Are you well into your 20s, coming up on 30 and feeling like there’s no way you can afford to move out of your parents house? Well, don’t be discouraged because you are NOT alone. In this article I’m going to go over many of the contributing factors to this nationwide trend and what steps you can take to claim your independence and finally move out.
According to USA Today, 46.5% of young adults (ages 18-29) live with their parents. You heard that right–half of young adults are living with their parents! Furthermore, it doesn’t even factor in people who are “living on their own”, but receiving financial help from relatives or other sources.
So before you get down on yourself, let’s get into the reasons you might be coming up on 30 and can’t afford to move out… because many of us are in the same boat.
Reasons Why It’s Hard to Move Out
Reason #1 – You have a low income
According to Rent.com the national median rent as of February 2023 is $1,937 per month.
I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of money to me! Especially, when you put that figure alongside the average salary for ages 25-34 (median weekly salary $975, Indeed.com)
By those calculations, the average person would be spending almost half of their income on rent alone.
Now if you are making less than the average salary, that puts you in a really difficult situation with the rising cost of living. The best thing you can do to improve your position is to increase your income by looking for a better-paying job, learning a new skill, or getting a side hustle.
Reason #2 – You live in a High Cost of Living Area
If you live in a high-cost-of-living area such as Los Angeles, CA, or New York, NY those rent figures can skyrocket! According to Zillow.com, the median rent for a one-bedroom in LA is $2,295 and $3,495 in NYC. That makes it almost impossible for someone making a median salary to pay after you factor in utilities, food, and other essentials.
On the plus side, high-cost-of-living areas are good places to maximize your earning potential. So if you’re looking to move out on your own in one of these areas, keep your eyes open for job opportunities that exceed your current income. You’re already in the perfect spot to snag up a great paying job. Go for it!
Reason #3 – You are in debt (student loans, medical, credit card)
Another reason you might struggle to move out is if you have a lot of debt. Whether it’s student loans, medical, or credit card debt, many of us have dealt with the weight of being in debt.
Let’s prioritize getting a plan in place to get you out of debt! Once you have that plan in place, pay those debts down and make a commitment to yourself to live debt free.
So now that we’ve discussed the reasons you may be unable to move out, let’s dive into what you can do to improve your position and finally make the big move.
How to Set Yourself Up to Move Out on Your Own
Tip #1- Earn more money
The most significant thing that you can do to start on the path to moving out of your parents’ house is to earn more money. Even if there are other factors preventing you from moving out, earning a higher income will make it that much more feasible. If you find yourself in a low-paying field–this may be a time to consider a career change while you still have many working years ahead of you!
In addition to a better paying job, you can look into freelancing or other ways to supplement your income. These days there is no shortage of remote opportunities and part-time work that can help you achieve your goal of moving out.
Tip #2- Get out of Debt
An almost equally important thing that you need to do to get started is to get out of debt. Debt will continue to grow (hello interest rates!) and if you’re having a difficult time paying that off while living with your parents, imagine having to pay for rent + all living expenses in addition to trying to pay that off.
I strongly recommend setting yourself up for success by coming up with a plan to pay off your debts. The benefits of being debt free will be twofold–not only will you free up your disposable income, but you will also have a newfound confidence to make those life-changing decisions like applying for a new job or taking on some freelance work. The possibilities are endless!
Tip #3- Improve your credit score
Another added benefit of getting out of debt will be a bump to your credit score. Landlords will do a credit check to ensure that you are in good financial standing and are likely to pay your rent on time and without issue. So if your plan is to move out of your parents’ house, make sure you’re paying your bills on time, keeping account balances as low as possible (pay them off completely if you can), and avoid applying for new accounts.
The first thing you’ll need to do is check your credit score. There are many websites where you can get a free credit report online. The goal is to improve your credit score as much as you can, but according to CapitalOne, property managers look for a credit score above 600.
Tip #4- Create a Budget
An important tool to help you on your path to moving out of your parents’ house is a budget.
If this will be the first time that you’ll be completely independent it’s vital that you understand your spending habits and budget accordingly.
See my post on How to Create a Budget Like a Budgeting Bare Pro for the lowdown on how to create a budget you can stick to.
Tip #5- Save, save, save!
Yes, you need to save to move out, I know crazy huh lol – at the very minimum you will need first and last month’s rent and moving expenses. But, if you really want to be in a good position you should have a few month’s rent + bills saved up just in case you lose your job or have a medical emergency.
If COVID-19 and the current state of the economy have taught us anything it’s that these unexpected life events can happen at any time and we have to be prepared. Having sizable savings as a backup will alleviate stress in the long run and reduce the chances that you’ll end up in a situation where you need to move back in with your parents–because the goal is to move out and stay out!
Tip #6- Consider alternatives
Maybe you’re thinking “Hey, I’ve already done a lot of these things!” or maybe you’re at a point where you just have to move out. Don’t count yourself out just yet, there are a few other things that you can consider.
Move to a low-cost-of-living area:
If the possibility of relocating sparks some interest, you can move to a low-cost-of-living area where you can see your money stretch much further. For example, if instead of LA you considered let’s say Tulsa, OK (big change!) – you could find a one-bedroom apartment for under $900. That’s almost $1,500 a month in savings!
Another option that could help you move out a little quicker is if you’re open to renting something small like a studio apartment instead of a one bedroom. So instead of going for that one bedroom in LA for approximately $2,295, maybe you consider renting a studio apartment for $1,833. It might not seem like a huge difference, but that’s almost $500 dollars per month that you could put towards health insurance, groceries or a car payment. Every dollar counts when you’re living on your own.
Share the cost with a roommate:
Lastly, if your dreams of moving out just don’t seem within reach at the moment. Maybe you should consider moving in with a roommate. Sharing the cost can go a long way, the median rent for a two-bedroom place in LA is $3,083 compared to $2,295 for a one-bedroom. That’s over $700 in savings per month if you split the cost with one roommate!
Try to keep in mind that it doesn’t need to be a permanent situation if that’s not what you had in mind for yourself. You can use the time that you live with a roommate to work on the other areas discussed and set yourself up to live on your own.
As we discussed, there are many reasons why you might be approaching 30 and can’t move out. If you’re in this situation and feeling frustrated and discouraged, try to give yourself grace. Many of us have been or are currently in the exact same spot and it’s not because we’re lazy or don’t work hard – so try to rid yourself of those thoughts and the shame that came with them. In fact, in many cultures, children live with their families well into their 30s and some don’t move out until they get married.
There is really no right way to go about moving out of your parents’ house. Don’t put too much thought into what others around you are doing, you don’t know their financial situation and maybe they’re struggling to stay afloat. Focus on the steps that you can take to improve your finances, prepare for the move and take that leap. You got this!