Sure, moving back home is a great way to save money after college. But at some point you need to suck it up and move out. Read More...

One of the best ways to save money is to live with your parents. Food and shelter are provided, and you probably have internet access as well. As someone who has been going over to my mom’s to print stuff out for the last three weeks, I know the seduction of access to free services.

At some point in the next week or so, though, I need to suck it up and buy a printer cartridge. And at some point in the near future, you need to move out of your parents’ house.

While your parents might be willing to let you stick around for a little longer, it’s really not the best option for long-term success as an adult. At some point, it’s time to move out. Even if your parents are charging you rent (it’s probably below market rate) and expect help with chores, eventually you need to leave the nest.

If you aren’t sure it’s really time for you to get a place of your own, here are seven clues the (mostly) free ride is over:

1. You can afford your own place.

It might require a little sacrifice on your part, but if you can afford your own place, it’s time to move out. Even if you need a roommate to help you afford your first place, it’s time to move out when you have the money to take care of your own needs.

Research the local housing market. What are the rents? Look at estimated utilities. How much are groceries? If you are worried that you can’t afford all those costs, take your new budget for a test drive. Set aside what you’d pay for rent, utilities, and groceries in a savings account. If you can manage your budget with comfort for at least four months, you should definitely leave your parents’ house.

2. Conversations devolve into arguments.

Does it feel like every conversation you have with your parents devolves into an argument? As long as you live in someone else’s home, they feel they have the right to tell you how to do things. And they aren’t too far off. If you feel that you’re always arguing with your parents, it’s time to move out. Get that distance, and you might be surprised at how much your relationship with your parents improves.

This sign is less about your ability to manage your money outside your parents’ home and more about the emotional situation. It’s all about preserving the most important relationships in your life.

3. You have too much stuff.

Tired of trying to cram everything into a single bedroom? Even though I lived in a campus dorm three years out of four, I still ended up with more stuff than could reasonably fit in a bedroom at my parents’ house. When you have your own TV, computer, furniture (spare as it might be), and other trappings that make it hard to fit everything into your old bedroom, it’s probably time to move out.

And let’s engage in a little real talk. It’s not your parents’ job to store your shit in their basement or garage. My parents were ecstatic the day I took the last of my boxes down from the attic and carted it off to my own storage space. Don’t take over your parent’s home with your junk. Either pare down your belongings or move out. At the very least, get your own storage unit.

4. You’re ready for the next chapter.

One of the biggest clues it’s time to move out is that you’re ready for the next chapter. It’s practically impossible to feel like you’re moving on with your life — and becoming your own person — when you’re living with your parents and still (sometimes) being treated like a kid instead of an adult.

When you find yourself stagnating in your life, it’s time to move forward. Just moving out can help you get out of your life rut. It can energize and help you feel more grown up. After all, you’re taking care of business.

Besides, moving out and starting the next chapter doesn’t mean that you’re going ignore your parents. My son and I go to my parents’ for Sunday dinner every week, even though I’m pretty self-sufficient. You don’t have to leave your family behind just because you’re moving on with your life.


5. Lack of privacy.

Can’t bring bae home to chill because it’s awkward? Do you have to walk outside in the freezing cold when you take a call? Does it feel like your parents are staring at you every time you leave your room? Are you expected to come out of your room and socialize regularly? You need your own space.

As you get older, you have a chance to be you. Living in a place where you can’t just let loose cramps your style, and it doesn’t help you develop into a fully functioning adult. We all need those private moments.

6. The rules are getting to you.

You want to be treated like an adult, but you feel like all the rules make you feel like a kid? It’s time to move out. You’re living in someone else’s house, and that means they make the rules.

After college, it’s hard to come back and worry about how late you stay out and what you’re doing with “me” time. Tired of living by their rules? Figure out what it takes to move and get your own place. Then you make the rules.

7. Your parents are dropping hints.

It’s not always about you and your needs and wants.

