Striking out on Your Own: Life After Living with Mom and Dad

Striking out on Your Own: Life After Living with Mom and Dad


Moving from the nest is no easy feat considering the harsh economic terrain. Recession-stricken young adults are often “last hired, first fired” in the words of Zhenchao Qian, Ohio State University professor. If you’ve been fortunate enough to overcome financial afflictions, and are ready to move (or be removed) from home, this advice will ease your transition to financial independence in a place that you can call your own.


Begin looking for potential places to live months in advance. This preparatory period will give you time to find the apartment right for you. Schedule multiple appointments for a variety of living quarters. Scrutinize the neighborhood and ask yourself questions: Is this location central to places I often travel to? Is it close to public transportation? Does the neighborhood suit my lifestyle and is it safe? If safety is in question, it’s beneficial to examine and other companies that offer renter’s insurance to safeguard your apartment.


Living with a roommate can be a blessing or a curse. Roommates will mitigate the cost of living with rent and utility bills. There is always the risk that the roommate may desist in paying their share or refuse to maintain a clean space. Find someone who is financially stable, shares similar living habits and is overall reliable. Close friends are preferred, but if you need to place a roommate request online, it’s vital that they meet this criteria.

The Lease

By the time you settle on an apartment, the landlord should already have a contract established. Read the leasing agreement with a keen eye. Here’s the time to ask a deluge of questions. Ask what utility costs you’re responsible for, how much freedom you have in renovating, why the last tenants moved out, what major repairs have been completed and whether or not a pet deposit is required, if you’re bringing along a furry friend. It’s also wise to inquire about the security deposit, laundry situation, rent due date, the cost of breaking the lease and if subletting is allowed. Write down the questions beforehand, and ask for parent suggestions.

Create a Budget

Draw up a weekly budget plan. Calculate the cost of rent and utilities, food, insurance, cable, car payments, subscriptions and extracurricular activities. Compare this sum to your weekly wages. It’s advised that these numbers do not match—your salary should eclipse the weekly cost of living.

Backup Plan

The future is largely unknown—it’s impossible to predict unforeseen circumstances. For this reason, your savings account should contain enough money to pay for three month’s worth of rent, groceries, bills and loan payments.

Apartment Essentials

It’s likely that your parents have unwanted crockery, linens and furniture—this is yours for the taking. Anything that can be acquired from family will greatly reduce the costs of moving. Secondhand shops are also prime destinations for cheap furniture and other supplies to populate your new place.


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