Fleeing the Nest: Deciding When to Move Out of Your Parents' House

By Amanda Cohen on November 30, 2018

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Upcoming/recent college graduates are faced with a plethora of decisions and, let’s be real, burdens. We have to decide what our next move is: are we going right to work, are we going back to school, are we volunteering, are we doing a mixture of both, what should we do with our lives? We have to decide how to allocate our resources (aka financial resources). And last, but certainly not least, we have to decide on our new living situation: are we moving to a new city, are we going to live with our parents, are we moving out… how do we decide?

College prepares us for our future occupations, but it does not help us with deciding when it’s time to move out of our parents’ house. That’s where I come in: use this article to make an informed decision about whether or not you should move out of your parents’ house and, if you aren’t going to move out right now, then when?

Image via. https://pixabay.com/en/home-at-home-decoration-wood-2194174/

The first, and most important, factor to consider when deciding when you should move out of your parents’ house is your financial situation. Some questions you need to think about when deciding if you’re are financially-able to move out of your parents’ home are:

  • Do you have a paying job?
  • If you do have a job, what is your income?
  • What is the price of living in the area you’re working/living in?
  • What are your other financial obligations?
  • Do you have money saved from past jobs?

Depending on who you are, there might be more questions that you need to think about, but these five questions cover most of it. If you’re financially stable and you have all of your expenditures organized and budgeted, then by all means, move out. However, if you are just going to be living paycheck-to-paycheck if you move out, then maybe wait a little bit before leaving your parents’ home. Even if you aren’t living paycheck-to-paycheck, it never hurts to wait a few months or so to get your own place (think about how much you will save on rent and food if you wait it out for a bit)!

Another thing to consider is your relationship with your parents. Everyone comes from different, unique families and some people have more positive relationships with their parents than others. If you have a good relationship with your parents and you don’t think that they will get too much in your way or you will get too much in their way, I think it’s totally fine to live at home with them for a bit. However, if you don’t have a good relationship with your parents or you know your relationship with them is better when you aren’t under the same roof, move out right before you start work. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine whether or not it’s the right move, mentally and emotionally, to live at him:

  • Do you enjoy being around your parents?
  • Do you think your parents will interfere with your social and work life?
  • Are your parents extremely overbearing?
  • Do you feel comfortable and relaxed when you are home?
  • Will your parents start treating you like a high school kid if you move back home?

Image via. https://pixabay.com/en/boxes-cardboard-carrying-overload-2624231/

However, even though it may seem like this is entirely your decision, please factor your parents’ thoughts and opinions into your decision. If you talk to them about it, I know it will be much clearer as to what you should do in terms of your living situation. For all you know, your parents might be planning on moving to a smaller house or apartment and won’t have room for a roommate (I say this half-kidding and half-seriously).

The bottom line is that there is no such thing as the perfect time to move out of your parents’ house. For some people, it’s an easy decision, and for others, it’s a very hard decision. Let me just say that my friends who all moved out of their homes right away said that getting that rent check at the end of each month is the bane of their existences. However, many of them didn’t have a choice because they were moving to a different state than where their parents live, so that’s obviously a huge consideration as well; it doesn’t make sense for my friend to live with her parents in Chicago when her job is in New York City.

When the time comes for you to move out of your parents’ house, you will know. However, it doesn’t hurt to start thinking about it and making a plan that involves going through your finances, your potential relocation for jobs, your relationship with your parents, your intentions with your new life post-grad, and so on. Nothing screams “adult” more than having a stable, well-thought-out plan of action for your next move!

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I am currently a junior at the University of Michigan.

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