Depending on where you are, living with parents is seen differently by society. In some areas, it is acceptable (and sometimes even the norm) for you to still live with your parents even as an adult. In fact, in some places, you are expected to live with your folks until you get married, and even then, there is still no pressure to move out.
Often, this is the case simply because that is how it has always been. Sometimes, people (especially millennials) have just really come to accept that practicality now comes at the expense of independence. In fact, in 2015, the percentage of millennials living as head of household (that is, no roommate) in the US was lower than that during the Great Recession. Times are hard.
By contrast, living with parents in adulthood is frowned upon in some regions. There is a stigma attached to it, and you cannot avoid it no matter how hard you try to explain to people that you are in charge of some of the expenses! In some areas, you are expected to move out as soon as you turn legal age, regardless of whether or not you are still in school.
No matter where you are now or how old you are, you have to move out sooner or later and start looking after yourself. Moving out is a major venture, so you have to get it right. Here are some things to keep in mind before finalizing your plans.
The First Few Steps to Flying the Coop
The very first thing you need to do after deciding to move out is to come up with a good, realistic, time-bound plan. What are the things you need to consider? Do you have to be close to a specific place? School, work, or your S/O, perhaps? These will influence your choice of future location. Take note that your plan should also have a timeline. This helps keep you on your feet and stops you from slacking off. In fact, you will find that sometimes, your deadline will be all that can keep you going. Moving out is a highly stressful and difficult process that can take a physical and even an emotional toll on you, so you might be tempted to stop.
Your second task is telling your parents. They may take it positively or negatively, but you have to communicate with them regardless of what you think their reaction will be. This ensures that there are no hard feelings when you suddenly have to go. Also, your parents might be able to help you plan for your move. After all, they have been living by their own means for decades!
Finally, check your resources. Figure out how much you can afford because this will determine where you can move and what kind of residential property you can rent or buy. Also, make sure you can live within your means. It may appear like common sense, but a lot of people have a harder time doing it than you imagine.
Change your lifestyle as soon as you decide that you are moving out of your folks’ home, regardless of when you are actually moving. Do some cost-cutting, make a budget and stick to it, and practice doing chores. Unless you are super rich, you will have to do all these when you are eventually living on your own anyway. Starting to change how you live while you are still with your folks helps make your transition easier.
There is a lot of spending involved in moving out, so find time to think about your finances. You have to consider your monthly living expenses, emergency funds, down payment, and large one-time expenses, such as furniture and appliances.
Good credit is needed when renting or buying a home. “Good” can differ depending on who you are renting or buying from, but best practice is that you should not be satisfied with the minimum requirement in general anyway. Always aim for the best. In this case, regardless of whether you already have credit or not, make sure it is in the best shape it can be.
To build credit, one of the easiest and simplest ways is to become an authorized user on someone else’s credit card (someone with good credit, mind you). You can also opt for secured credit cards or credit-builder loans. To improve existing credit, pay your debt on time and avoid opening new credit accounts, especially if your credit is already taking a beating. You can monitor how your credit is doing by taking a look at free reports from credit reporting agencies. Some banks also offer this feature free of charge.
How Much to Save
How much have you saved for the move? In general, any amount that can cover three to six months of your future living expenses is a safe margin. You also have to take your job into consideration. Are you a regular employee at a stable company or working three new part-time jobs and may have to switch in the next few months?
It is always best to move only if and when you have a stable source of income. If you are not in such a favorable position, it may be good to wait until you have a steady and secure source of money. However, if your need to move is urgent, then at least have a Plan B regarding your employment.
To have a good idea of how much homes and rent cost in certain neighborhoods, begin looking for homes or apartments a few months in advance. This will help you set your perspective and allow you to adjust accordingly.
Monthly Living Expenses
But how do you calculate your living expenses? Again, this depends on where you will be moving, but these will be typically your recurring expenses: rent, utilities, phone bill, insurance, transportation (fare and/or gas), car payments and maintenance, groceries, entertainment, and a certain percentage that goes into your savings and emergency funds.
After getting the total amount of all these, add a buffer percentage (normally 10%), and the resulting amount is your total per month.
Remember that the three to six months’ worth of living expenses that you need to save is merely part of the savings you need to have ready before moving out. Other expenses that you need to prepare for include: rent deposit, installation fees, and furniture and appliances, among others.
You can simply ask your landlord or realtor regarding your monthly payments for your future home or rented property. Installation fees, meanwhile, will depend on your utility and service providers. Lastly, you can estimate how much you will need for your household items by searching online classifieds or stores.
If you are planning to buy a home, you need to look for a legitimate and good realtor from a reputable company. Realtors have thorough knowledge and understanding of the housing market and the home buying process. Their insights and advice can help you decide on many things. Sure, you can always research, but it can be difficult to make a choice what with conflicting opinions online.
Realtors also handle all the paperwork and negotiations necessary, which translates to a lot of time and effort saved on your end. They basically handle the most stressful parts of purchasing a home, which is why they are nearly always indispensable.
What to Buy
Do you have an idea how many items are in your parents’ household? There is a lot, and you will have to buy all of those for yourself as well. There are two ways by which you can plan what you need to buy without missing anything out.
First, you can do it by room. Imagine each room in your parents’ home, and try to list which of their things should be in your home too. This is a good system, especially if the property you will be moving into resembles your parents’ home.
Second, you can follow your sequence of activities. Begin by listing the things you need right after waking up: toiletries, kitchen and dining ware, etc. Mentally go over your daily routine, and list everything you need along the way.
The second system is much more practical in our opinion because it highlights only what you really need. It lets you avoid buying things you rarely even use or probably will not even need, which may happen if you list your necessities by room.
Other Tasks to Do
Other things you need to take care of include signing up for utilities and services, finding schools and a new work location if necessary, and finally, the move itself.
You can ask your friends for help with the packing and moving or simply get help from professional movers. You can opt for basic, labor-only moving services, where employees from the moving company will help you with loading and unloading only. You can also go for full-service movers, who will also handle packing and other tasks.
If you are moving out with only your clothes and a few basic things, you can order the big and heavy items online, have them delivered to your new address, and just shop for the small items yourself.
Some Parting Words
Moving out of your parents’ home is anything but easy. There is a lot of work involved: both mental and physical, and not to mention money.
However, just like all other major stages you have to face, moving out can be done systematically to make it less difficult and stressful. Hope this guide helps you. Good luck!