When to know if it’s time to set up your own home

You may have come to the conclusion that it is time to move out of your parents’ house and spread your wings a little. However, there are a number of issues to consider before you make the final decision, which ideally should be made in conjunction with your parents and anyone you are considering living with. If you can find ways to deal with all the following issues, then you probably really are ready to move out of your parents’ house.

Finances

The most important issue to consider is whether you can afford to move out or not. It isn’t just a matter of finding the deposit and the first month’s rent, you need to know that you have regular money coming in so that you can pay the rent every month. If you move out and then find you can’t pay, you risk losing your home and having to move back to your parents anyway. You also need to work out more or less how much money you are going to need to pay out for heating, water, taxes and any other bills that will come your way once you are independent. If your parents have previously dealt with all those bills, you may not be aware just how much it costs to run a household.

Bill and necessities management

Bills need to be paid on a regular basis, so you will need to set up a number of direct debits, or at least ensure that you know exactly when each bill should be paid, especially if your parents aren’t there to remind you. Direct debits are usually the most convenient way forward, but then you need to remember to have the money in your account to pay them. Don’t forget that at colder times of year, your heating bills may be much higher than at others. You also need to eat, travel and keep yourself and the house clean. Don’t underestimate the cost of this – you may well need to rein yourself in when it comes to take-aways, Wi-Fi access and entertainment, thereby forgoing treats you have always taken for granted.

Time management

With independence comes managing your own time. Once you’re living away from your parents, you can organise your life as you see fit, but unless you are willing to stay at home all day and watch television, you will need to ensure that you get yourself to work or college on time. This should be relatively straightforward, but it is not always so, especially if you no longer have your parents available to give you lifts when you need them. You’ll also need to fit in time to do household tasks like shopping, bill paying and cleaning. If you’re not prepared to manage your time properly, then you may be better off staying at home until you are.

Ability to cope

Living alone or with friends can be very freeing. You can invite who you want into your house and can more or less do what you want. However, not everyone is ready to cope with this. The occasional all-night party won’t do you any harm, but you do need to be in control of yourself most of the time. You will also need to consider your neighbours. Just because you want to play loud music all night long doesn’t mean that you should, or at least, not if you don’t want potentially threatening visits from neighbours or even the police. A certain level of maturity is needed to run your own life.

Reliability of flatmates

Most people who leave their parents’ homes do so to share with other people, simply because bill-paying is too much of a burden otherwise. This means that you also need to consider the reliability of your flatmates. They will need to pull their weight around the house and they will also need to contribute regularly to the rent and other bills. If you are concerned that they may pull out, or regularly invite people you don’t like into your home, then you may need to reconsider the practicality of sharing with them. This is particularly important if you don’t know the people you are going to be living with.

Safety

Most people feel safe in their parents’ homes, knowing that there will always be someone else to check that the house is safely secured at night. However, in your own home, which is likely to be in a poorer neighbourhood than that of your parents, you will need to look after such concerns yourself. Your landlord should have installed a fire and carbon monoxide alarm, but it is up to you to make sure they are in working order. You will also need to check the locks on the windows and doors regularly too. If you don’t feel secure for any reason, then ask for help.

Provided that you feel you are ready to cope with all the factors above, then you are probably ready to leave your parents’ home. Hopefully, it will be the beginning of a new way of life for you.