With rising housing prices, more and more young adults have been extending their stay with their parents. It makes sense, rather than moving out and paying exorbitant rent, choosing to live with your parents longer will allow you to build up a little nest egg before making the big move.
So, is living with your parents past 18 an issue? Should you be trying to move out as soon as you possibly can? If it’s not a big issue, at what age should you move out?
Keep in mind that this is a subjective question and that everyone will have a different answer to it. Because of this, I will try to refrain from using absolute language, like saying “You’re okay right now, but you need to be out of your parents’ house by 27!”
Is it Okay to Be Living With Your Parents in Your 20s?
To put it simply—living with your parents in your 20s can be okay, in certain instances. It will depend on a few questions; are you going to school/working? Do you have an active social life and/or a relationship? Is your staying at home actively helping you to work towards another goal of yours?
These are questions you must ask yourself and, from an unbiased viewpoint, answer them. If you need to, write out your answers on a piece of paper and really ask yourself if you need to move out, objectively.
Because really, you are the only person who will know for sure what needs to happen. Unless, if you talked to an expert and sought out their opinion.
The Deciding Questions
Question #1: Are You Going to School and/or Working?
This seems like a pretty self-explanatory question, I get it. But keep in mind that this does not just mean “at some point throughout your day, are you either working, supposed to be working, in school, or supposed to be in school?”, but rather “is a significant portion of your day dedicated to working and/or going to school?
If you are a 25-year-old living at home while taking 1 or 2 online classes, and spending the rest of the day consuming social media or playing video games, which is not really leading to a better version of you, that is not a healthy living situation.
But, if you are doing a full, or near full course load of schoolwork, while working a job on the side for extra income then this can be an understandable circumstance.
Hopefully, your parents are already enforcing this, but if you spend 6+ hours of an average day just wasting time at 20+ years old, that is unhealthy. It may be a good idea for you to make a lifestyle change.
Get a part-time job, start a side hustle, take on a larger course load, or anything else that gets you up and doing something towards your future.
For those in school, if you are taking a degree in digital marketing, what goes better on a resume with your schooling than real-world experience? Start a podcast, blog, or work as an “intern” for someone you know who runs a business.
Imagine coming out of university with a degree in digital marketing, and the ability to say you grew your podcast to 10,000 listeners, your blog to 10,000 pageviews, or doubled your friend’s lead generation through social media. You will have a much easier time getting a job while getting a taste of your future career while in school. Win-win.
Question #2: Do You Have an Active Social Life and/or Relationship?
Our lives are made up of 4 pillars; health, money, relationships, and happiness. Relationships are an extremely important part in our lives, and we cannot neglect them.
You may need to think about this one harder than you might think. Part of our happiness comes from the relationships that we have, and I’m talking about both romantic relationships and friendships.
On an average Friday night, would you typically spend it huddled up at home playing video games or watching whatever reality TV is on that night?
Or, do you enjoy going out with your friends or meeting at one of your friend’s houses? Remember that I am not asking if you are introverted, or if you go out with your friends. I am, however, asking whether on an average Friday night, if you prefer to hang out with people as opposed to being shacked up in your house.
If you are living with your parents in your 20s, and do not spend a lot of time with others, that is a sign that you may want to move out of your house, if it may be hindering you from going out and making connections with people.
You of course do not need to move out of your home to make connections with people, but for some people, it may act as a crutch. In this case, moving out and experiencing independence is more likely to foster a growth mindset inside of you.
At home with your parents, you may be complacent. They cook and clean for you, why would you want to leave the house and build connections? This, is the exact reason you can’t let yourself become complacent.
Complacency is the #1 way that people limit their growth. If you’re happy, why would you want to change, and risk becoming unhappy? In our minds this makes sense, but we also know that it is complete garbage! No matter where we are at in life, we can grow and feel better and live happier lives.
Question #3: Are You Working Towards a Goal in Your Life?
This is a big one, and it works together with the first two questions. Are you, by staying with your parents at home, making a tangible goal much more likely to come into reality?
If you moved away from home, would this goal that you are working towards become much foggier, seemingly impossible? Remember that as humans we can often make dreams and goals impossible using just our minds, when in reality they are very attainable.
