Ask Kim: When To Leave The Nest

Dear Kim,

I have a 21 year old daughter who has lived with us through college but she is ready to spread her wings and move out. She is pursuing jobs in her field of study, which was photography, but is still working small jobs. Her budget varies because she doesn’t have full time employment. Can you give me some advice on how to help her prepare a budget before she even begins looking for an apartment? 


Helicopter Mom 

Hi Helicopter Mom,

My hope is that since she’s been living with you, she’s been saving a good part of her paychecks. That will provide her a buffer in the months she doesn’t have enough income to pay her bills. If she has built a budget, she should know how much her monthly costs will be, and thus how big her savings account should be. Since it may be a while until her income from her photography increases enough to meet her budget, it may have to be fairly large. She could also continue living with you until her income meets her monthly budget of living on her own, as long as that’s a good workable solution for everyone. I know it was hard having my adult kids living at home past a certain point. I would also recommend she work with a good marketing team to help build her business faster. Has she looked into interning with an established photographer to get some experience as well as business acuity?



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