While there was an uptick in recent years due to the economy, nothing sped up moving back home as the COVID-19 pandemic did. Both Gen Z and millennials saw themselves move back to their parents' houses in the past two years, according to a recent EduRef survey — 68.2 percent and 59.6 percent, respectively.
However, as things stabilize a little, it's important to stay tuned to your personal growth. You may start feeling like you're moving backward in life by returning to your childhood home.
It's also no picnic for parents who are unsure how to treat a child who's under their roof (but isn't a child anymore). While your home is familiar and safe, it's OK to consider moving out of your parents' home to your own space, whether it's the first time or the third time. Start thinking of your next move or start saving up for a down payment.
Before that happens, you need to save money for fixed expenses and moving expenses.
Are you ready to start taking steps to independence? Here's how to move out of your parents' house and start saving money.
1. Review your finances and credit score
The most important thing to review before deciding to move out of your parents' house is your personal finances. Consider talking to a friend that offers financial services. You need to have enough money to survive and not end up in debt before you call the moving company.
Even if you've been saving more money for a while, you must review your monthly living expenses like credit card payments, car payments and student loans. How's your credit score? See if you can reduce your debt or set up an emergency fund savings before you move out.
Don't let lifestyle creep up and take you by surprise. Double-check you have enough money. Once you take your debt into account, look at your income and set up a monthly budget with expected expenses that includes:
- First and last month of rent
- Monthly rent
- Security deposit
- Utility setup costs and deposits
- The average amount of monthly utilities
- Cell phone bill
- Commuting costs
2. Talk to your parents
Before you move out of your parents' house, let them know about your decision. Share your current financial situation with them as they may have advice on how to make a budget and stay out of debt.
It's essential to include them in the decision and empathize with their feelings about you moving out. Be as transparent as you can with them during the moving out process and don't be afraid to ask for their advice.
3. Ask for a raise at your job
If you have a steady job, ask your manager to set up a review so you can go over your career growth and ask for a raise. That raise can make a huge difference in your monthly income and budget.
Check job descriptions similar to yours for the current market rate and put together your recent accomplishments for the meeting.
If a raise doesn't work out, it's OK. You can still earn money and increase your monthly budget with a side hustle. Try freelancing in your industry or join one of the many economic apps to start building your emergency fund or saving for a security deposit.
4. Check your credit report and credit card debt
It all requires a good credit score, from renting an apartment to opening utility accounts. It tells them that you have a credit history of paying your bills on time. Many banks have prepaid credit cards that can help you build and establish your credit score while living with your parents.
If you already have a credit history, sign up for a service like Credit Karma to access your credit scores and reports for free. You'll want to aim for higher than 670 to avoid denials or higher fees.
If you're not there, look up what you can do to improve it or ask your parents if they can co-sign.
You can increase your credit score by reducing credit card debt, student loan debt and lowering your spending habits.
5. Start to purge your belongings
Do you know what's in that box that you haven't unpacked yet? Purging is always good, but especially when you're getting to move into a new space.
Go through all your boxes (yes, even the ones you haven't unpacked) and make piles keep and donate. This is also an excellent time to make a list of things you're missing.
Hold a garage sale or list things online that you don't want anymore to earn extra cash. Schedule a donation pickup for any gently-used items that don't sell.
6. Decide where you're moving to
The pandemic pushed adults to move with their parents in the suburbs or a few states away from city life. If you're financially stable enough to move out, have you decided to stay locally or move out of the state?
With companies going fully remote, it's worth sitting down and thinking of where you want to actually live.
Moving and monthly costs can change quickly when you move to another state. Take your time deciding what your next home city will be, especially if you've been saving up for a down payment while in your family's home.
7. Set a move-out date
Setting a move-out date is important for you and your family during this change. It's not set in stone, but it does provide an excellent deadline to meet your savings goals, save up for moving costs, start making decisions and line up any potential jobs or roommates. Don't forget to schedule the rental truck for your move-in date.
8. Practice your budget for living expenses
While your move-out date is still a couple of months away, it's good to start practicing paying rent. Practice paying a small rent payment to your parents or paying your monthly expenses to an account to establish good credit. It helps build emergency savings and financial security, as well as learn financial basics.
Only use what you've allotted for eating out and entertainment while you pay a few of your credit cards. This is the time to find flaws in your budget, determine what you actually spend and adjust accordingly.
Late payments can really affect your future, as well as your standing with credit card companies or a future pre-approval letter.
9. Pick the best living situation for you
Are you headed back to school when you move out? Will you live with a roommate or venture out solo? Start your search for roommates early, and when you find a compatible roommate prospect, sign the lease. Depending on when you move in, you may get pro-rated rent.
Make sure they're on the lease, as well, to protect yourself and your credit when filling out the rental application. Then, decide how you'll cover everything in the apartment, including the first month's rent.
If you're thinking of living by yourself, make sure you account for extra expenses in your budget as you can't split down the middle with a roommate. This may include furniture, security deposits, kitchen items, utilities and other monthly payments. You want to have a social life or gym membership so budget accordingly.
10. Get rental insurance
Some apartment complexes require renters' insurance for their tenants. But even if they don't, it's essential to add renters' insurance to your budget before you move out of your parents' house. Better yet, you can bundle it with your car insurance to save on your bill.
In case of fire, theft, vandalism and a few other incidents, renter's insurance covers some of your belongings.
You don't need to start from zero if something happens and it will give you peace of mind. Before signing the dotted line, check what the policy covers (and doesn't cover). This is where your family's help and experience can also come in.
11. Set up new utilities
You've been used to your parents having the utilities under their name. This is also where your credit score comes in. Call the utility companies to set up installation dates before you move in.
Add power, gas, water (if not included in your lease), internet and cable to your checklist. Confirm with the leasing office that you're able to access the unit for installation during those dates, too.
12. Hire movers — or ask friends
Once you've picked your new apartment, it's time to figure out how to move your belongings to their new home and start the moving process. Book movers and a moving truck, if needed, at least one month out of your moving date if your budget allows.
Check reviews and gather referrals if you can. Make sure to confirm the final estimate, read the fine print for any potential add-ons and put the money aside. It's important to know how much money you'll need before you sign anything.
If professional movers aren't quite in your budget, ask friends or family to help you. While they may love to do it for free, make sure you budget a little for water, snacks or pizza as a thank you.
With either option, take the time to pack up as much as possible before that day. Many landlords will let you pick up the keys the day before which is great to get a head start (make sure to do a walk-through and check for minor repairs).
13. Forward all your mail to your new address
Once you're moved in, let friends know about your new mailing address as well as USPS. You can easily forward your mail on the USPS website by filling out a change of address form.
Choose to do this if you need to change additional addresses on bills, streaming services and other mailings.
Sure, you could have your parents hold your mail. But embracing your new neighborhood and home is part of the independence you're seeking. You can visit them anytime without an ulterior motive.
It's time to move out of your parents' house
Whether you find an apartment wholly furnished or begin begging your family for a few extra pieces of furniture to bring with you, it's time to go.
Moving out opens up more possibilities to live your best new life and have your own place. You get to pick the location, the roommate, what you keep in your fridge, whether you have cold pizza for breakfast — it's all up to you now. Just make sure you're able to handle the monthly cost of that independence.
Once you decide on how and when to move out of your family home, you can embrace and savor your independence as you settle into your new apartment — and life.