Often after college people are forced to move back in with their parents. This is because unlike the movies, the situation on the ground is different. Very few get good jobs right out of college. So you go back home to start a hustle while you find a job that is more suited to your academics. Once you start getting a little money you will start to feel the pressure of moving out and being on your own. There is a pride and freedom that comes with providing for oneself. However, this is not a decision to make haphazardly.
Are You Ready?
First you have got to ask yourself why you are moving out when you are. Is it because you want more freedom to go out and party? Is it because you feel like you need to take on more responsibility? Is it because you have money that is burning through your pocket and you would like to use it on something worthwhile? Whatever the reason, it cannot be a superficial one. You have to have a good reason for wanting to move out. Life in Nairobi on your own is not going to be easy. If you do not have a good reason for doing it, you will egret everyday you wake up in that rental.
Getting your first salary is by no means a sure indication that you are ready to move. The cost of moving off your parents’ property is not just the rent. You need to have savings left over for emergencies, a bed and other things. You parents cannot be your safety net. You want to be an adult then you need to be your own safety net. Wait until you have several months’ worth of salaries. Even then, as soon as you have made the decision you need to put away money that will be specifically meant for moving out.
This could be your first time living on your own. Most people do not know this but it is more mentally taxing than you may expect. You will be afraid everyday for the first month, at least. You will be afraid of failure and having to move back in with your parents. You will be afraid of Nairobi ‘hustlers’ targeting you. You will be afraid of a lot. However, the one thing to remember is that failing is also part of success. If you are not conned once you will not understand the importance of being vigilant. In the first month of living by yourself, Nairobi will knock the naiveté right out of you.
Once Decision is Made…
Moving out is not as simple as pointing to a neighborhood on the Nairobi map then packing your clothes and leaving. You need to find out about baseline rent. You need to consider which neighborhood would be closest to your place of work. When you start house hunting, you cannot do it blindly. This is why you need to have some information prior.
Talk to your parents. Talk to your mentors. Get their perspective on your decision. It is always wise to seek counsel from those with more experience. This way you can learn from their own experiences and mistakes. This will also be a chance to inform your parents that you are leaving. It would be rude and disrespectful to just up and leave. Just because you are moving on your own dime does not mean that you should be ignorant to the social codes.
Take your time
Are your parents pressuring you to leave? Is it really urgent that you leave immediately? If not then take your time. Warm up to the idea. Do your preparations at a good pace. Do ample research. Let your parents acclimatize to the idea of being empty nesters (if you are the last born child). The more time you take the more money you save. Also be careful not to take so much time. Three months should be enough to gather your finances, do your research, and find a good place among other preparations.
As soon as the idea of taking more responsibility occurs to you, start making contributions at home. Pay the water bill. Pick up the tab for food every once in a while. Pay the power bill. Pay the DStv subscription or internet. This way you will get used to paying bills. Your parents will also have confidence that you are up for the challenge of living by yourself. You will have confidence in yourself that not only can you handle responsibility your income can support bills and still have some left over for whatever. While you contribute do not forget to contribute to the moving out kitty too.
Buy things gradually
Household appliances and items are not cheap. A good mattress alone will set you back 6,000 shillings. That does not come with bed sheets and a blanket. A single plate is a hundred shillings or more. Therefore it is a good idea to start buying things early. You can start with simple things like a table top double burner cooker. This way, the sting on the day of the move will not be too painful. You will also have time to pick out good deals on things if you are not in a hurry.
Keep in touch
Once you are out, do not be a stranger. This is not to say that you should go back home every weekend to have your mother do your laundry. If you have decided to move out then that spirit should apply to every aspect of your life. Find other ways to occupy your weekends. Go out and network. Call your parents often. Visit maybe once a month. Some parents may start to worry that you are not thriving on your own if you are constantly going back.
It will definitely be daunting and scary. Moving out of your parents’ house is always a good idea if you can afford it and are mature enough to handle it. It prepares you for the next phase of your life. This initiative to take responsibility will often also spread into your career. Welcome to the next phase!