With massive amounts of student loan debt, a high cost of living, and an unstable job market, it’s become increasingly common for young adults to move back in with their parents. But once you move in, how do you move out of your parent's house?
This is a question I struggled with when my fiance (now wife) and I were living with her parents. We moved in with them to pay off student loans and save up for our wedding. And once we met those goals, it was still difficult to move out.
And even though living with her parents was hard at times, it was one of the best financial choices we have ever made. I destroyed $40,000 of student loan debt in 18 months, and we had cash for our wedding.
Like I said, living with your parents isn’t uncommon these days — 15% of millennials live with their parents.
Moving in with your parents can be a huge help, but the goal is to eventually move out.
But how do you move out of your parent's house and survive financially? Moving out can take a lot of work. You need to make sure you’re on the right track with your money, have a plan, etc.
It’s okay to be scared of moving out. But trust me, you’re an adult, and with the tips below, you can make an easy transition to living on your own.
Here’s how to move out of your parent’s house
Pretend that you already live on your own
Learning how to move out of your parent's house is going to be 1000x easier if you pretend like you already live on your own. This means cleaning, helping with maintenance, doing yard work, etc.
There are also important financial aspects of living on your own that you should get comfortable with now. The biggest being that you pay your bills on time, every month.
Here are some tips for staying on top of your bills:
- Start by making a list of all of your bills — every vendor, service provider, creditor, etc.
- Know how much is due each month, minimum monthly payment and total balance
- Set reminders on your phone for when your bills are due, or use a calendar
- Set up automated payments when possible
- For manual payments, create a system that you use every month — the day of the week you pay your bills, whether you write checks or call in payments, etc.
Paying your bills on time will help you establish credit and work towards your other financial goals. And, you should be doing all of this now while you’re still figuring out how to move out of your parent's house.
M$M tip: If you want help negotiating for lower rates on some of your bills, Trim is an app that will negotiate your phone, internet, and cable bills for you. Trim can even cancel unwanted subscriptions. Learn more at Trim App Review 2020: An Easy Way to Save Money on Your Bills.
Keep a budget
Everyone needs a budget. Seriously, no matter what your financial situation is, keeping a budget will help you set money goals and work towards them.
Starting a budget while you’re still living at home will help you keep up with your current bills while saving up enough money so that you can eventually move out. That’s because a budget tells you how much money you have coming in and out every month, when you need to start earning more, and where to cut spending.
Here are some of my top budgeting articles to help you get started:
- The 50/30/20 Budgeting Rules: What It Is & How It Works
- Zero-Based Budgeting Explained: How it Works, Creating a Budget, and App Alternatives
- How to Make a Budget Spreadsheet in Google Sheets (Step-By-Step Guide for 2020!)
- YNAB Review 2020: Most Effective Budgeting App Around?
- Mint vs. YNAB 2020: Which Budgeting App is Best?
Set some financial goals
If you’re like me, you moved in with your parents because you already have some goals. Goals, like paying off debt or saving for the near future, are really common among young adults that live with their parents.
But what about your long-term goals?
Do you want to become debt-free? Do you want to retire early? Would you like to travel? Is self-employment something you’re interested in? Is marriage in the near future?
I bring this up because goals like that will dictate what kind of living situation you choose for yourself. Keep your goals in mind when deciding if you want to rent or buy, how much you can spend on housing every month, etc. This will help you with this next tip…
Figure out how much it will cost to live on your own
Everyone is going to have a slightly different cost of living. It will depend on what part of the country you live in and what you’re future living situation is going to look like. Are you going to rent a place with someone else? Rent on your own? Buy a place? Will you be moving in with a significant other?
Here is a list of expenses you’ll need to consider for each situation:
- Utilities (water, sewer, gas, electric, trash/recycling, etc.)
- Cell service
- Insurance (health, car, homeowners/renters)
- Streaming services
For electricity, gas, water, cable, internet, trash/recycling, renters can expect to pay an average of $100-$150/month. Homeowners can expect to pay closer to $400/month.
