“I want my own place but I’m not ready to live alone!” “I get lonely without anyone around!” “I don’t have the money to sustain a household on my own!” “I don’t want to leave the big city without having found a partner!”
Depending on your age, living at home can become a source of shame. Regardless of the circumstance- you could be waiting to go to basic training, enrolled in school or just recently graduated, caring for your elderly parents, just suffered an injury, or just waiting around trying to figure out your next move.
Understand this! If you are young and not ready to be on your own yet, that is actually more normal than you think.
Pre-WWII, families used to live together- aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, and parents. After the war, talk of a “nuclear family”, as in parents and siblings challenged the traditional family-oriented culture. Now here we are, growing up with just our siblings and expected to flee the nest at 18 years old. This is the new way, but the world has only made attaining that more difficult. If you aren’t ready to be on your own yet, it’s because you can’t possibly be!
Though a home, be that an apartment or house, is a basic neccessity, in 2022 getting your own place is a tremendous feat! In this age, a house isn’t a home without aesthetic decor and furniture, high speed internet, and every streaming service offered. Not to mention having roommates in your mature twenties, thirties and beyond is frowned upon. Overall, getting your own spot is daunting and requires way more than it used to.
So, should I stay or should I go? Should I even make an attempt? Is it time to leave the nest?
In an ideal world where inflation, pandemics, sex trafficking and other threats aren’t prevalent, sure, you may not have many reasons to stay. But you do. Let’s look at them.
REASONS TO STAY:
- The high cost! The cost of living is higher than it’s always been. Will you be satisfied with what you can afford? Will you be safe? Will you be alone? Living with others allows you to SAVE money for what you REALLY want. It allows you to work on your credit, career, or side hustles, hobbies, and personal projects without the burden of overwhelming bills and pressures.
- You are welcome where you are! Not everyone has a rocky relationship with their parents. Some parents, family, friends, and roommates enjoy the company, extra help, and extra income. If you are free to stay for as long as you want or even just the next year or two, STAY! What are you rushing for? You have your entire life to work, pay bills, and live alone.
- The covering! Living with family and friends- in a good situation is added security. Someone is checking for your presence. They are expecting you to come home in good health. Living on your own leaves you vulnerable to your going missing, getting hurt, or growing ill without anyone suspecting anything.
- The company! If you are like me, you are susceptible to depressive spells and frequent moments of loneliness and discouragement. Living with my large family keeps me upbeat, reminds me to leave my room on days I feel low, and provides company when I want to socialize and friends aren’t available. Having people walking around the house feels like I’ve socialized even if I haven’t engaged individually with anyone. Two birds, one stone.
- You don’t have that serious relationship you’ve been seeking! If moving out on your own would mean you’d have to relocate to a more affordable town, I wouldn’t move if this next town is full of retired old people. If a having a relationship is something you truly desire, be sure you put yourself in a romance’s way!
- God has asked you to. You may be home taking care of your parents, getting mentally well, or being sheltered from your own impulsivity. If God has asked you to be still, it’s better that you listen than pay the cost of disobedience. If your applications keep getting rejected, your money is funny, or your friend is in bad shape, rushing to leave will only leave destruction behind you. Allow God to be in control of where your spirit lies. I understand needing alone time or solitude, trust me, I live in a full house. But find some coping strategies to make your time more pleasant, rather than running off into a black hole.
Why let your pride or shame be the reason you leave a perfectly safe and loving environment for a stressful, burdensome one?
Now, what if you aren’t worried about money but you can’t decide if this is the time to make a move and get your spot? What if you are ready for the financial responsibility but you still don’t want to leave home? If you need a push, this is it.
REASONS TO GO:
- You have never been on your own! Everyone should experience living on their own at some point. The sheer quiet and solitude is a recipe for self-discovery, building confidence and independence! There is no shame in living alone or with others, but how will you know what fits best for you in the long term if you haven’t experienced both?
- You are indeed a burden on your family, friends, or roommates! Depending on your lifestyle- partying, entertaining different partners frequently, fighting and drama, unorganized or messy cleaning habits, and so on, your roommates could be counting the days until you leave. If you are capable of finding a more suitable environment, perhaps one that doesn’t inconvenience others, it is the appropriate thing to do so. Whether you have ill intentions or pure ones, some combinations of people are just horrible! If you are able but aren’t ready to live alone, take some time and adjust your lifestyle and habits to better suit your current living circumstances and the people in them.