At some point, your parents are likely to want you to move out. My mom considered it a mark of success when we could get out of the house and mostly “make it” on our own. If your parents are dropping heavy hints, like sending you Craig’s List ads for rentals, it’s time to move out. The biggest clue, though, is when your parents start charging you rent. If you’re paying rent to live in your childhood bedroom, you’re not adulting.

Take the next step.

While it can be scary to move out and make it on your own, it’s something you can handle. Start by making a reasonable budget and seeing what you can afford. Save up a little so that you are ready to make the move. Let your parents know your plans and see if they can offer some support.

And, once you’re out, keep up the relationship with your parents. They have helped you for a couple decades. Maintain those family ties, and be ready to help them when they need it.

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Buying a home? Mindy Jensen from Bigger Pockets walks us through the process from start to finish. Read More...

Once in a while, we present LIVE! Subscribe on YouTube to hear about future events, and share your questions about or suggestions for our next discussions!

Show Notes

Thinking about buying a home? If it’s your first time, you’ll want to hear this podcast episode. Joining Harlan and Miranda is Mindy Jensen, the community manager for Bigger Pockets, the real estate investing social network. We discuss when it might be right the right time to buy a house, for living or for investing. Especially for first-time home buyers, Mindy takes us through the process of buying a house from beginning to end.

Mindy has been investing in real estate since before dirt was invented, living in the homes that she flips to avoid capital gains taxes. She’s flipped nine homes, and is always on the lookout for her next project.

Watch the live video above or listen to just the podcast audio by using the player below.

Hosted byMiranda Marquit
Edited and mixed bySteven Flato

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We’ve all had to move at some point. Here’s how to handle moving day like a boss. Read More...

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Have you moved recently?

Maybe you are considering making a move soon.

Today, the average person has moved six times by the time s/he turns 30. Moving day is never fun, but it’s something you’ll have to face at some point — and probably more than once.

As you get ready to make a move, though, things can be difficult and expensive. We provide an honest look at what it takes to move, and what you can expect as moving day approaches.


  • When does it make sense to move?
  • Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to move, even you hope to “start fresh.”
  • How to pack up your belongings so it’s easier to distribute them when you get to your new place.
  • How to decide whether to go full-service, DIY, or use a hybrid approach.
  • Tips for getting rid of things ahead of moving day.
  • Pitfalls to be aware of when you use movers.

Use the “do nows” to start getting organized for moving day. We look at strategies you can use now to make sure nothing gets left behind.

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How many times does the average person move?
Hosted byHarlan Landes and Miranda Marquit
Edited and mixed bySteve Stewart

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Here’s what you need to do to set up your first kitchen for success. Read More...

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Disclosure: may be compensated if you take action after visiting certain links in this article at no cost to you. We stand by our editorial integrity and would not be linking to or discussing this topic if we didn’t believe it was in the best interest of you, our audience.

What are the essential items you need to set up your first kitchen? If you’re on your own for the first time, this live podcast episode is essential for making the most of your money and creating a space that comfortable for cooking and gives you the opportunity to be successful in the kitchen.

Regardless of your cooking philosophy, Erin Chase will guide you through making the best decisions for stocking your first kitchen.

Erin is the founder of $5 Dinners, $5 Meal Plan, Grocery Budget Makeover, and MyFreezEasy.

Listen to just the audio by using the player below.

Hosted byHarlan Landes and Miranda Marquit
Edited and mixed bySteven Flato

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We think homeownership is a big part of the American Dream. But is it? REALLY? Read More...

America and the world were different in 1931 when James Truslow Adams first scrawled his vision of “the American Dream.”

Indeed, Adams’ sentiment was more idealistic than materialistic. It wasn’t until post-WWII that the American Dream of a rich life full of opportunities included a house.

