After highschool, I lived at home and went to a University about 45 minutes away. I honestly was petrified of dorming because I had anxiety issues and was afraid of having a panic attack in front of a roommate. A year later I realized I couldn’t just let my fears paralyze me especially since I couldn’t hid out at my parents’ forever. As such, I finally sought professional help and confronted my dorming fear. Eventually I decided to transfer to Franciscan University which meant living in a completely separate state from my parents’. After I graduated, I came home for awhile and eventually moved for a job opportunity near where my grandma lived. I thus moved in with Grandma, but I didn’t stay over there long and eventually got a job near my parents’. I moved back in with them, though very quickly met up with a young woman who was trying to build a Catholic woman’s house near the University. A parish nearby had an extra rectory that they were renting out to her and her two roommates and I looked into moving in. The problem was all the girls were seniors and were intending to move and they were having difficulties generating enough interest on campus to really kickstart this group. I was willing to do what I could even though I wasn’t a student, but I decided not to risk being caught living in a rectory by myself with rent I couldn’t afford.
I eventually made a friend at daily Mass and considered moving in with her to get out of my parents’ place and to be more independant. I’m glad I decided not to however as I eventually learned that my friend was emotionally and mentally unstable and unreliable in paying her portion of the rent.
I always paid rent at my parents. Grandma refused to charge me rent as I think she was lonely and just liked having my company around. My main reason for staying with my parents’ is because I knew to afford an apartment I needed a roommate and I did not want to have to deal with a typical secular roommate who’d probably be into drinking, bringing back boyfriends, etc. I had trouble meeting people I felt I could trust and primarily wanted the company of family.
This did give me the opportunity to save a lot of money before I got married. Both my husband and I came into this marriage with a pretty good nestegg which honestly if we didn’t have, I don’t know how we’d be dealing with his unemployment and my pregnancy. That said, there are definitely developmental benefits that can happen when you truly are on your own. I finally moved out of my parents’ place a few months before my wedding. It was only during that time that I really had to think regularly about grocery shopping, regularly making my own meals, paying a true cost of rent rather than something really small portion my parents’ came up with to say I was paying rent, etc.
Also during my engagement, I came to the realization that my mom was encouraging me and all my adult siblings to live at home because she wasn’t emotionally ready to let us go. I also realized that my sister’s and I’s anxiety issues may have something to do with how controling she is and how she has a tendency to take over things in our life because she’s afraid of allowing us to fail. This has been very hard for me, because I also have come to realize that my mom’s method of helping us with homework as children involved doing too much of the work herself and thus made it a little more difficult for me when I suddenly had to catch up and figure out how to do things on my own in college.
Before my engagement, I was absolutely blind to all these things about my parents’. My parents had no problem with me living at home and I enjoyed their company and overall looked to their own judgment as to whether or not they felt I was mooching off of them. I never was a kid who was just anxiously awaiting getting away from my parents so that I would have the freedom to be irresponsible, drink, stay out late, etc. I never embraced any of that youthful and immoral lifestyle. Granted maybe I just misunderstood and stereotyped all the reasons my peers had for wanting to get away from their parents’.
Had I made the right decisions in the past? Well, they’re decisions I made and in the end I did avoid getting myself into financial problems due to bad roommates. Heck, my husband had moved into a place with some college friends of his and was a bit niave about how safe the neighborhood was. The same random guy knocked him out twice while he was standing at the bus stop. The man didn’t even take his money. We saw an article about him finally being caught months later. He had mental issues and would randomly ask people for their money, hit them and run off without having taken a thing. After the second time, he realized he couldn’t live there anymore and made a deal with his landlord and spent a whole bunch of money to get out of his lease including paying portions of what his roommate’s owed him. One of his roommate’s paid him back. The other roommate even signed a contract saying he’d pay my husband back, but then disappeared.
As such, its hard to say. There are pros and cons to everything. However, eventually you will want to move out regardless of whether or not you get married. We never know when God has those things planned for us. I’d say, give yourself a time limit. Also, if you end up being 30 and have never lived on your own, that can appear to be a bit of a turn off to women. You should have a plan of some sort to get independant from your parents. Doing household chores for your parents and not paying rent is not independence.