We all come across this question right after graduating high school or when we turn the legal age to be on our own – What age should I move out? Am I ready to move out? How do I go about moving out? When I found myself in this situation, I had to plan.
Simply put, if you live in the United States, you can legally move out on your own at the age of 18. Although, in general, people first move out between the ages of 18-25. There are some instances where you may want to wait to save money before you wander on your own.
Situational- What Age Should I move out
Most 18-year-old are just out of High-School and may not have savings because of no past working history. Some may have a part time job and have a little saved. Others may even have saved all their birthday money for years and accumulated enough to move.
But it’s not just the savings that you should worry about. You need stable income!
When I moved out for the first time, I had a job that I was already working for 2 years. I felt comfortable moving out knowing my job was stable and that I now had 2 years of experience under my belt. The experience would make it easier for me to land a job in my field if anything were to happen.
Although not everyone can wait, some may be in a situation to move as soon as possible. There are many reasons why someone would want to move out immediately when they turn 18. If you find yourself in this situation, make sure you have some money saved because you will require a down payment and the first month rent.
Some may be able to stay with their parents or a loved one until they accumulate enough to move out. It may take time to get to this point so maybe waiting a couple of years may be the best solution.
Depending on your situation, only you would know when the best time to move regardless of your age.
Ideal Situation to move out
The ideal situation to move out is when you have a:
- Stable job
- Rental down payment saved
- 3–6-month emergency fund
- Zero credit card debt and no car note
You should have a stable job that you know will be available for at least a few years. This is not the case for many people, but this is something you should consider before moving out.
People forget that you need a down payment and the first month rent before you can move in. You need to make sure you have this on hand because this is the first thing you pay before you move in.
Furthermore, you should have a 3-to-6-month emergency fund. When you move out, no one will be there to pick you up, and you should have built a safety net in case something were to happen. Emergencies are random and spontaneous, and you need to be prepared for it.
Lastly, having no debt at all will make your life easier. Now a days it seems normal to carry all this debt regardless of age. I assure you that is not the way to go about it. Having credit card and vehicle debt is an epidemic in the US and that shouldn’t be the norm.
Depends on the market you live in
In most cases, the market you live in will determine if you can move out at an earlier age. An 18 year old looking to move out in Little Rock, Arkansas will not find it difficult compared to and 18 year old living in Los Angeles, California.
Young adults living in Los Angeles will realized that they may not be able to make it on their own until later stages in life. When I first moved out on my own in LA, I was 25 years old 2 years out of college and saved for 2 years while living with my dad. I had to wait longer than some of my friends who were moving out fresh out of college because they lived in Utah.
The city and market you live in can influence your outcome on the age you can move out on your own. Do a little research and investigate the prices around your area and out of your area.
Desperate to move out
This is a burden that many people may have when deciding the age they should move out. If you find yourself having to move out, consider moving out with friends or finding roommates.
You can move out with a minimum wage job by splitting the bills and rent with someone else. In some cases, you may have a partner that is in the same boat or is willing to try it out.
Many young adults are going this route because it makes sense. If its between being homeless or living in a bad situation at home, roommates can be the solution.
I have friends who are in their early 30s that are living with roommates. Because they are not footing all the rent and bills, they have been able to focus on financially stabilizing themselves and enjoy the money they save because of it.
Final thoughts – What age should I move out
You can certainly move out at the age of 18. But there is no issue if you want to wait a couple of years if you need to. It all depends on your situation and where you live. Some may find that the ideal age to move is when they are in their late 20s, and in some cases early 30s.
If you can move now, then do it. If you can’t then don’t fret. You will be able to do it with proper planning based on your personal life and choices.