To be fair, Gerald O’Hara did tell Scarlet that “land is the only thing in the world worth workin’ for, worth fightin’ for, worth dyin’ for, because it’s the only thing that lasts.” It’s easy to see how the beliefs of Adams and O’Hara morphed into a McMansion-bubble-bursting-cog of America’s “too big to fail” economy.

Today we travel more, marry later, have fewer kids, and most of us have 10 jobs even before we turned 40. When our phones broke free from walls, we too broke free. Homeownership peaked in 2004 and is now at its lowest point in 21 years.

If you’re wondering if homeownership is right for you right now, here are nine reasons to rent instead of buy — at least for a little longer.

1. You’re too lazy to pick up a finger to help.

If you’d rather chase Pokemon in your back yard than stop mice from entering your house, or if you’d rather watch House than maintain one, you may be too lazy to be a homeowner.

Houses aren’t reliable. If words like “broke,” “leak,” “patch,” “paint,” “fix,” and “repair” seem less like reasons to roll up your sleeves and more like reasons to kick up your feet, owning a home may not be right for you.

2. You couldn’t help even if you wanted to.

If it’s not possible for you to help because it’s not possible for you to help, homeownership will be an expensive proposition for you. When the faucet leaks and you’re not the guy, or when it’s time to winterize your house and you’re not the gal, you will have to hire someone to take care of business.

As a renter, though, you simply call your landlord to fix the home you don’t own.

3. You’re not sure which direction your life (or relationship, or career) will go.

Even if you aren’t lazy or useless, but you’re surer of who John Snow’s parents are then where you’ll be in one year (let alone five), you might want to rent instead of buy.

Buying a home is expensive. Your agent, the seller’s agent, and Uncle Sam all want their cut. There are fees for home inspection, appraisal, title changes, lender’s origination, and more.

The best means to counterbalance this tab of homeownership is time. But what you if you don’t have the time? Homeownership is a commitment, and it helps to have an idea of where you’re going before you make that commitment.

4. You’re sure as hell things won’t stay the same.

You know those friends who were so much fun and then bought an overpriced home in a cul-de-sac overrun by offspring? You know why they don’t go out anymore? It’s because they’re house poor.

Not only are houses expensive to buy, but they’re also expensive to manicure and maintain. This is why many homeowners become homebodies. If the thought of spending all your free time in your four walls makes you funny, owning a home will be more drama than comedy.

5. You’re contemplating a change in family situation.

9 Signs You Should Rent Instead of Buy

If you and your partner might become the human equivalent of Matryoshka dolls, any home purchase made today could be too small or too large tomorrow.

It’s easy to right-size for your family with rental properties. It’s not that same with purchased properties. Your changing size could mean you need more room to grow sooner than you thought. When the size of your family is firmly settled, it’s time to purchase a permanent settlement.

6. You’re ferociously independent.

If homeownership even remotely feels like living on Wisteria Lane in “little boxes made of ticky-tacky,” surrounded by Joanna Eberhart characters, then homeownership may not be right for you.

Unlike college, you can’t move away from co-dependent neighbors every semester. Even when you do escape, someone needs to take care of your house while you’re gone.

Don’t want to be tied down? Buying a home will tie you down in a way renting never could.

7. You’re too poor.

Notwithstanding the cost of maintenance, most people shouldn’t buy a house with anything less than 20% down on a fixed rate mortgage.

Sure, there are flexible loans, but they weren’t so flexible in 2008 when balloon payments contributed to problems for many homeowners. You can buy a home with less than 20% down, but with risk-based pricing your lender will likely use will charge you a higher interest rate. You will also have to pay private mortgage insurance.

Don’t forget that discussion we already had about being house poor. You don’t want your home to suck up all your disposable income. Run the numbers. It still might be better for you to rent instead of buy.

Run the numbers. It still might be better for you to rent instead of buy.Click To Tweet

8. You aren’t detail oriented.

When was the last time someone you knew bought a nest and didn’t remodel it with the conviction of a 1980s teenager BeDazzling a jacket for her first Madonna concert? The problem with home décor bought at Michael’s is that it looks like it.

