An important part of being an adult is becoming more independent from your parents. While our parents will always be important people in our lives whom we can turn to for support, asserting your independence means being able to survive and thrive without relying on the various forms of support that parents usually offer to their young-adult children. To become independent, you'll need to focus on your living situation, your financial resources, your budgeting behavior and possibly change how you interact with your parents in your day-to-day life.
Becoming an Independent Adult
Make sure you are living somewhere other than your parents' house orin a residence that your parents have paid for. While it's often tempting to reduce your cost of living by depending on your parents for some form of housing, this does not help you in becoming independent from your parents. If your parents own the property in which you live, they will have a say in how you maintain that property. If you want to be independent and make your own decisions about how you live, you will need to obtain your own housing that is completely separate from your parents both physically and financially.
Generate your own income and be as financially self-sufficient as possible. One of the main challenges in becoming independent as an adult is acquiring a sufficient income to allow you to live without the financial assistance of your parents. This can be particularly difficult if you are still a university student, but it is not impossible. Seek scholarships and part-time jobs. If you are no longer a student, find employment that offers a salary that can cover your expenses. It may be necessary to obtain multiple sources of income in order to become financially self-sufficient and independent from your parents.
Budget your expenses carefully. When first becoming financially independent, it may be necessary to cut back on some of your expenses and strictly adhere to a budget. Determine exactly what you can afford in terms of rent, food, clothing, transportation and entertainment based on your own income, create a budget and stick to it. While you may experience a dip in your standard of living at first, learning how to follow a budget and be self-sufficient will help you stay independent.
Avoid relying on your parents as a first resort option for help of any kind. Although your parents will always be an important source of social support in your life, if you want to be entirely independent as an adult, your parents should not be the first people you approach with questions, requests for help, or requests for financial assistance. This in no way means that you may never ask your parents for help again, it just means that as an independent adult, there should be other sources of support within your life that you can turn to when necessary.
Karen L. Blair has been professionally writing since 2001. Her work has been published in academic journals such as the "Journal of Sex Research," "Journal of Social and Personal Relationships" and "Psychology & Sexuality." Blair received her M.Sc. in psychology at Acadia University and her Ph.D. in social psychology at Queen's University. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow and research consultant.
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