How To Do Life

Fresh ideas about career and personal issues

Should You Leave the Nest?

Deciding whether to live with your parent(s) or on your own.

Many young people have to decide: live with parents or on their own.

Your answers to these questions may help you decide:

Your career

Will having your own place make you more or less likely to look for good work?  Consider these factors:

  • Your parents’ nagging. Some people are more likely to look for work while living at home because they need parent’ watchful eye. Others would be less likely to look for work to unconsciously punish their parent(s) for nagging.
  • Having to pay your own rent. Would the pressure of having to pay rent motivate you to look for a decent-paying job? Of course, if your parent is paying your rent, it won’t matter. Speaking of which, do you think it’s in your interest to have your parents pay all, part, or none of your rent?
  • Your parents’ monitoring your substance use. Some people are better off with parental monitoring while others prefer more freedom to use mind-altering substances. They feel they can handle it.

Your personal development

Some people are ready to fend for themselves while others could use more time in the greenhouse of their parent(s)’ home. How about you?

Your living environment

Would the place you’d move to be more or less desirable than your parent(s)’: space, neighborhood safety, quiet, privacy, for example, living with family versus roommates versus alone?

Money

How likely are you to afford, month after month, the rent plus other living expenses: furniture, utilities, food, recreation, car, etc?

If you were living with your parent(s), what could you otherwise do with the money you would have spent on rent, utilities, etc. Get a car? Pay for graduate school? Have fun?

Now what?

Your answers may make clear what you want to do but you might want to discuss your answers with people who know and care about you: A friend, romantic partner, your parent(s)?

Moving out is a big decision. I hope your answers to those questions will help you decide what’s right for you.

Wikipedia’s profile of Marty Nemko tells you more than necessary.

Marty Nemko is a career and personal coach based in Oakland, Ca. and the author of 7 books. 
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