When Should You Move Out Of Your Parents’ House?

Moving out of your parents’ house is one of the most challenging transitions you will ever experience. But how would you know it’s time to say goodbye and take the reins for your own life? Different cultures, different takes. There are countries where children HAVE TO move out by a certain age, while others are expected to live with their parents their whole life. But no matter the culture you live in, leaving home will ultimately be your choice. Here are 10 indications you are ready to move out.

Disclaimer: the content of this post is based on the author’s opinion and experiences, and it’s not intended to give professional advice.

Cutting the baby's umbilical cord.
This is the second time I’m cutting my child’s umbilical cord after birth. We had already moved out of my parents’ house by this time. Dec 2019.

1. You Have Your Own Family.

Starting your own family is a good indication of moving out of your parents’ house. This creates the physical and emotional boundary that will give you and your spouse the freedom to grow the family you want. It’s ideal for both men and women to leave home after marriage.

There is a term used here in the Christian world. It’s called leave and cleave. This is based on the verse in Genesis 2:24, which said, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” The essence of leave and cleave is to teach the new couple independence as they are now considered one flesh. They detach themselves from the parent-child bond to be united to the new husband and wife covenant. This means mom and dad are no longer the number one priority in your life, but your spouse. If you want to learn more about this topic, I wrote an article about leave and cleave here.

2. You Gave The Decision Enough Time And Prayer.

Did you give enough time to think and pray this through? Have you devised a well-thought plan for moving out and your life after? If you have done so, this is also a good signal that you are ready to move. Many people leave home on impulse and regret it afterward. Never leave home simply because you had a fight with your parents. Be sure you are thinking logically, not emotionally.

My wife and I spoke to our counselors before we decided to move. We seek their advice and ask for tips on living away from our parents. We allowed time and prayer to mature our decision before pulling the trigger.

3. You Have A Stable Income And Saved At Least $2,000.

How will you fund your move? How do you sustain your monthly expenses? If you plan to leave home, make sure you have a stable income and have saved at least $2,000. It’s the amount I set aside before I moved out with my wife and kids, so this should work more or less for your new life. Things can get hairy if you don’t stabilize yourself first financially before moving out.

I am not saying you must become rich before you leave home. All I am suggesting is to build yourself enough cushion to make your adjustment period more pleasant. If ever you get in the spot where you have to decide whether you should move out or save money, I’d say, save money first.

But there’s a caveat. Saving should have a deadline. Give yourself 12 months. By the end of 12 months, you move out with whatever amount you have saved. Having the deadline will show how serious you are with your decision, and also pushes you to be more intentional with your savings. Not having a deadline may drag your plan to the point where you won’t be able to move at all.

4. You Know Basic Financial Management.

This is related to the previous point. It’s ideal to have a stable income and savings before moving out. But they should be partnered with knowledge in financial management. Knowing how to handle your money is critical when you start living independently. This can make or break your life after moving out of your parents’ house.

Are you familiar with the story of the Prodigal Son? To recap, a son asked for his inheritance and left his father and brother. He dwindled his money on lavish living and eventually became so poor that he worked as a pig feeder. Ultimately, we went home to his father because he could no longer take living in poverty.

Do you know how to budget? It’s one of the basic money management skills you have to master. Be sure to invest in financial literacy. Read books, enroll in classes, and listen to podcasts about money. These will help you hone your financial management skills and knowledge. Check out the resources I recommend below.

5. You Have Talked To Your Parents About Leaving Home.

It’s not only us who go through an arduous process when we move out. Our parents too. They may suffer from what’s commonly called empty-nester syndrome after we leave home. It’s a condition where our parents may experience depression, anxiety, sadness, grief, and other emotional distress during this transition phase.

That’s why discussing your plan to move out with your parents is imperative. Invite them to coffee, or to a fancy restaurant. Be sure to process this together with positive energy. Lay down the whys as well as the pros and cons to make it more objective. Getting the blessing from your parents will definitely be one of the most dreadful tasks you have to complete, yet also the most important. If you do this, you are 80% on your way out.

6. You Already Have A Place Transfer To.

Have you thought about your new address? Do you already have a place to transfer to? I know this is obvious, but before you move out, be sure you have already secured a house for yourself. This means you have already paid the down payment, signed the contract with your landlord, and got the keys to your new place. I heard a few stories where people paid in advance but didn’t sign an agreement or secure their key. They thought they already had their home, only to find out they were scammed.

