As dreadful as the task of moving may be, we all view moving out as a rite of passage. A mark of independence. A sign of someone who is truly and finally “adulting.” But though moving out of my parents house seemed like this for me at first, it was also a stressful process.

Moving out isn’t easy. It takes preparation, prayer, patience, and a courteous attitude. Ironically, living with my parents required the same. Though my experience and the experiences of my siblings and friends, I plan to help you answer the question of when and how when it comes to moving out of your parents’ house. 

Woman unpacking boxes in new home

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Moving out of my parents house for the first time

I stayed with my parents the summer after I graduated college. I was planning to teach English abroad for a year [link to being an English teaching assistant]. Before I took off for Europe in the fall, it didn’t make sense to rent an apartment for 3 months. Also, I wanted to save money for travel adventures while living abroad

When I returned from Europe, I joined a consulting firm in a travel role where I would be flying to work on site with my clients 4 days a week. I could have rented an apartment closer to the airport for a shorter commute to the terminal, but I didn’t want to pay city rent prices for an apartment I would be in only 3 days a week.

Instead, I asked my parents if I could live with them in the interim. They agreed, and I lived with them for 7 months. We had a great time, but eventually I realized the time for moving out of my parents house had come.

The Process of Moving out of my Parents’ House

While looking for another place to live, I did a lot of debating over different apartment complexes and back and forth with potential roommates. I received a lot of unsolicited advice about what I should do or where I should live. 

Through it all, I wanted to make sure my parents knew how much I appreciated their hospitality and that I wanted to keep a strong relationship with them. My parents wanted me to be happy and to know I was always welcome at home. 

But how did I know it was time to move out of my parents house? As I mentioned earlier about, moving out is all about patience, preparation, prayer, and a courteous attitude.

How much money should you save before moving out?

When it comes to preparation and patience, moving out of my parents house required waiting for the right timing. After college and a year teaching and traveling, I was broke. I didn’t have money for an apartment deposit, a down payment on a house, or a well-prepared budget to manage my income and expenses.

Before moving out of your parents’ house, you need to be financially independent and have a emergency fund savings.

Here in the United States, we don’t save as much as we should. I hear about surveys on the radio all the time which report how a significant portion of Americans don’t have $1,000 in their bank account (yes – I listen to the radio). 

Fresh out of college, I didn’t have that kind of money either. But I knew it wasn’t wise to jump into an expensive apartment without having money saved up for emergencies. What if I moved and the next week my car needed repairs? Or I had to pay for surprise medical expenses?

Living at home allowed me to save an emergency fund more quickly and build my savings for the unexpected.  

The recommendation from Dave Ramsey, one of the financial resources I most highly recommend , is to start by saving at least $1,000 and earmark the money for emergencies only.

After that, your next savings goal should be between 3-4 months of your monthly incomes or 6 months worth of expenses. It doesn’t matter which way you choose to measure this savings goal as the amounts should come out about the same. This fund is important to have for life’s tough circumstances, like losing your job for several months. 

Is 5000 enough to move out?

The best answer is that it depends. There is no hard and fast rule to how much you should save before moving out of your parents’ house. If your new job is across the country from where your parents live, then you may need to move immediately and not have the opportunity to save 6 months worth of expenses. That’s okay.

Other circumstances may require you to move earlier or later than anticipated. For example, some of my friends wanted to move straight into a house when they moved out of their parents’ house. So, they needed to save a 5-10% down payment in addition to an emergency before moving out. 

Another factor is the cost of living where you are moving. More congested cities like San Francisco, New York, or Boston have higher rent prices. So, you may need to save more upfront to build a solid emergency fund than if you moved to Charlotte or St. Louis.