Home décor not bought at Michaels increases costs too quickly for the less detail-oriented to care. HGTV-inspired remodels increase home values, but not enough to see a 100% return.

9. Finally, homes suck.

That is, the cost of a home sucks all the money out of your bank account. While homes can be good investments, for the average household they bogart most or all investment options. Investment diversification is integral to investment success.

Asset classes don’t move in tandem and 2008 proved Carlton Sheets wrong. Homes do depreciate. Consider your whole investment portfolio and don’t put your potential home purchase in an investment silo.

I’m a homeowner. But for three of the nine reasons above I wish I wasn’t. Because my husband and I perfectly timed buying our condo just before the market crashed in 2008, it’s been “amusing.”

If you’re considering buying your own home, it’s a long-term investment and, like Bon Jovi songs, not always a bed of roses.

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You want a furry friend to give you unconditional love. But are you ready to give that unconditional love to a pet? It’s a big responsibility. Read More...

I had a dog when I was younger.

When I was nine, my parents took her to the most wonderful farm in the world where she’s playing and frolicking with other dogs as we speak. It has large, spacious fields and it’s always sunny. Somedays she’s even visited by unicorns, my mom tells me.

I’ve lived the rest of my life without a dog. I’m doing okay. I stopped missing having someone as excited to see me upon my return home. I grew up and grew independent of the need for a canine companion.

Or so I thought.

Am I ready for a pet?

Lately, I struggle. I pine for a pet dog.

I was doing well, but then Facebook happened. Grumpy cats. Gigantic dogs who don’t understand personal space. Baby goats in pajamas. These pet memes and videos get me every time. Every. Single. Time.

Apparently, baby goats, even dressed in footie pajamas, require a special permit to keep in your yard. Plus, the city “will, under no condition, permit goats to live in a twelfth floor of a high-rise.” I live in a city with a “greenhouse” on every corner, but bring up baby goats and you’d think I plan to lend my vacuum cleaner to my neighbor.

Maybe I’m not mature enough for a pet. How does one even know they’re ready for an old, run-of-the-mill dog, cat, or fish? Are you ready for a pet of the more exotic variety, perhaps a bird or turtle?

I researched online to help me decide if I’m ready for a pet. Owning a pet is serious business today, more so than my nine-year-old self remembers. There are quizzes to take that ask such personal questions as:

  • Do you expect to have children within the next fifteen years?
  • Do you live in your mom’s basement?
  • Are you broke?

I’m absolutely positive my parents didn’t take a quiz when they debated whether or not to buy our dog, Cindy (yes, my drag queen name would be Cindy Cloverly). I’m also certain my parents wouldn’t tell some website, even if they could, whether or not they were “broke.”

This is what you need to be ready.

Are You Ready for a Pet?

While you might not need to have “perfect” answers to questions about your finances and living arrangements, you should make sure you know what you’re getting into. At the very least, here are some basics to get ready for a pet:

  1. Have the time and temperament to train and socialize a pet
  2. Make sure you’re financially prepared to care for a pet
  3. Commit to keeping your pet for its life
  4. Ensure everyone in your household wants (and isn’t allergic to) pets
  5. Ensure your home (apartment or homeowners association) allows for and is conducive to pets

Don’t overthink this, though, like the “responsible” parents in Idiocracy. The premise of this all-to-prescient movie is that all the responsible parents postpone having their 1.7 children until the perfect time. The “less-responsible” parents are like compounding interest and each couple has a multitude of kids at exponentially higher rates than the responsible couples.

Of course, in that movie, the president of the United States ends up being a former professional wrestler. Sigh.

A friend of mine once said, “There’s never a perfect time to have kids.” Sure, we dream of the ideal scenario, but we rarely achieve all the variables. We could work towards our fantasy, never get there, and then we never have our pet . . . or kid.

Two key questions tell if you are REALLY ready.

