Are you an adult who still lives at home with your parents?
Don’t worry, we are not judging. Living at home is a smart way to save money, and for many Tanzanians, we have no choice. In addition to societal and cultural beliefs that disapprove of children moving out before marriage (especially females), the poor economic climate also encourages many of us to stay home.
The youth unemployment is above 13% and rent is incredibly expensive – especially in large cities like Dar es Salaam.
But while living at home has many benefits like home cooked meals, no rent and a ‘dada’ (housekeeper) to wash your clothes – the older one gets the more challenging it can be to live with your parents. Especially if you have old school Tanzanian parents who stay up waiting for you when you go out and don’t allow visitors of the opposite sex.
So, there comes a point where you will seriously consider leaving home. If you are on this boat, before you make any major decisions – ask yourself the following questions:
1. Can you afford it?
Often, when we calculate the costs of moving out, we only think about rent. But there are a number of other things to consider:
- Most places require 6 months to a year rent payment upfront
- If the new place isn’t furnished, you will have to buy some furniture
- How much will groceries (food and cleaning supplies) cost you each week?
- Will you need to hire a housekeeper?
- Are water and electricity included in the rent or do you have to pay separately?
- Will you have to hire security?
2. Is it the best use of your money?
What else would you do with the money if you weren’t using it to pay rent?
Are you thinking of starting a business? Saving for a Master’s program? If there is something else that you can invest your money in that will greatly benefit you or bring you more income, than maybe it’s not the right time to move out.
3. What are the biggest benefits and costs of moving?
Do you want to move out because you feel incredibly restricted by your parents’ rules? Or are you just following what your friends are doing?It’s important to honestly evaluate your reasons for moving out.
So, make a list of the biggest benefits and costs of leaving. This will give you a clear picture of what decision you should make.
For instance, if the benefits are:
- Live closer to work, spend less time in traffic
- Have own space, quiet, can concentrate on projects more
- Want independence, responsibility of paying own bills
Whilst the costs are:
- Added expenses, but I can afford them
Then it’s obvious that you should move out.
4. Are your friends living at home?
While comparison is the key to unhappiness, looking at how your peers (especially people you admire) are living can show you the changes you need to make in your life.
For instance, if you are aged 34 and still living at home, while your friends have their own homes or are in the process of building their homes, then you should ask yourself: Am I still living at home for the right reasons?
It could be that living at home gives you structure and boundaries that you need to concentrate on your business, whereas, your friends are all about the party life. However, the reason may also be that you are not good at saving money. Or haven’t asked your boss for the promotion you deserve.
5. Talk to other adults
Talk to your parents. While they may have their own biases towards you moving out, they can also give you sound advice on the matter and help you plan and prepare for it.
For instance, they may tell you that you need to save for the hard times. That no matter what happens each month, always save 10% of your paycheck, so that if you ever lose your job, have medical issues or unexpected financial responsibilities – you’ll have some funds to help you.
You can go a step further and start practising for your new life by contributing to bill and paying rent to your parents. By assuming responsibilities while still living at home, you can slowly acclimate yourself to what life would be like if you moved out.
Are you ready to leave the nest?
Moving out of your parents’ house requires more than just having money to pay rent or buy a house. It’s about changing your way of thinking, from a dependent into a fully independent adult. So make the decision wisely, because once you make the jump, there is no turning back!
Don’t worry, we are here to help. If you’ve decided to move out, you can start the search for your own place right now!