On another note, you must not move out of your parents and into a friend’s house. The goal of leaving home is to promote your personal growth and independence, not to simply distance yourself from your parents. The whole process would be for nothing if you only became an obligation to another family.

7. You Already Experience Living Away From Home.

Moving out of your parents’ house need not be a one-time deal. It could be a process of a few years of living in and out of your home to “test the waters” and prepare yourself before you move out for good. I experienced living by myself for a few months before I changed my address permanently. The experience gave me insights and confidence in taking care of myself. My homesickness wasn’t too bad either because I knew I could still go home anytime.

If you have already experienced living away from home for a season, great! You more or less know what you are getting yourself into. If not, I suggest you try it out first before pulling the trigger. This will help you solidify your plan of leaving home for good.

8. You Have A Support Group.

Leaving home should promote independence, but it doesn’t mean we should journey on our own. You wouldn’t go scuba diving or mountain climbing alone, would you? You will encounter many obstacles before and after you move out of your parents’ house, and it will be wise to establish a support group during this process.

This may sound contradictory, but while independence is a goal, it is NOT the ULTIMATE goal of leaving home. Interdependence is. It’s being independent and dependent at the same time. Leaving home is like diving into the open seas instead of your swimming pool. It’s joining a group of scuba divers where you look after each other at the bottom of the sea. In essence, interdependence is being mutually dependent on one another.

9. You Have The Right Reasons For Moving Out.

Finally, your decision to move out of your parents’ house must be backed with the right reasons. Leaving home shouldn’t be a selfish act. If these reasons fuel your decision to move out, I implore you to reconsider your plan:

  • You still have a curfew.
  • You hate giving updates of your whereabouts to your parents.
  • You feel jealous of your friends moving out of their parents’ house.
  • You feel limited in what you can watch or listen to.
  • You’re tired of doing your parent’s errands.
  • You begin to feel like you don’t own anything.
  • You have a significant other and want more privacy.
  • You want a pet, but your parents disagree with it.

Good reasons to move Out

On the other hand, these are generally sound reasons to leave home:

  • You feel like living at home is harming your personal growth.
  • Your parents are encouraging you to move.
  • You have a toxic relationship with your parents or siblings.
  • Your parents do not respect your personal boundary.
  • Your commute is too long.
  • Your schedule is crazy, and you feel guilty coming home at weird hours.
  • You feel ready and confident to challenge yourself.
  • You feel like your health in general is compromised by living at home.
  • Your opportunities are being limited.
  • You are at the right age.

Discuss your reasons for moving out with your mentors or support group to help you evaluate them properly. Don’t leave home as a way to create a barrier, but use it to establish a boundary. The difference between the two is that barriers do not have gates, while boundaries have. Gates are designed to keep the good in, and the bad out.

How long is it too long to live with your parents?

Age 28 is when it gets embarrassing to live with your parents, based on 2,000 young adults and parents who responded to a survey. They also said you are overstaying if you still live with your parents when you have already finished college five years ago or have found a job.

But some responders also said it’s okay to live with your parents as long as:

  • You have a plan to move out eventually.
  • You are saving money to buy your own home.
  • You are helping with the chores.
  • You are paying rent.
  • You are being a responsible “tenant” in your parents’ house.

My children are two and five as of this writing. We’re just beginning our parenting journey, but my wife and I have already started to talk about this matter. Overall, we agreed we would encourage our children to move out (even though it’s going to be painful) because we know this would propel them to growth and maturity. As to “when”, for now, our answer is after they get married.

Times have changed. There is no longer a one-size-fits-all approach to life and this topic is no exemption. There are many factors to consider such as student loans, the rising price of houses, and the difficulty of getting a job or starting a business. What I am saying is, let us use wisdom when making such decisions.

We should not push our children away just because it’s what society is telling us. We all live in different patterns. Perhaps what’s best is to sit down and have a parent-child conversation. Agree on a timeline, set expectations, and devise a plan. Should the child move at 18? Or is it okay to stay until he is 30? That would depend on what both of you have discussed. Ultimately, this should be a team game where both parties would have a win-win situation. Moving out should be beneficial to both parents and children.

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Jed Chan

Jed Chan is the principal creator of TheLearningDadBlog.com, a website dedicated to providing helpful resources on fatherhood. He is a passionate learner who would normally immerse himself in topics of his interest. Jed carefully studied the subjects of finance, e-business, and parenting before becoming a full-time stay-at-home dad.

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