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Moving Out vs. Moving In

Odds are, the largest portion of your monthly income will go towards covering housing expenses after college. Whether you have roommates and split the rent on an apartment, or choose the least-expensive studio or one-bedroom apartment, costs increase with furnishing, utilities, and amenities such as off-street parking. As a result, a large number of recent graduates opt for the ultimate sacrifice instead — moving back home to live with their parents. Depending on your priorities moving out or moving in require strong consideration. Check out our listed pros and cons for both prospects, so that you are well-equipped in the decision-making process.

Moving Out

Moving out on your own can be both stressful and exhilarating. You’re an adult now, with adult bills and larger decisions to make, but you are also taking steps to making your own home. Unless you’re rent-burdened, which means you are spending more than 40 percent on housing expenses, chances are your lifestyle will change a bit after college. No more all-nighters or dining hall food. If your monthly budget permits you to move out comfortably, especially if your new job isn’t local to your parents’ home, there are ways to go about the transition without breaking the bank. If your parents are willing to be of financial assistance- from paying the cable bill to picking up occasional monthly rent dues, moving out may be more realistic.

To find an appropriate living arrangement, check out housing sites that cater to recent graduates rather than going out looking at “For Rent” signs. Depending on how flexible you with roommates, location, or access to public transportation, you may find a good deal on a place that doesn’t perfectly match your ideal criteria. Be vigilant about matching Internet offers to reality though, as you don't need to have an art or design degree to edit a photo or play up an apartment’s more positive attributes in favor of glossing over any negative characteristics; such as the abandoned building next door or an insect problem. Ask many questions on tours of potential housing, like details on how much utilities and maintenance cost. It’s quite possible you’ll be moving in with a few roommates or friends, at least until you’re more financially stable, so think back on the kinds of things you did in college to make those communal housing situations more pleasant.

Moving In

The main reason recent graduates move back in with their parents is money: It isn’t cheap to move out on your own the minute you land that new job, which often comes with an entry-level salary that makes it difficult to make ends meet. For many students it makes financial sense to move back home for a while and save up for the eventual move out. You can also use this time to make a dent in your student loans or any other debt you accrued while in college. (If you have credit card payments to make, those should be your top priority.) If you struggle to save money, have someone hold you accountable or even help you manage your money. Talk to your employer about setting up a savings account that deducts some of your paycheck automatically every payday. You can your parents to hold onto a percentage of each paycheck so that you are less likely to spend the money on frivolous and unnecessary things. The point is not to make your parents’ home your permanent residence.

The decision to move back home after four years of independent-living in college can be a difficult. Set a goal move-out date and estimate how long it will take to save up for a place. Think about sitting down with your parents and establishing new rules and expectations now that you are mature enough to pay for small bills, such as groceries or rent. The more responsibility you can take on while living at home, the easier it will be once you move out. Along those lines, avoid relying on financial help from your parents. It’s ok for mom or dad to float you a loan if you’re having trouble finding a job, but once you have that job, try living on a budget and saving what you would spend on rent and housing costs. This way, you’ll know exactly the standard of living to get used to for when you move out of your parents’ house.

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Last Reviewed: November 2019