In a 2013 study, the Pew Research Center reported that 36 percent of Americans ages 18 to 31 still live with their parents — higher than any time during the past 40 years. The center attributes this to such factors as unemployment, increased college enrollment and declining marriage rates. Statistics Canada reports similar numbers up north. If you are one of many young adults living at home and thinking of leaving the nest, carefully weigh the pros and cons before moving out.
Cons: Living on Your Own is Expensive
Your parents probably give you free or reduced rent. This is not the only living expense you take for granted. Your parents also pick up the tab for amenities such as cable television and grocery food costs. These extra expenses can quickly add up, and combined with the cost of rent, may pose a significant financial burden. "The main reason recent graduates move back in with their parents is money," reports Scholarships.com. "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 may make it difficult to make ends meet for a while anyway."
Pros: More Privacy
When you live at home, you're often in close quarters with the rest of your family. This can create a tricky lack of privacy, especially if you want to have friends over or bring home a romantic interest. This lack of independence and privacy can play a big role in limiting your social activities. When you move out, you experience greater privacy and more freedom to hold parties, mingle with friends in your apartment and more.
Cons: Independent Living is Stressful
The process of moving out and setting up your own life can create stress, often in ways that you may not have considered. Searching for a place to live and screening potential roommates is one example, especially if you're also juggling a job. You will also spend significant time paying bills, shopping for household goods and cooking food — all things that your parents may have simply taken care of or helped you with when you were living with them. On the flip side, this stress may force you to mature in a positive way.
Pros: Less Rules
Parents may reinstate the old household rules. "This can be a challenge if you’re used to living independently, so have an honest conversation with your parents about which of the normal house rules apply," warns Carrington College. When you move out of your parents' home, you don't have to worry about any of those restrictions and can set your own rules as you see fit.
- Pew Research: A Rising Share of Young Adults Live in Their Parents’ Home
- Statistics Canada: Living Arrangements of Young Adults Aged 20 to 29
- Carrington College: Pros and Cons of Moving Back In With Your Parents
- Kveller Magazine: The Pros and Cons of Living With Your Parents (As a Parent)
- Catholic Match Institute: The Cons Outweigh The Pros Of Moving In With Mom & Dad
- Scholarships.com: Moving Out vs. Moving In
- Distance Education: Should You Move Back In With Your Parents? Pros and Cons for Recent Grads
- Midlothian UK: What are the Pros and Cons of Leaving Home?
Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.
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