Determining when you’re ready for a pet, kid, or partner comes down to two questions:

  1. Are you ready to receive love?
  2. Are you ready to give love?

If you can answer yes to both of these questions, you’re prepared to give a pet the time, attention, and care it needs.

Are you perfect? No.

Will you make mistakes? Yes.

But if you’re ready to give love, you’ll learn from your mistakes and continue to make a better life for your pet. If you’re ready to give love, you’ll do your best each day to care for your pet. If you’re ready to give love, you’ll make sure your home is conducive to your pet’s needs and you’ll do your best to keep your pet happy, healthy, and safe.

If you’re ready to receive unconditional love, you’ll give love back ten times over and your pet will be your friend, companion, and family for life.

What I’ve learned from these quizzes and lists is that they are created by pet lovers with the best of intentions — and they want to make sure that you’re a pet lover with the best of intentions.

If you’re ready to receive and give love, your intentions are good.

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Start with this list. Focus on the essentials.

My last semester of college was during the fall months, and for the first time, I was living on my own, and not in a college dorm and not with my parents. No roommates, either, though that singular, private living situation wouldn’t last too long.

This apartment was a few miles off campus, past the entrance to the interstate highway, where rents were much cheaper. That’s exactly what I needed. My last responsibilities at college were student-teaching and preparing for my senior recital, the capstones to my music education degree. So I was still a student — a student without a job for at least a few months, without money being earned, and I don’t even remember how I was able to afford my rent.

The living situation was a big change from the dorm rooms in the preceding years. Everything is provided in the dorms — paid for along with tuition, naturally, but students never had to worry about outfitting rooms with basic furniture. At least a bed and a desk.

Somehow, I owned a bed and mattress. I have no memory of where they came from.

And that’s the only furniture I had in this apartment. Well, besides the bed, I had a television on the floor in the living room. I didn’t even have blinds or curtains on the patio door. If it didn’t come with the apartment, I didn’t have it. And nothing came with the apartment.

As a result, the place wasn’t exactly ideal for entertaining guests. I had no visitors so I wasn’t too concerned about the state of my domicile. All I needed to be able to do was sleep — which I did — and practice — which I sometimes did.

Maybe I had a lamp.

What would have been helpful to me is a guide that explains exactly what you need or should have in your first apartment, whether you have roommates or not.

Here is that guide. I’ve listed what you need, ranked in order of importance, by room. Many of the furniture items can be found on a budget. Always check second-hand stores or Craigslist.

You need these items for your bedroom.

1. Mattress. This is the most basic item. You need to be able to sleep relatively comfortably. A mattress will do the trick. If you’re on a budget, air mattresses can be quite comfortable these days, and much less expensive than a fancier typical mattress. A step up might be a futon. Unlike just about everything else, I would not buy this item on Craigslist or used at a thrift store.

2. Lamp. Shine some light in the bedroom. You’ll be thankful for illumination, especially in the winter when the sun sets early.

3. Alarm clock. Well, you probably have one on your smartphone. You may be living in your own for the first time and not sure how you’re going to pay rent, but I’m sure you’re managing your phone just fine. But having a real alarm clock as a back-up has saved me many times.

4. Window curtains. The one place where you don’t want neighbors peeking in is your bedroom. Maybe your place comes with blinds, and if so, curtains are further down on the list, but still good to have.

5. A bed. If you want to prop your mattress up a little higher than floor-level, you’ll need a bed. I lived in one apartment without a bed, though, so it is possible to get by without one.

You cannot have a bathroom without these.

1. Toiletries. Expect to brush your teeth every day. Grab all the basics including toilet paper, mouthwash, toothbrushes and toothpaste, soap, shampoo, shaving items, and a first-aid kit or at least adhesive bandages (Band-Aids).

2. Towels. Drip-drying takes far too long. You can get by with one, but two would be better. Feeling fancy? Get one of those towel hooks that fit over the bathroom door.

