There's no doubt that some young adults are more than ready to move out of their parents' house. They graduate high school and head off to college, the military, a job, a gap year, a church mission or something else and never look back.
But for many others, moving out of their parents' house can be challenging. In addition to the financial change, it can also be emotionally challenging (for both you and your parents). Here are some things you'll want to consider if you're planning on moving out.
Making The Choice To Move Out Of Your Parents' House
The first thing that you'll want to think about is whether you're moving out of your parents' house for the right reasons:
- You feel financially ready to support yourself, including stable income and a solid credit history.
- You're ready to tackle the challenges that come with being self-sufficient.
- You are looking for more privacy than just your bedroom.
- You're looking for experiences that aren't available while living with your parents.
If you are only thinking about moving out because you had a temporary disagreement with your parents or "all your friends are doing it", it may be wise to take a step back and make a concrete plan.
In most cases, you will want to discuss your plans with your parents. They can provide advice about whether they think you're ready, help you with moving plans and talk through how they can support you. Trying to keep your plans secret can be a sign that you may not be ready to move out. If your relationship with your parents is strained, find a trusted adult (preferably someone older that is already self-sufficient) and talk with them about your plans.
Get A Financial Plan In Place
If you think that you're emotionally ready to move out of your parents' house, you'll want to make sure your finances are in place. Besides rent, food and utilities, there are a lot of other expenses that you might not be aware of (since your parents are probably paying them for you!). This could include things like car insurance, health insurance, gym memberships, student loan payments, clothing, gas and auto maintenance, gifts and savings.
Plus, you'll inevitably need to get some furniture and things for your new house as well!
If you haven't already, set up a budget for what your finances will look like once you've moved out. Look at your income as compared to your possible expenses, and make sure to be conservative with your expenses — you may not fully realize what your expenses will be until you move out. You could even consider starting to live with your new budget for a month or two to get a better handle on how realistic it might be.
Consider The One-Time Moving Costs
As you prepare to move out, you'll want to have the money to cover some of the one-time expenses that come with moving. Your costs to actually move might be minimal if you're just grabbing some friends and you're just throwing your things in the back of a pickup truck. If you're moving across the country or have more things to move. Plus you'll likely need money for a security deposit for an apartment or money to furnish your new place.
Make sure you have an emergency fund in place in addition to these expenses. In most cases, moving out is not an emergency, so you shouldn't pay for it with your emergency fund. You'll want to have a healthy emergency fund in place for when you move, so you have the ability to pay for ACTUAL emergencies.
Get Your Credit In A Good Place
Another hidden cost for many people is the cost of not having good credit. If you have below-average credit, then you may not have easy access to loans and other financial products. If you do qualify for a loan, you may have to pay a higher interest rate. Many potential landlords also run prospective tenants' credit scores — so poor or no credit could disqualify you from the apartment you're looking at.
If you're in a situation where you have poor or no credit history, you will want to work on that before you move out. You might ask your parents to add you as an authorized user to one of their credit cards. Then, apply for a student credit card or other credit card targeted to people with limited credit histories. Just make sure that you keep your credit card spending within your means.
The Emotional Costs Of Moving Out
Leaving your childhood home is not only a financial transaction but it can also be an emotional one. And remember that it's not only emotional for you, it can be emotional for your parents as well. Even if you think you are ready, you may find it challenging, especially over the first few weeks and months.
One way to help with the transition is to have open and honest communication with your parents to make sure you're both on the same page. Are you expecting to stop by to do your laundry for free? Do your parents expect you for weekly family dinners? What are the ground rules for unexpected "pop in" visits? If you've moved further away, what are the expectations for things like video chats or Zoom calls? Making sure that you both agree on things like this can help for a smooth transition.
Find Friends Who Share Similar Values And Make Them Your New “Family Away From Home”
Another way to stay emotionally healthy is to start putting down roots near your new home. This is especially applicable if your new home is far away from your parents. You can find friends you share similar values with at your workplace, at local organization meet-ups and even in your neighborhood.
If you are at a loss, Meetup.com has communities of people who meet up for various reasons in several cities across the world. It might be worth it to visit one of these local meetups to see if you find someone or a group of people who could become your new “family away from home”.
Moving out of your parents' house is a big step, both emotionally and financially. It's important to make sure that you have your finances in order before moving out, since that can increase the chances that you have a successful transition.
Organize a budget, plan for your moving expenses and make sure you have an emergency fund even after you've moved. After you've moved out, make sure that you and your parents have similar expectations as you transition into this new stage in your relationship.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.