If you are a Canadian between the ages of 20 and 24 who is still living at home with your parents, you’re not alone: a good 60 percent of your demographic cohorts are doing exactly the same. There are several reasons as to why a young adult would want to live at home. Maybe they enjoy the company of their family, maybe that’s what their culture expects them to do, maybe they can’t afford to leave or maybe it’s just a great way to save money. Whatever the reason, all good things must come to an end and at some point, the young adult will move out. The when and the why may vary from person to person, but one thing that every young adult moving out of their family home should ask themselves is if they can afford to move out. Here are the five questions you should ask yourself when contemplating whether to leave home or not that will help you figure out the answer.
1) Where do you plan on living? – First you need to decide which city you want to live in. On average, you’ll find yourself paying far more for housing in big cities as opposed to smaller cities and towns. Within a given city though, housing prices can vary greatly depending on the neighbourhood you are living in. It may be awfully convenient to live close to school or work, but those areas may be in demand and thus more expensive. Living further away will get you a better price, but the trade off is that you’ll have to commute.
2) What are your options in terms of housing? – Do you want to live in a room, condo, apartment or house? Generally, living in a room in someone’s house or renting an apartment are the cheapest options. You will have to take housing into consideration when you select an area, as some areas do not have any houses while others do not have any apartment buildings. Living with another person will cut down on the rent.
3) How will you furnish your new home? – Some apartments and houses come with furnishings, but most places will require you to provide your own. You can purchase furniture straight from the store, or you can check out craigslist for deals. If you’re moving into an apartment that your roommate has been living in for some time, you may get lucky and not have to spend any money on furniture at all because your roommate has already furnished the place.
4) How much will it cost to get transportation? – Will you be living close to your school or work or will you need to commute every day? If you live in a city with a parking problem, you may have to factor in the additional cost of parking. Usually, owning a car will cost you far more than using public transportation due to the cost of gas, insurance and maintenance.
5) How much in total will everything cost and is that figure something you can afford? – Once you’ve figured out the answers to all the above questions, you can come up with a number. Only once you have that number will you be able to figure out whether you can afford to move out on your own.
Gary Frost is a writer from Life Cover; he contributed this article.