3. A shower curtain. Most apartments won’t come with one. Shower curtains can be inexpensive, and they give you privacy and added safety in the bathroom. You may need to buy curtain rings separately. You may even need to get your own curtain rod.

4. A plunger and toilet brush. One is for cleanliness and the other is to prevent a big mess.

Let’s go into the kitchen. Who’s cooking?

1. Dishware and silverware. No need to get fancy here. My first set was inherited from a friend. A few plates, a few bowls, forks, spoons, butter knives, and if you’re ready, a sharp knife set.

2. Pots, pans, a spatula, a ladle, a slotted spoon, a regular spoon, oven mitts, and a can opener. Unless you plan to order in every day and every night, you’ll be cooking. No need to get anything fancy here unless you really love spending time in the kitchen. Just the basics will suffice.

3. Dish soap, napkins, and paper towels. And if you have a dishwasher, dishwashing detergent.

4. Trash can. You need at least one in your apartment, and if you do have only one, it should go in the kitchen.

Not everyone has a living room, but here’s what you would need.

1. Something to sit in. In my first apartment, this was the floor. Somehow I managed, but it wasn’t ideal. You can find at least a cheap chair. I eventually upgraded — in my third apartment — to a cheap sofa from IKEA.

2. Curtains or blinds for the windows or patio/balcony door. Again, privacy is the main concern here, and some type of covering might be required by your lease.

3. A television stand or mount. These days, fancier people are mounting televisions on walls. In my first apartment, I got by with leaving the TV on the floor.

4. A coffee table. Again, I didn’t have one until later in my adult life, but this is a basic piece of furniture that separates the barely-adults from the mostly-adults.

Beyond these items, everything else could be considered a luxury. Chances are good that you won’t be in this apartment for a long time. You can upgrade and add items one at a time. Living in comfort is a process, and when you first move out on your own, there’s no expectation that you have the best-decorated and best-outfitted apartment among your friends.

Save the money now. Take care of your necessities and put away any cash you have left over. You can take your time and ignore the pressure to have everything in your life and your living environment together immediately.

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Do you need your space? Sometimes you might need to live alone, even if it’s more expensive. Read More...

With the cost of rent on a steep incline and the future of the housing market a mystery, many young adults are living with roommates — sometimes multiple — just to make ends meet. While there’s nothing wrong with sharing the burden of rent, this situation has caused many young people to skip out on what used to be seen as a landmark of adulthood: living alone.

As with many luxuries, there’s a time and place for doling out some extra cash in exchange for the privilege of privacy. Read on to find out if you’re the type of person who would benefit from living alone.

When you work from home.

When you work a traditional 9-to-5 job, living with roommates means you only see them a few hours every day. If you’re busy on the weekends, you may hardly ever even cross paths.

But when you work from home, your apartment is not only where you live, it’s where you work. Having roommates can disrupt your work schedule and lead to decreased productivity (and fewer earnings).

This can also apply to someone going to school and managing a full- or part-time job. Noisy roommates can make it harder to concentrate on academics.

When you’re an introvert.

While extroverts get their energy from being around other people, introverts need time alone to recharge and feel like themselves. Having roommates, no matter how quiet, can make it impossible to find enough time to regroup – especially if you have a job that requires you be around people.

There’s no price tag you can put on sanity. If you can afford to live alone and pay your bills, it may be worth the cost.

When you’ve never lived alone before.

While having roommates is a great way to save money, living alone can teach you a variety of life skills you might not learn otherwise.

Most importantly, it can teach you how to solve your own problems. Whether it’s calling the landlord for a leaky faucet or assembling your futon, people living alone for the first time quickly learn to be proactive. It may seem intimidating at first, but taking that kind of ownership of your life is a crucial step on the path to adulthood.

Living alone can also show you how to be alone with your thoughts, how to figure out what you really want and how to motivate yourself. You can find time for hobbies and interests you didn’t know how you had or didn’t have the space to explore with roommates around.

