Can you afford to live alone?

Your parents are amazing and love having you around, but chances are this won’t last forever and now you’re thinking maybe it’s time to move out before you’re put out.

The idea of living alone is amazing but the reality of it is that many people will not be able to do so.

Moving out can be liberating but the financial toll that comes with it can be significant, especially for the unprepared. Regular expenses that were previously taken care of by your parent or guardian (or at the very least shared between them and you) have now wholly become your responsibility.

Suddenly, that cable package with the premium channels and that grocery list that includes your three favourite cereals don’t seem so reasonable anymore. Even in areas that have relatively affordable rent, this will still consume a relatively decent chunk of your pay cheque monthly, particularly coming from a situation where you may not have been required to pay rent. This becomes even more burdensome if you do not have a roommate and are required to pay first and last month’s rent, and maybe even a security deposit ( for a place that is likely unfurnished or has little furniture).

Unless you are fortunate enough to have a well-paying job, you may end up with ‘too much month at the end of your pay’

You begin to look at utilities as a recurring monthly expense and realise just how good you had it even if you had to share a bathroom with your brother who took entirely too long in the shower and mother who complained if you left hair in the drain. Now, let’s factor in the essentials such as electricity, water and Internet (yes, this is 2020!), and then maybe some ‘luxuries’ like cable, air conditioning and a washing machine, because your mom did the laundry and you have no idea how to make clothes go ‘scrupse’ to ensure they’re clean; you fast realise this is a lot more expensive than initially thought. And that’s just looking at these expenses in a broad sense because the break down can be quite significant when taken in the grand scheme of things.

Moving out without having a housemate to split expenses can be quite the shock for someone who never had these bills before.

Before thinking we’re through, consider that we have yet to discuss personal expenses such as food, clothing, potential credit card bills and student and or car loans! Also, because we are being responsible adults, please note that the added assurances of health and life insurance also come at a cost.

Unless you are fortunate enough to have a well-paying job, you may end up with ‘too much month at the end of your pay’ as these expenses may be more than one person can handle, particularly if you did not have to deal with this prior.

So, before you bid farewell to co-habiting with the parental unit, take a calculated look at what your expenses are, what your additional incidentals may total and see if you are truly ready for the big move. It’s better to have not moved out as a personal choice than to have moved out and be forced to move back because of personal finances.