Moving out of your parents' home is another line item on the list of adult firsts. It is a rite of passage signifying independence and maturity, but sprinkled with a big dose of reality. Like any important decision, weigh the pros and cons before doing anything in haste. If you decide to move on, be prepared for what's in store.
Depending on your financial situation, career path and life goals, determine if you want to rent or buy. If you think you are ready to buy a house or condo, you will need to qualify for a mortgage and find a suitable property that you can afford. Make alliances with a trusted banker and a savvy real-estate agent who can guide you through the process. If renting is the way to go, search for the right neighborhood at the right price. Decide if you are ready to go solo or if sharing expenses with a roommate makes more financial sense. Either way, map out a budget of monthly expenses before signing on any dotted lines.
Moving to a new place is awesome, but there's a laundry list of items you need to furnish it. Furniture, linens, cooking utensils, small appliances and decorative items all combine to make a house a home. Make a prioritized list and start accumulating items prior to the move. Put out the word and gather cast-offs and donations from well-meaning friends and family. Scour yard sales and consignment shops for bargains. Encourage friends to throw you a house-warming party. Once you have the basics and settle in, you can work on the lower-priority list items. A new place is always a work in progress, so be patient but prepared.
You may have been able to live on a shoestring in your parents' home, but not so when you move out on your own. Start accruing a nest egg well before you make the move. Having three months' worth of savings is important before striking out on your own. Living from paycheck to paycheck sets you up for future financial disaster; be sure your new monthly budget allows for regular deposits into savings accounts and retirement funds. Set a budget and live by it.
You may joke about getting out from under your parents' thumbs, while they may tease you about turning your old room into a den. But truth be told, it will be emotionally traumatic (or at least an adjustment) for all of you. Set a schedule for regular visits such as a weeknight dinner or Sunday brunch. Though you may not want your parents visiting every day, allow them to be a part of your new venture by asking advice on decorating or other elements of the move. Likewise, bringing your laundry home every week is not a display of your independence, but stopping by to lend a hand with difficult chores or landscaping projects lets them know you're still an active participant in family life.
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