Is moving out hard, or am I just broke?

I was very hesitant about moving out of my parents’ house because I’m full of pride and I did not want to return. Once I made the decision to move out, I wanted to stay out. My plan was to think about every eventuality so that I wouldn’t have to crawl back home because I failed at managing life on my own.

I know now, that this was an irrational thought process; and there is no shame in trying it on your own and then reaching out for help (even if you have to return home to your parents), but if I hadn’t gotten married I probably would not have left home when I did.

Nothing prepares you for moving out

Moving out of your parents’ house is expensive! I don’t think you really realize how expensive life is until you move out and you have to pay all these bills on your own AND THEN EAT! I With climbing rent costs and growing bills, it really doesn’t seem like it a favourable time for Millennials to move out. But, will there ever be a good time? Do you just jump and hope the net appears? 

A 2017 study (referenced in this CNBC article) stated that more millennials were opting to move out of their parent’s homes – albeit just 1% more (32% were living back home in 2017 and in 2018 31% were living back home). The same article mentioned another study based on Federal Reserve data that showed “that millennials earned an average of $40,581 in 2013. That’s 20 percent less than the inflation-adjusted $50,910 earned by baby boomers in 1989”. These figures are in American dollars, however this kind of disparity is true for Millennials in other parts of the world. 

Generally, we are being paid less than our parents and are paying more for household costs, electricity, etc. So, it is difficult (and futile) for us to compare our current position with our parents’ at our age. It was a different time completely, By my age, my father already had a WHOLE HOUSE, a car and was thinking about starting a business. Meanwhile, I’m just trying to bake some chicken tenders for dinner and not spend my rent money on Amazon. 

Times are definitely changing.


Episode 17: The Great Debate: Rent or Buy? with Antoine Martel

What if I have to move back?

This article from the Daily Mail, written a few months after the one previously mentioned, pointed to a completely different scenario. “More adult millennials are moving home to save money, and it’s making them more depressed, and it’s making their parents pretty miserable too”.  The “boomerang” effect (as the article referred to it) of the adult children moving back is hard on both the returning and receiving parties. The parents have to transition back from being empty nesters and the adult child has to walk that thin line of being an adult with an independent mindset while living at home with parents who may have an ‘under my roof’ mentality. You know, that almost invisible line between exerting independence and not overstepping the line of your free room and board.

“The story arc is a little more complicated for many millennials who have increasingly found themselves living back at home after moving out years before.   The so-called Great Recession that followed the 2008 rupture of the housing bubble has become a defining moment for the millennial generation. More millennials are more educated than previous generations - just as their parents had hoped - but they flooded the market. Suddenly, there were fewer well-paid jobs and more overqualified candidates”. (Daily Mail, 2018)

The previous article, from CNBC, noted that Millennials would be more capable of affording life on their own because of their higher education and the likelihood that they would be able to obtain promotions/higher-paying jobs. However the Daily Mail article highlighted the reality that higher education is no longer a rarity and the market could possibly be saturated with Master’s degree holders and other achievers. 

“Financial independence – let alone, success – became harder to come by, and young adults brought up on a diet rich in opportunity, higher education and encouragement to achieve but lacking in menial labour were left stunned and stunted” (Daily Mail, 2018). 

A bitter pill to swallow for many Millennials who may have overshot their move-out deadline. But, at this point, everything is pretty much stocked against us, so what can we even do? 

The “move-out” plan

Well, we can map out a plan: 

  • when do we want to move out of our parents’ house? 
  • what do we want our ideal living situation to look like? 
  • what is the rent for a place like this (and how often will it increase)?
  • what is required to move in? (first and last month’s rent in account; security deposit; rent referrals; credit check)
  • make a list of your overall expenses and estimate the cost per month
  • outline a budget of personal expenses (your current level of spending)
  • compare your current level of spending with your list of possible expenses
  • are there adjustments that need to be made to your current spending, for you to be able to afford your living costs?
  • on this current assessment, will you be able to also put aside money for an emergency or two?


Episode 55: Redefining retirement with Eric Brotman

These are quite a bit of variables to think about but it’s always good to be over-prepared. Things like rental increases will blow your plan out of the water (if you don’t prepare for it); and if you’re planning on living with a roommate – you and that person should have an understanding that you should both give ample notice if one person is thinking of leaving, so the other isn’t left in a scramble to find a new place. 

Moving out is definitely hard – if you have a good relationship with your parents you may miss interacting with them everyday; there’s also the free meals and rent-free living; the free laundry; and being more broke than the previous generation, also makes it more difficult.

So I’d suggest staying with your parents for as long as you can to get some stability and then pushing out on your own when you’ve mapped out a bit of a plan. 

Happy moving ! 

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