Leaving the Nest
A giant step...for everyone
It seems to happen so fast. Your darling baby is now a fledgling young adult ready to move out and begin a whole new life. For some, this happens in their early 20s, after college. For others, it's earlier—or later. In any case, the transition is important, and it can be exciting and bittersweet for the whole family.
Making it a little easier
Learning to be independent is one of the most important skills you can help your kids develop. Use this checklist to make leaving home a little easier for everyone.
- Make a budget. This is crucial to smart financial management and starting out on one's own. A budget should cover essentials like rent, loans, groceries, utilities, insurance, car costs, clothing, entertainment and travel. And of course, don't forget savings! Our easy-to-use monthly budget planner makes this easy to do.
- Set up an emergency fund. You never know what might happen, so emphasize the importance of saving and setting aside enough cash to cover at least three months' rent and basic living expenses. It's an important cushion to have—just in case.
- Pay off debt. Pay student loans and credit card balances on time. Being prompt with loan payments not only helps one's credit rating, but also imposes financial discipline. When it comes to a credit card, paying the balance in full every month will actually save money that would otherwise be spent on finance charges or late fees.
- Open key financial accounts. If your child doesn't already have them, now's the time to establish checking and savings accounts, and possibly even an IRA or other first investment account, if he or she is eligible.
- Continue, or begin, to save money. Remember, time is your child's biggest asset. Even saving just $25 to $50 each month adds up and helps develop a discipline that can pay big rewards in the long term.
- Don't forget about insurance. Shop around for affordable health, auto and renters insurance policies. Health and auto insurance are must-haves.
The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, consult with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner or investment manager.