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Moving out of the house you grew up in can be a big deal. In many cultures, parents encourage their children to be independent as a sign of growing up, and moving out of the family house is usually done once they approach adulthood.

Millennials call it “adulting,” an informal term used to describe someone’s behavior as responsible and grown-up. According to Merriam-Webster, it started appearing online in the late 2000s and gained popularity in 2016 as advertisers began to use it as a catchphrase. Independent living is one of the milestones of adulting, as well as other mundane activities such as getting a driver’s license, opening a bank account, and paying your bills on time.

How To Decide If You’re Ready

The question isn’t about whether you should leave your family home, but when you should do it. Nowadays, single adults continue to live with their parents because they can’t afford to live by themselves.

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Younger people are finding it hard to move out, mainly because of expensive property prices. Even those with modest means are having a difficult time saving money, so sharing in the family’s household costs becomes an attractive option instead. In this situation, you are making practical decisions as an adult that trumps living solo if it means being in debt and missing out on your rental payments.

However, that doesn’t mean you should stay your whole life in your parents’ lair. While there may be traditional Asian families that do this, the reasons behind it are subjective. It also depends on what life stage you’re at currently.  Are you just starting in your career or growing your business? Are you the designated family caretaker, and therefore moving out feels like a luxury?

Answering these personal questions will give you an insight on how to decide if you’re ready to move out. Once you’ve sorted out your priorities, you can then set your goals and schedule them. Here are four steps to consider before you finally give up those house keys.

Create A Mock Budget

Imagine a living arrangement that is not supported by your family. If you were to live in the city, what apartment would you get? Will you be living alone or getting flatmates to share with you? Plot out the numbers and, if possible, practice them.

  • Start to buy your daily essentials instead of including them in your mom’s shopping list.
  • Offer to pay your share in the household costs to your parents to simulate how it’s like living off your savings.
  • Do a lifestyle check and determine what you can and cannot live without.
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With the rising trend of urbanization, people who move to the city for jobs look for solutions to the lack of affordable housing. Co-living is a new concept that is slowly gaining popularity among young professionals all over the world. Whether it’s living with friends, colleagues, or entrepreneurs through a residential program, it’ll somehow feel like you’re in a hotel with the same guests every day.

Find Out Your Parents’ Retirement Plans

If the original plan after you graduate from college wasn’t to stay in the family home, it’d be wise to ask your parents what they were planning to do, especially if they’re both retired. Some parents sell the house and move to a smaller home to save costs on maintenance. Other couples usually intend to move to another state or country closer to their relatives or other reasons like pursuing outdoor hobbies and better weather.

Remember that this conversation won’t be easy. The relationship you have with your parents will have a significant impact on how it will go. They may want to have you around, but be open about your plans as well. You can compromise by moving somewhere within an hour’s drive, or agreeing to visit on the weekends.

Make Safety A Priority

When you approach your legal age, it might be tempting to do everything you weren’t able to do as a minor. But consequently, the law is different for adults, giving you more reason to be concerned about safety when making any life decision.

If you are leaving home because of conflict or abuse, get familiar with the social services, and supported accommodation available to you. In the same way, balance your budget with your safety needs when looking for your next home. Having a positive community that can improve your social life is much better than risking your security for cheap rent.

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Ask Yourself If You’re A Good Roommate

Sometimes, living alone can be terrifying and exhausting. But there are benefits as well that you’ll never figure out unless you move out. Having lived with your parents for years, they already know what kind of a tenant you are. However, sharing a room is different altogether, so asking yourself whether you’ll be a responsible partner in the bedroom can give you a clue on the amount of space you should be getting.

Moving in with your significant other is also part of growing up. It often tells you what role you will have in your future house. Are you the one who enjoys cooking in the kitchen but not cleaning up? Or are you the clean-freak who is crazy about doing chores? Living solo has its pros and cons, but so does living with someone else, so make sure you know what you are willing to give up to live comfortably.

If living in a family basement is something you’re allowed to do until you’re 30, make the most out of it. Build up your savings to upgrade your house or, better yet, buy your place when you’re ready. Some families have so much space that it can even accommodate extended family, and that’s okay. But the point of moving out is so you could challenge yourself in living independently. Adulting is hard, but don’t do it halfheartedly, either.