How to make it work.

Find a studio instead of a one-bedroom. Those worried about the cost of living alone should aim to rent a studio instead of a one bedroom. You can save more than $100 per month and will also likely pay less in utilities. A studio also needs less furniture and decorating, so you won’t feel obligated to spend money on making it seem homey.

Live in a less desirable part of town. Everyone wants to be within walking distance of bars, shops and restaurants, but not all of that is feasible if you also want to live alone. You may have to move out to the suburbs or a not-yet-gentrified neighborhood if you want to be by yourself and can’t afford $1,000 on rent.

Give up other luxuries. If you really want to live alone and are worried about your budget, it may be time to rethink what else you’re spending money on. Can you eat out less, find a cheaper grocery store or take public transportation? You may have to cut non-essentials like shopping and going to the movies to make it work if living alone is a top priority.

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How do you know it’s time to move in together? Hint: It’s not because you want to save money. Read More...

Moving in with a significant other is an exciting time. It’s a true embodiment of merging your life with someone else’s, and is often the first stepping stone to a happy, committed long-term relationship.

But all too often, that excitement turns to resentment as bills pile up, cute quirks become annoying habits, and your partner’s propensity to leave dirty dishes in the bathroom leaves you seething with frustration.

How can you avoid that headache? How do you know when it’s the right time?

Talk about moving in together.

Not only is moving in together the most emotional decision you can make in a relationship before marriage, it’s also typically the first foray into talking about finances. Being someone’s roommate means figuring out who sends the rent check and deciding how to split, well, everything. Coming to an agreement on what’s fair is a great first step.

Talk about it in a calm way, respecting what your partner says. If they’re not ready to move in, don’t pressure them. Ask when they might be and resume the talk then. Don’t try to manipulate or entice them. If it’s not a mutual decision that both parties feel comfortable with, it won’t be a desirable living situation for either of you.

It’s never too late to move in together, but it can be too early. Living together means sharing an address, a lease, and a responsibility to each other. Moving in requires giving up some of your independence. Are you ready for that tradeoff?

You might be ready.

Every couple is ready at different times. Review your relationship to decide if you’re ready. Here are some clues:

  • You don’t feel the need to impress. When your relationships progresses from going out to the bars to staying for a nice dinner, you’re probably ready to move in together. Your relationship should feel comfortable and simple. You’re not worried about seeing each other at your worst and you don’t feel pressured to always make a good impression.
  • You’ve celebrated at least one anniversary. Moving in quickly doesn’t always signify an immature relationship, but some experts say that the infatuation period can last up to two years. By waiting to move in together, you’ll be more confident in your relationship and able to move forward without worrying about any sudden changes in how you or your partner feel.
  • When you have similar lifestyles. If you’re dating someone with a similar lifestyle, moving in together might help both of you. If you’re both working 9-5 jobs, one of you can make the coffee in the morning while the other person unloads the dishwasher. Living together should ease the daily slog instead of adding to it.

You aren’t ready.

Just because you think moving in might be nice doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Here are some red flags that you aren’t ready.

  • When you move in to save money. There are plenty of reasons to move in together, but saving money isn’t one of them. You don’t want to be tied down to anyone because you can’t afford to live without them. That’s veering dangerously close to codependency. Always make sure you can afford to move out if something goes wrong.
  • When you haven’t lived on your own before. Before you move in with a partner, it’s a good idea to take some time to live by yourself. If you can’t afford to do that, at least have a roommate who’s not dating you. Living on your own will teach you how to be self-sufficient without having your SO around all the time.
  • You’re still not over someone else. They say there’s no better way to get past a former relationship than falling into another one, and what better way to fall deeply than moving in with someone? But moving in together is a significant step and it should be treated with consideration, especially if you want to grow and develop the new relationship in a healthy way.

You don’t ever have to jump into anything. Make sure you’re ready before you make your move.

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