“Thanks for your insight on renting vs owning. Moving out was the best decision that I ever made. I’m making more money than ever and relations with family are at an all time high.”
This is what my friend Justin told me the other day. What’s the story here?
During the summer, Justin, wasn’t sure if he should move out or stay at home. He naturally came to me because we always discuss random topics, especially financial stuff. He wanted to move out, but was concerned about throwing money away by renting. He had been convinced over the years that you need to buy a place or else you’re just wasting money. I told him that this wasn’t the case. He wasn’t ready to buy a home and it just wouldn’t make sense to be forced into buying. It also didn’t make sense to stay at home any longer because he was ready for the next step.
Ever since he moved out, he realized that real life was on. Justin was forced to work harder to make more money and everything else in life is better. He has his independence and is moving towards his goals. Some of our other friends think he’s making a mistake.
Why all the talk about moving out?
I wrote a seriously juicy piece on real estate in your 20s. Then something really cool happened. I was linked to by the Globe and Mail. This led to a SWEET traffic boost over the weekend. The funny thing is that the person who texted me early in the morning to inform me of the link didn’t even know I blogged about personal finance. He just found the link and saw my handsome picture.
This got me talking moving out all weekend. I’ve heard every argument from needing to buy because interest rates are low to you should stay at home until you save up for a house in cash. Others just didn’t see the need to move out in your 20s (or 30s).
Do you really need to be convinced to move out?
We already looked at why you need to grow up and move out. I don’t want to repeat myself. Check out that article for a reality check.
Our generation is messed up. We think it’s cool to be pushing 30 and still living at home. We think it’s cool to throw a party when our parents go to the movies for the evening. Every night should be a potential party! You shouldn’t have to wait for your 60-year old parents to go somewhere.
In an article that I read over at Bloomberg, I picked up some interesting notes on folks in their 20s living at home:
“More than 60 percent of adults 25 to 34 know friends or family members who have moved back with their parents in the past few years because of economic conditions. The number of 26-year-olds living with parents has jumped almost 46 percent since 2007.”
That’s pretty scary.
There’s just too much to do out there on this planet to be stuck in your parents’ place with no options. If you want to take a shower at two in the morning, you should be able to do so, without being lectured by your parents.
Plus, expenses force you to work hard. We all need a reality check sometimes. Living at home doesn’t create any urgency. We get too comfortable. Comfortable is freaking boring if you ask me!
What are common excuses that we create for staying at home?
I had a few debates about moving out, saving up in your 20s, and life in general. The main excuses for not moving out were:
I’m saving up.
Are you really saving up the money? Most of us just say that we are so that we don’t feel guilty about mooching off our parents.
The reality is that a lack of money/heavy debt will stop you from moving out or even doing anything remotely interesting in your youth. The good news is that you can sacrifice and get over this.
Going to back to school.
Most of us are disenchanted with life after college so we feel the need to go back for more schooling. We feel that more education will make life better. It usually doesn’t. All that more education improves is debt. Now you have more debt to deal with. Good luck!
Waiting to get married.
Some of my friends are planning to wait until marriage to move out. Looks like they’re going to be at home forever.
According to an article in the NY Times, I found this interesting bit of information:
“The median age at first marriage in the early 1970s, when the baby boomers were young, was 21 for women and 23 for men; by 2009 it had climbed to 26 for women and 28 for men, five years in a little more than a generation.”
What’s your excuse for sticking around? I’ve used all of them. Hopefully I don’t have to move back anytime soon because I’ll feel like a fool!
What can you do if you hate living at home and want to move out?
Save money and get your act together.
There’s no substitute for old-fashioned saving.
Long-time readers know what I have to say about saving money. If you’re new here, my thoughts on stacking cash are simple:
- Pay yourself first. Take care of your savings/debt first when you get paid.
- Reduce useless expenses. Cut the crap. Do you really need a gym membership if you haven’t been in 6 months?
- Make more money. You have more than plenty of skills and time to increase your income.
- Reward yourself. Get wasted and reward yourself for a job well done once in a while. This will keep you focused.
You can also take advantage of the many financial tools that are out there. You can dig yourself out of any hole. It’s time for you to start living life.
Challenge conventional wisdom.
We all think that renting is throwing money away. With this logic: why eat? You’re just going to get hungry again.
You can’t just accept such conventional wisdom. Why are you throwing money? You’re paying for a roof over your head. You don’t have to be in huge debt just because you bought a condo that you couldn’t afford.
You should also explore the idea of traveling and being mobile. I’ve met many vagabonds (gypsies) over my years of traveling that are using their 20s to build mobile businesses while they travel. This beats both renting and owning. But that’s a conversation for another day and another couple of thousand words.
What’s your living situation like? Some of us have nice setups and don’t plan on ever leaving. Others leave the second that they turn 18 because they can’t handle it. Others need a reality check. There’s nothing worse than being too comfortable in your 20s. It might be time to grab life by the balls.
What are your thoughts about moving out in your 20s? Are you debating it? Have you moved out?