Instead of picking a certain number of what you should save, make sure to plan for these expenses and emergency savings:

  • For Apartment Living
    • Security Deposit
    • Background Check Fees
    • Application Fees
    • Pet Fees
    • Monthly Rent
    • Monthly Amenity Fees
    • Monthly Utility Costs, including internet, cable, water, sewer, trash, electricity.
  • For Buying a House
    • Loan Application Fees
    • Loan Origination Fees
    • Closing Costs
    • Appraisal Fees
    • Inspection Fees
    • Down Payment
    • Attorney Fees
    • Other loan and closing fees
  • Emergency Fund Savings
    • $1,000 dollars to start, and
    • 3-4 months of monthly income, or
    • 6 months of monthly expenses

You’ll lose money if you move out and have to move back in a couple months later because of poor planning.

Related: 11 Rewarding Financial Tips for Young Professionals

How much does it cost to move out of your parents’ house

Another facet to consider financially when considering moving out of your parents house is the cost of moving and furnishing your new living space. No one wants to move out and then sleep on the floor!

You’ll want to budget for these items:

  • Hiring Movers – cost depends on amount of stuff being moved and distance
    • Or Renting a Truck and bribing your friends and family with food to help you move
  • Apartment Fees and Deposits (see list above)
  • Housing Costs, Down Payment, Fees (see list above)
  • Furniture: living room, bedroom, office, kitchen, bathroom, closet
  • Houseware: for example, plates, cups, sheets, pillows, etc.
  • Taking time off of work to move – if you’re an hourly employee or don’t have vacation time, this is a part of the cost of moving

Overall, moving is not cheap. So, it’s important to prepare for these expenses and be patient as you’re saving. 

Tip: Remember for furniture and houseware that you can get the essentials immediately and then buy other items over time as you keep working.

Kara J Lovett Co.

Related: 12 Practical Tips for Moving to your First Apartment (+Free Checklist)

Emotions around moving out of parents’ house

Now that we’ve talked about the practicality of moving out of my parents house, we have to discuss the emotional aspect. They’re your parents. You don’t want to hurt their feelings. On the other hand, you may also feel scared about going to live on your own. How do you deal with all of these mixed feelings?

Anxiety about moving out of my parents’ house

Fear of the unknown, taking on more responsibility, and doing new things are three things that often make me anxious or stressed. Naturally, these three things made me feel anxiety about moving out of my parents’ house, too.

Before, I used to try to squash these feelings to get them to go away. Now, I’ve worked with my therapist on processing emotions in a healthier way. Instead of beating myself up and getting angry about my feelings, I let myself feel my feelings. 

For me, my anxiety about moving out of my parents’ house was like a wave. It came, and I felt it. I wrote pros and cons list. I talked it out with my friends and family. I prayed about it to God. Lastly, I spent a lot of time preparing. Part of the anxiety I was feeling about moving out was rooted in stress that I wouldn’t have everything done or ready in time for my moving day.

And through all of this, the anxiety slowly went away. However, when I moved into my apartment, the anxiety wasn’t gone completely. 

But I’ve learned that if I waited until all the fear was gone, then there are so many incredible things I never would have experienced. Sometimes even when we’re scared, we still have to move.

Kara J Lovett Co.

Related: Dealing with Nerves on your First Day of Work

Why is Moving Out Bittersweet?

In addition to the anxiety about moving out, there were a lot of other mixed feelings. The entire process of moving out of my parents’ house was bittersweet. I love my parents so much, and we had fun living together.

But, similar to when I graduated college, moving out at that time just felt right. I knew I had outgrown my years at the university, and it was time to move on. When I moved out, I wasn’t leaving out of anger or spite or necessity. I would miss my runs and bike rides with my dad, my snuggles with my sister’s puppy, and morning coffee with my mom. But my life has moved into the city, and it just felt natural to move there as well.  

Do Parents Get Sad When You Move Out?

Your parents are also likely feeling mixed emotions, too. You may feel like your parents are pushing you out of the door, but chances are they are feeling sad, too. It may be weird for them not to have you around at first. They may not know how they will feel until you’re gone.

It’s important to be courteous and kind as you make plans to move out. Communicate your plans clearly to your parents, so there is no room for misunderstandings or hurt feelings.