And I do not mean is it going to be more difficult. It will obviously be more difficult, can you imagine how much money all of us would save if we lived with our parents forever?
No, what I’m talking about is will your currently realistic goal, turn into an unrealistic goal if you move away and experience independence? Make sure that you are being fair with yourself, and answering this as unbiased as you can.
If you need to live with your parents at home in order to make a goal reality, then that is what you need to do. But, if you are living with your parents in your 20s as more of a crutch, then you need to reevaluate your life and where you want to go with it.
Remember, There are Many Positives to Moving Out
Moving out is not all doom and gloom. When you realize that this is a step you are taking towards the betterment of your life, the prospect of moving out should excite you. There are many benefits to moving out, so here are a few reasons why you don’t need to dread the day that you flee the coop.
The double-sided sword. When you are living on your own (or even with roommates), you are truly living life on your own values and rules. Your mom can’t text you at midnight saying “Getting late isn’t it?”, you decide when you get home and how much you sleep, for the better or for worse.
Have you ever brought a member of the opposite sex to your house, only to be completely embarrassed by your parents? Gone are those days. Now, the only people who have this power are your roommates, but this is less embarrassing for you versus your parents saying something dumb.
Living on Your Own Will Prep You for When You Move in With Someone
Going from living with your parents to living with a significant other can be a very sudden change. A better idea can be to test the waters, living with a few roommates can desensitize you to the issues of living with others.
That way, when you eventually move in with a SO, you most likely have made many of the mistakes that you could potentially make, in order to learn from your mistakes. You will also be more understanding of your (future?) SO’s shortcomings, as you have already become used to these shortcomings living with roommates. Unless if you lived with perfect roommates… which, who knows, could be possible.
You May Not Spend as Much as You Think
When we are living with our parents, we are “saving” so much money, that we will often just end up spending that money in other areas. So, let’s say that you would be spending $500 a month in rent, and $300 a month in food.
Now your brain has an easy way to rationalize purchases that you may not want to be making. We do this in all aspects of our lives. When we do a 30-minute jog, we suddenly deserve an extra brownie cause of how healthy we have been that day. We need to train our brains to not move towards this rationalization.
Well, I would have been spending this money anyways in rent and food if I didn’t live with my parents!– Your Brain
Another thing to keep in mind is that living on your own is not necessarily as expensive as we make it out to be. Living with roommates, as well as sticking to a decent budget, specifically in regards to grocery shopping and going out, will make your independence a lot more affordable than you may think. Living a nice life does not have to cost you an arm and a leg!
Look at the Facts Objectively and Decide if You Should Move Out
We’ve gone a few of the indications that you may want to move out, so now is the time for self-reflection.
Again, ask yourself all of these questions, write the answers down, and just read over your paper as many times as you need to.
You may not have any revelations right then and there, but your mind will be put to work over the next little while, and you may get a better idea of what you should do in your life.
Tell yourself “I am living with my parents in my 20s”, and see how you feel about it. Do you get a pit in your stomach? When you tell other people that you’re living at home in your 20s, is it something that you feel ashamed about? Is it something that you want to change within your subconscious mind, maybe just not realized fully yet?
Again, keep in mind that our brains will fight for us to stay within our comfort zone. If you think about this, your brain may race around and think about living on your own, paying rent, making your own meals, doing your own laundry, and how uncomfortable this could be.
Try to just sit in this discomfort. When we escape our comfort zones, we grow. This is a big reason that many people will move away from their parents at a young age, like 18 or 19.
Personally, I moved away from my parents at 19 years old, and I’ve felt very satisfied with the way that my life has gone. It is not always comfortable, but I am always growing and becoming a better version of myself, so it is worth it.
Remember, you will likely not be sure of a decision to move out until you have experienced it. Then, you will know that it was the right idea.
There is no specific age that you need to move out when you reach because it can be a case-by-case basis. Living at home in your 20s is quite common, but that also doesn’t make it okay just because lots of others are in your situation.
After going through these exercises, you should have a better idea of whether or not you should move out, and at what age you should move out.