- You are of age! Yes, there is indeed a time for everyone to fly the nest. Being that 35 is the new 25, that time may not be here, but if it is close, I would start prepping my wings. Parenthood is a stressful thing. Think of your parents or guardians. If they haven’t told you, I will tell you: they are ready to have the house to themselves for the first time in twenty-something years! Please see the bullet above! (:
- You are in a serious relationship and see marriage in the near future. There is no better thing than entering a marriage knowing you have experienced every lifestyle you wanted- nomadic- backpacking or traveling frequently, living with your best friends, living with your family, and living alone. If you predict you will be making a major commitment in the next few years, prepare your pockets, your mind, and your spirit for co-habitation. Live by yourself, improve your housekeeping skills and maintenance skills, and improve your decor and hosting skills. This also gives you a chance to acquire some large TVs, kitchen supplies, vacuums, or other items, so that you can bring them into your new relationship! If you are still sharing bar stools, pots, and pans with your roommate, upon moving out you will see how little you own, or know how to maintain.
- God told you to GO! If you have an inkling in your spirit it may be time for a major change, be obedient to God even if you are not ready. God would never lead you to perilous conditions. He would never lead you somewhere you would die or want to die.
Both of these lists include reasons to stay if you can go, and move if you can afford it. If you can not afford it but feel it is time, news flash, IT’S NOT TIME! Again, don’t let your pride or shame ruin a good thing.
That doesn’t mean you can’t save or prepare to move, though. Even if you have no timeline, no idea if you’d want or need to move, or no clue what type of home you want, planning and saving never hurt anyone!
I’ve been back at home for a few months before graduation in May. I’ve been taking a brain break for the last two months- no thinking about money, careers, houses, cars, marriage, kids, or the like. However, in the spirit of the back to school atmosphere, I’ve decided to check back in with life!
HOW TO PLAN YOUR NEXT MOVE
- Before you begin saving money, fix your credit! Pay off old credit cards with high-interest rates, and pay off medical bills and student loans. I am about to pour 60% of my income into paying off medical bills and student loans for the next few months to gain some points on my credit. If your credit is awful, trust me, you’re not going anywhere pretty,
- Build credit! After you repair the major damages, begin building your credit with credit cards and quickly paying bills. Do not hold onto your checks. Pay what is due so it doesn’t come back to bite.
- Save money! After you’ve gotten caught up on bills and expenses, begin saving money. If you’re serious about moving out and not coming back, you have to forfeit those seafood boils, and hookah dates. The $50 nights out really start to add up after even just a couple of weekends.
- Slowly purchase things that’ll serve your next place! Every few months, splurge and buy a must-have for your new place. If you plan to be out in a year, moving in without any chairs, TVs or cleaning supplies won’t be comfortable. And I know you don’t plan to bring that childhood twin bed with you, do you?
- Practice budgeting! Don’t wait until the first month’s rent and utilities are due to pencil in your new expenses. Start living as if that $700 or $1200 is coming out of your check.
- Get your housekeeping game up! Practice new recipes, and skills that’ll help run a successful household. Just moving out and living alone is not the goal. It’s feeling at home! Having a safe, comfortable environment. You want to be able to cook your own food, fix your own toilet or install a new set of blinds if the maintenance guy is all backed up with orders. Become self-sufficient.
- Do your research! Pick a town, pick a side of town, and pick home style- condo, townhome, apartment, home, studio, etc. What do you want in a home? Do you have pets? Do you need a gym to be less than 10 miles away? Consider all these and see what is in your budget!
- Spend more time by yourself! Get used to your world shrinking. You may not see your family every day. Your sister may not call you up for a random trip to Walmart at midnight. Develop some hobbies, and start going to the gym. Begin doing things alone and gauge how long you can go without seeing a familiar face. I’ve lived alone before, and trust me it gets lonely at some point.
- Get a notebook and track your progress! Track your spending habits, your credit score, and your number of successful recipes!
- Pray to God about your next move! I’ve said it twice and I’ll say it again: God would not lead you to destruction, though we, ourselves, would. He knows all you need and desire. Stay aligned with God and His will for your life.
I don’t plan on moving out on my own for maybe a year or two, but when I finally do, I want to be in the best situation so that I do not have to return to my parent’s home out of desperation. I don’t know if I’l ever prefer living alone to living with tons of people, but I know for sure I’m not ready to be on my own yet. The only reason I think I may have to move out is that I want my parents to finally get that alone time and enjoy their new home. Set yourself up for success. If you are fearful, pray and prepare. If you are ashamed, remember there are lower places to be than depending on the people who gave you life.
No one has it easy all of the time. The condition of the world is affecting us all. Put your pride to the side and pick up a bible and notebook. (: