Moving out in this economy? For many young Filipino professionals, leaving the nest and having a place all to themselves is the ultimate dream — but one that is also difficult to turn into reality. Not only have the prices for commodities gone up over the years, but the value of real estate has also appreciated. Meanwhile, the salaries of employees remain stagnant and have failed to catch up with the times.
All the excitement of renting an apartment for the first time can fall apart once you start to compute the expenses. On the other hand, many Filipinos who have successfully made the jump will tell you that the benefits of moving out far outweigh the cons; and some find themselves wishing they had prepared for it much earlier in their lives.
Whether you’re thinking of moving out of your parents’ home to relocate to a different city, get married, or escape a toxic environment, there are several things you can ask yourself before spreading your wings and flying solo. Here’s a checklist of things to consider before you take that leap into independence.
Questions to ask before moving out and getting your own place
1. Can you create a budget and manage your finances?
Before you leave the nest, try to answer these questions: Do you have enough funds to rent your own place? Can you plan a monthly budget? Do you have the financial discipline to stick to a budgeting plan?
Given the high cost of living these days, a lot of young Filipino professionals will try to achieve a certain level of financial stability before moving out of their parents’ place. However, you can still lower your costs by planning a realistic budget and managing your finances wisely.
Factor in your rent, monthly bills, and security deposit
To avoid stretching your monthly budget and overspending, financial discipline is crucial. It involves making a conscious effort to live within your means, tracking your monthly expenses, paying your bills on time, and possibly making changes to your current lifestyle.
Consider these basic living expenses for starters:
- Digital streaming services and subscriptions
You’ll notice that the list above still doesn’t factor in household appliances, the cost of repairs, or personal emergencies yet. To add to this, you should also be prepared to allocate your income to cover other “hidden” costs that might surface once you get a space of your own.
To rent a condo unit, for example, you’re required to set aside money for your security deposit and advance rental (around two months’ worth of rent) to sign the contract of lease. Furthermore, it’s recommended that you prepare at least six months’ worth of living expenses to keep you afloat in case of emergencies (i.e., getting sick or losing your job).
Now if you’re doing the mental calculations and thinking, “Goodbye salary, it was nice knowing you,” this may be a sign that you still have to build your finances or add multiple streams of income to afford your dream place.
Luckily, it is never too early or too late to start learning about money — take it from these Pinay YouTubers who create smart and entertaining videos on personal finance.
2. Can you be responsible for yourself?
Welcome to the world of never-ending chores. You will never be done washing the dishes, doing your laundry, taking out the trash, replacing broken appliances, scrubbing the bathroom, and consistently staying on top of the household errands that require your attention.
All of that on top of your day job and side gigs, too. The sooner you get accustomed to balancing household duties alongside your work and personal life, the better.
3. Do you have a mental deadline for moving out?
Everyone dreams about getting their own place one day, leaving their job for a better one, retiring at an early age, and so on. But unless you can set a deadline for these life goals, then they’re just fantasies without any real sense of urgency.
That’s why knowing your motivation for moving out is so important. Ask yourself the following questions: Why is moving out of your parents’ place so important to you? Is it a short-term goal or is it something you can imagine several years from now?
If you can map out a specific timeline for moving out, then you can work backwards and break down this goal into smaller concrete steps before your move date. Like determining how much money you need to save before you move, which affordable cities you want to live in, what kind of properties you want to look into, what price range is reasonable for you, and so forth.
4. Can you handle the emotional stress of living on your own?
Living independently isn’t for everyone, particularly those who get homesick easily. Some young Filipinos, having grown up with a close-knit family as their support system, may find the first few months in a new place to be more isolating than expected.
At home, there’s usually someone who will listen to your problems or comfort you whenever you’re feeling down. But unless you live with a roommate you’re close to, you’re going to have to figure everything out on your own.
5. Can you face challenges without relying too much on others?
When faced with difficult circumstances, can you solve them without running to your parents at every turn? Are you madiskarte or resourceful enough to support yourself without the authority figures in your life telling you what to do?
Besides having a stable income and emergency savings to tide you over, it’s just as important to be emotionally independent and mature. This doesn’t mean that you never ask others for help. But living independently will open your eyes to the fact that you are more than capable of fending for yourself.
At the end of the day, only you are responsible for your well-being; that means you don’t expect anyone else to swoop in and magically solve your problems. More importantly, you hold yourself accountable for mistakes and you don’t wait for someone to clean up your mess. When you’re living alone, the buck stops with you.
Moving out and getting your own place: Yay or nay?
If you’ve answered the questions above with mostly “yes” and you’re ready to move into your own apartment, that’s fantastic. Leaving home for the first time is a huge accomplishment and marks an exciting transition into the next chapter of your life.
On the other hand, if you’ve read everything so far and decided it’s not the right time, that’s perfectly fine, too. There’s nothing wrong with taking your time, so don’t pressure yourself to move out if you feel that you aren’t ready yet. You’re already doing better than you think by doing your research. When you’re all set to make that leap, it will be worth it.
Ultimately, there’s no universal deadline or age limit when it comes to getting your own place. Moving out is a deeply personal decision that only you can claim for yourself, and the only “right” time to move out is when you are financially capable and emotionally prepared to.
Are you dreaming of getting your own place someday? Check out our stories on sustainable low-budget houses, an architect’s advice on building your dream home, and real estate investing tips to inspire your journey to independent living.