Sometimes we forget that parents are people, too. Even though they make mistakes, they still deserve our respect and attention. That includes when we’re moving out.

When should I move out of my parents’ house and how?

There is no perfect time or specific age where everyone should move out of their parents house. It depends on so many different factors, circumstances, jobs, family dynamics, financials, and timing. So while there’s no cookie-cutter answer, there are some ways to know it may be time to move out and move on.

Signs it’s Time to Move Out

Remember that adulting is not a once-size-fits all. It’s about adapting to different situations and doing the best you can, not comparing yourself to what others are doing. Or what social media shows you that they are doing.

So, here are 6 signs it’s time to move out.

  1. You spend a lot of time driving or commuting
    1. It’s as though your life has moved into another part of the city and you’re in the car all the time
  2. You’re often fighting with your parents and feel you need some space
    1. It may feel like there are too many cooks in the kitchen
  3. You’re outgrowing the space you’re in
    1. It’s hard to sleep, eat, and work in the same room, which leads to the next sign its time to move out
  4. The space you’re in is not conducive to your work
    1. Perhaps there are kids often running around or loud traffic outside when you’re trying to take a conference call
  5. You’re getting frustrated with your parents or how you used to do things
  6. You appreciate more and more the phrase “distance makes the heart grow fonder”

Things to do before you move out

As you prepare for the moving out process, do your part researching apartments. Check out this list of questions and spreadsheet for the ultimate apartment hunting checklist. Be patient if you can to scout out the best places in the city and the best complexes.

When you’re getting ready to move, make your moving plans well in advance. Here are my top tips for moving into your first apartment. It also includes a free checklist you can download with things you need when moving out.

But as you’re doing these tasks or before you start, there is one thing that needs to be on the top of your list. Telling your parents.

How to Tell Your Parents You Want to Move Out

In some situations, it may be best to tell your parents once your plans are already in place. On the other hand, in some situations, your parents may feel like you blindsided them if you don’t mention anything.

As an adult, it’s important to handle the situation with tact, kindness, and maturity. Communicate clearly. Be honest and kind. You don’t have to tell your parents all the reasons why you’re leaving, but you can show them respect by telling them something. 

If you’re wondering how to tell your parents you want to move out, here’s an example of what you can say.


“Mom. Dad. I have some news to share. I’m so appreciative of you guys letting me live with you after college / after coming back from abroad / as I get back on my own feet.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, and I’ve decided it’s time for me to move out. It’s not because of anything you’ve done. My life is changing, and I’m ready to be on my own.” 


Instead of making your choice a declaration, have a conversation. Be open to questions, and ready with answers about how you’re going to support yourself, what areas you’re looking in, and/or who you’re going to live with.

Decision involving moving out of parents house

Tips for Moving Out of Parents’ House

As you consider these tips for moving out of your parents’ house, remember that this is not a one size-fits-all. I’m fortunate to have very understanding and patient parents. They showed me so much grace while I was living with them, and I am eternally grateful.

But not all living situations are like this, so consider this part of my disclaimer. People may move back home out of necessity, but be put in a situation that’s mentally or physically dangerous. Unfortunately, I’m not equipped to speak to those situations. My encouragement to those of you is that if we pray and ask God for wisdom, He will show us what we need to do and when we need to flee bad situations (James 1:5). I believe he will also provide a way out for us.

Is moving out of your parents’ house hard?

Looking back on when I moved into a dorm my first year of college, I’ve learned two major lessons. 

1) I definitely overpacked, and 2) living on my own in university and living on my own as a college grad is not the same.

When I decided it was time for moving out of my parents’ house, I had to do a lot of prep work and be patient. In addition to saving up money, I researched and visited multiple apartment complexes and created a detailed budget. While moving out was bittersweet and a hard process, it also felt like a natural step in navigating the adulting struggle. Hopefully this article will make it a bit easier for you!

How did you prepare to move out of your parents house?

Leave me a comment below!

Don’t miss this! More posts in the Living & Adulting Category


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