replying to say ‘this is not a party house’.
A lot of people have the expectation that young people just want to party and make a mess of the house. I then started looking into student accommodation, which is $303 per week, including Wi-Fi.
My budget was initially $250 per week, but I soon realised that was nowhere near enough for a private room off campus. Even in a suburb without a station, it’s at least $350 before bills.
Juggling finances has been OK, but I’m not saving anything. Most nights people will say ‘where are we going tonight?’ and a lot of the time I have to say, “I can’t go, it doesn’t fit into this week’s budget.” But now I’ve settled into a routine and it’s become far easier to manage.”