Don’t freak out, but graduation is only a month away for most of us. There’s so much to think about from making sure we’re still on track academically to starting to send out our first real resumes. But where we need to put our focus is on one major decision: where we’re going to live post graduation. We’ve broken down the pros and cons of moving out or moving home, as well as key points you should consider so that you can make your choice without all the drama or stress.
Moving Home: Cons
Not many of us are excited to go home after graduating college. For most, it feels like a downgrade, and for others, there are worries about losing independence or dealing with nosy or demanding parents. Moving home may also limit your career choices if you’re going to a small town or where your new job isn’t realistic.
Moving Home: Pros
Moving home has its upsides, especially when it comes to finances. Student loans can hit hard, and having a year or two to have little (or no) living expenses can mean making a significant dent in your debts. Living at home also gives you time to rethink your next moves. This is especially beneficial for those who may need to go back to school for their next degree before starting work.
How to Make Moving Home Work
The biggest concern is your new parent-landlords, and that means communication is key. Before agreeing to move back, make sure you understand what they expect from you regarding rent, bills, groceries, rules, etc. Rules, especially, are important to go through in case there are some ultimatums you can’t get behind. Guests and curfews, for example, can be a sore spot. But if you talk your concerns through and maybe even get the deal in writing before moving back to your old bedroom, living at home could work for you.
Moving Out: Cons
Moving out is the ultimate dream, but that dream can come with a cost. For those living on their own for the first time, be sure you understand that rent isn’t the only thing you’re going to pay each month. There’s utilities, insurance, parking, and home expenses. Even monthly toilet paper can add up over time, and be responsible for chores like lawn care or shovel your driveway can be a major burden when you’re balancing a new job and social life.
Moving Out: Pros
Moving out on your own means freedom. Your space signals that you’re a full-fledged adult ready to make your moves. You’ll get to dictate your space and your rules for maybe the first time. But what makes moving out ideal for college students is that it opens up a ton of doors regarding location. When you’re free to choose where you want to live, you can explore and grow in new towns or cities.
How to Make It Work
The first thing you need to do is sit down and make a budget. Ask for your parents’ help in estimating expenses in your ideal location and then see if it will work with your projected starting salary. If your pay won't cover it all or if it’s tight when you add in any estimated student loan payments, you may be able to make still it happen if you sacrifice on space (such as downgrading to a studio or living outside a city) or taking on a paying roommate. With a little careful creativity and frugality, moving out on your post-graduation can be a possibility.