Your bags are packed; your mind is made up! I must leave home you think to yourself! Wow!! Easy their young soldier! Before you hike off, pause and consider these questions just to be sure that you are ready:
- What are my motives?
- Am I prepared?
- Where am I headed?
What are my motives?
Look at the following list. Ask yourself, ‘What are the most important reasons why I want to leave home?’
- Escape from problems at home
- Gain more freedom
- Improve my status with my friends
- Help out a friend who needs a roommate
- Help with volunteer work in another location
- Gain experience
- Ease the financial burden on my parents
The reasons listed here are not necessarily bad. The question is, what is your motive? For example, if you leave just to escape restrictions, you’re likely in for a shock! We all have to live with restrictions of some sort. When you’re on your own, your work schedule or lack of finances will restrict what you can do. Don’t allow others to rush you into making a decision about moving away from home.
Am I prepared?
Moving out on your own is like hiking in a wilderness. Would you trek into wild country without knowing how to set up a tent, light a fire, cook a meal, or read a map? Not likely! Yet, many young ones move away from home with few of the skills necessary to run a household.
Wise King Solomon said that “the shrewd one considers his steps.”
To help you determine whether you’re prepared to step out on your own, consider the following:
Money management: without good money management skills, your leaving home will be a disaster because you will quickly run bankrupt and eventually into loans. You might not see this now since still have your parents planning for most of your needs. So ask yourself, how well do I handle spending? How can you learn to manage money?
“A wise person will listen and take in more instruction.” Ask your parents how much it’s likely to cost each week for a person to cover the rent or mortgage, buy food, and run a car or pay other transportation costs. Then have your parents help you learn how to budget your money and pay the bills.
Domestic skills: you will easily run into frustration when you can’t do basic stuff. So text your ability to cook, wash, clean and arrange things yourself; so try living for a week as if you were on your own. Eat only food that you prepare for yourself, that you buy for yourself at the store, and that you pay for with money you have earned. Wear clothes that you wash and iron. Do all your own housecleaning. And try to get where you need to go by yourself, with no one picking you up or dropping you off. Following that suggestion will do two things for you: It will
- Give you valuable skills and
- Increase your appreciation for the work your parents do.
Social skills: Do you get along well with your parents and siblings? If not, you might assume that life will be easier when you move in with a friend. Sorry to bust your bubble it simply does not work that way. Then what’s the solution? You can learn a lot about how to get along with people while living at home. You learn how to solve problems and make compromises. I’ve noticed that those who leave home to avoid disagreements with their parents learn to run away from conflicts, not to resolve them. They generally handle problems quite poorly”
Where am I headed?
Do you want to leave home to get away from problems or to break free from parental authority? If so, your focus is on what you’re leaving, not on where you’re going. That approach is like trying to drive with your eyes fixed on the rearview mirror—you’re so preoccupied with what you’re moving away from that you’re blind to what is ahead. The lesson? Don’t just concentrate on moving away from home—have your eyes fixed on a worthwhile goal, were your going.
Whatever your goal may be, think it through. “The plans of the diligent one surely make for advantage but everyone that is hasty surely heads for want. So listen to your parents’ advice. And consider the Bible principles just discussed.
So the real question is not Am I ready to leave home? But Am I ready to manage my own household? If the answer to that latter question is yes, then you may well be ready to strike out on your own.