For bills, you’re not already paying, start shopping around and pricing things out.
Don’t forget that moving costs money
Even when you don’t have much stuff, the actual move itself can be expensive. You need packing supplies and maybe a moving truck. If you’re lucky, you can call up some friends and pay them in beer and pizza to help you with the heavy lifting.
There are also going to be some immediate and unexpected expenses. You need cleaning supplies, dishes, cups, utensils, cookware, sheets, towels, trash bags, pillows, tools, laundry detergent, etc… one of the surprises of living on your own is how freaking expensive some of this stuff is.
I could go on, but you get the idea.
To remember everything you need for your new place, go through your parent's house and think about the things you use on a regular basis. You can think about it like this:
- What do I need to cook food and eat it with?
- What do I need for the bathroom?
- How will I fix things?
- How will I keep my clothes clean?
- What about keeping my house clean?
- What will I sleep on?
- How will I store my clothes?
This is all of the stuff your parents are probably taking care of for you. Once you move out, you’re responsible for buying it all.
Start saving money
If you’re buying a house, then you will need to save up for a downpayment. But everyone learning how to move out of their parent's house, whether you’re renting or buying, should start building their emergency fund.
You know how your parents are your safety net right now? Well, your emergency fund is your safety net when you live on your own.
The general rule of thumb is that you should have around three months' worth of expenses set aside… now you know why some of those previous steps were so important. While that might sound like a decent chunk of money to set aside, trust me when I say that it is incredibly important.
An emergency fund will protect you from taking on debt or even needing to move back in with your parents.
At the very least… and I mean very least… have $1,000-$2,000 set aside in a high-interest savings account. Then keep adding to it after you move out.
M$M tip: Read 21 Best 2020 Side Hustle Ideas (Make $1,000+ Per Month) for my favorite side hustle ideas.
Work on your credit score
Both landlords and lenders are going to check your credit score. It’s a metric that tells them how risky it is to lend you money or let you rent from them. And the higher your score the better.
If you’ve never checked your credit score, you can check it for free at AnnualCreditReport.com — this is what the FTC recommends using. You can also get your credit score for free when you sign up for a free Mint account.
M$M tip: Want to learn more about your credit score and how to improve it, check out these articles:
- How Long Does it Actually Take to Improve Your Credit Score?
- Self Lender Review: A Credit Boosting Alternative to Credit Cards
Actually move out
If you found this article after searching “how to move out of your parent's house,” then there is a good chance that you’re pretty serious about moving out. However, that doesn’t mean that moving out is going to be any less terrifying.
Once you’ve met your goals for moving out, then it’s time to actually make the jump to living on your own.
If things are good at your parent's house, it can be really easy to put off moving out. But when you’re ready, just do it.
When my wife and I moved out of her parent's house, it was scary, but it was legitimately the best thing for us. We finally had a place of our own, and it felt really freaking awesome to reach that very adult milestone.
M$M tip: If you want to keep track of your money, try Personal Capital. This is the free software my wife and I use to stay on top of our financial milestones, and you can learn more about it at Personal Capital Review 2020: Free Investment and Net Worth Tracking Tool.
Keep in touch with your parents
While your parents might celebrate the fact that you’ve finally moved out, the reality is that they’re going to miss you.
Make time to have dinner with them, invite them over to your new place, stop back at home to help around the house, and just give them a call from time to time.
Your parents are awesome people… they did let you live with them for an extended period of time, right… so make sure you let them know that by keeping in touch after you move out.
The final word on how to move out of your parent's house
I remember living with my wife’s parents and getting a lot of flack for it. The majority of my peers were buying houses, cars, going on vacation, and here I was living with my in-laws.
But the reason we did it was to create a better financial future, and that’s probably the case for you too.
When you’re ready to move out, the tips in this article will set you up for success so you can survive the massive financial and emotional transition that is living on your own.