So you got a decent job and you can buy yourself an expensive cup of coffee every morning. Does that mean you are ready to leave mom and dad and live on your own?
Independent living for young adults is not as popular for the millennial generation. The 2013 National Housing Survey Topic Analysis found that 31% or approximately 22 million American young adults aged 18 to 34 are still living with their parents. Since 2007, the numbers have been increasing, to the dismay of the real estate and housing sectors, who are banking on the millennials to boost their sales. Not enough income is the common reason why young adults delay living solo.
However, this doesn’t mean that young people do not dream of living on their own. Renting a condo in their 20s is preferred by many young adults because of the comforts and conveniences that condo living offers. This is the time when young people are starting to invest and save up. This is the time when they are most brave and optimistic. This is the time when they are so stubborn that no one can tell them otherwise or put them down.
But how do you really know that you are ready to live on your own? What are the signs that you are ready to rent a condo? If you’re in your 20s and is seriously thinking about leaving your parents’ home, sit back and weigh in on your ability to live the independent, free life.
You have a job that pays well
It’s not enough that you have a job. You need to have a job that pays well and allows you to have savings, not just live paycheck to paycheck. According to financial experts, your monthly rent should be somewhere around 30% of your income. This gives you enough financial room to shoulder other living expenses and also maintain a savings and emergency fund.
For example, the average rental rate of a condo in the Philippines is somewhere around Php15,000. To be able to afford this, your income or combined income if married, should not be lower than Php50,000 a month. Now, can you afford it? Don’t forget that initial costs of renting are usually higher with landlords asking for at least two months security deposit.
You need to live closer to work
How much do you spend in your daily commute? How much gasoline is put to waste because of hours stuck in traffic? Factor this in when thinking of making a move. Traffic is among the primary reasons why young adults need a condo. Most condos for rent are located at the heart of the metropolis. If you’re lucky, you can just walk from your condo to your office. This will save you the money and the gas that you use when commuting or driving to work. You also save a lot of time. Instead of waking up at 4:00 am just to prepare to go to work, you can sleep longer hours and enjoy slow mornings at home.
Your parents are asking you to chip in
If your parents are already asking you to shoulder the utilities or groceries, this means that you can very well provide for a home. This could also be your parents’ subtle way of teaching you how to be a responsible adult. Your parents are not likely to kick you out but while it may cause them pain to see you shut the door behind them, they are also convinced that they need to set you free.
While you are preparing to go solo, chipping in to your parents’ household expenses is a good start. It is a good exercise to have greater control over your finances.
You are getting married and starting your own family
Extended families are common in a Filipino household. But millennials, known for defying the norms, know better.
If you are getting married, the first thing you and your partner should agree on is where to live after the wedding day. Sure, your parents might not mind if you live with them while you fix your finances. But as a responsible married adult, your plans should go way beyond the catering services and video coverage. Renting a condo is a popular decision for newly-married couples, especially if both are working within the main business districts. Buying a property requires more financial independence.
You want to start investing
If you are living with your parents, you basically use what’s there—the old refrigerator, the tired dining table, the ancient television set, and your boring bedroom.
You want to invest on a new TV with a complete surround sound set up, but your parents tell you it’s a waste of money. You want to invest on a really stylish kitchen but then again where does that leave your parents’ kitchen appliances? If you constantly feel that you want to invest on nice things and believe that you can actually afford to do so, maybe you are now ready to live on your own. At least now, you have your sights on things that you can actually use to live more comfortably and not just the latest gadget or a ticket to the hippest concert. That’s a fairly good sign that you’re ready to live alone.
You dream of how your space should look like, constantly
Closely related to investing on furniture and appliances is constantly dreaming of how your space should look like. If you find yourself always dropping by home galleries and model units or subscribing to home design magazines, then you are itching to get your own place. If you adore home makeovers on TV and is constantly amazed by the transformation, maybe it’s time you stop dreaming and do something about it.
You’ve had enough of the things that drive you crazy
From the sound of your mother’s voice waking you up early in the morning up to the curfew imposed by your overly protective father, there are things that you’re probably used to but still make you go crazy.
It’s time to take control. Of course, that doesn’t mean you couldn’t and shouldn’t return (because you will definitely miss home), but knowing that you are capable of taking care of yourself, then you might as well take the big leap.
You are terrified but confident
Renting a condo in your 20s is not an easy feat but well worth it, as many independent millennials would show. Sure it is terrifying but if you are confident that you have the knowledge and skills to live alone, like knowing better than to freak out when the sink is clogged, then you can take this as a sign that you’re ready to live alone.
Independent living isn’t easy and you know it. But you also know that you are well equipped to not give up to challenges. In fact, you welcome the changes and look forward to the valuable lessons you’ll learn on the way.
You are most comfortable alone
There are people who are not comfortable with the idea of being alone or can’t stand an eerily quiet home. But if you have no issues with it, then go ahead.
You will not understand how it is to be alone until the door shuts and you sit down on the couch looking at how blank everything seems. It wouldn’t be easy, and living alone is a matter of getting used to. But if you are comfortable with the newness of it all, then you are well on your way to living independently.
Living alone is not an off the cuff decision. You need to carefully study the challenges as well as the benefits. You need to really consider whether you can afford it, not only financially but also emotionally. Being away from your parents and everything familiar is not going to be easy, but if you are truly ready and up for it, it could also be the most rewarding thing.