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Amaliah Agony Aunt: I’m Ready to Move Out but I Don’t Know How To

by in Culture on 6th May, 2023

We know that Amaliah is like a Big Sis and sometimes our DMs have been filled with requests for advice on a range of life issues including relationships, friendships or work troubles.

We have started a new segment where we field dilemmas from the community and answer them as frankly as we can with love, truth and honesty.

Need some advice on a dilemma? Send them all here!

Dear Aunt Maya,

I am a 28 year old Muslim woman and I have lived my whole life with my parents. I think this is pretty common across many cultures but we are expected to live with our parents our whole lives unless we get married. I’m not married and I’m not willing to wait until I do to move out. I’m ready to make this move now however, I’m facing two issues:

1) I have no idea where to start when it comes to finding somewhere to move out to. I live in London and it’s very expensive to move out – how do I save up for something like this and are there any schemes I can look into to help with this process? Any financial tips would be appreciated!

2) How do I deal with inevitable backlash from my parents if I go ahead with this move? Thank you

Maya Areem Responds:

Salaam alaykum,

I hope you are well and in a good place.

Thanks for writing to us. It is a great first step that you have acknowledged the need and want to move out and not wait till you are married. It is common across many Muslim families to wait till marriage to fulfil and embark on many desires and wants that we have! 

The first thing to acknowledge is that this is a decision that can sometimes take time to make happen, but don’t let the amount of time it takes dishearten you because the time will pass anyway. You are taking the right first steps!

In terms of financial tips, the first port of call is setting up a budget and looking at what is feasible for you to save, as there are various costs involved and the first thing is to be educated on these. We plan write an article addressing this at Amaliah as there are many people in your situation, but some of these costs are broadly:

  • The deposit when renting 
  • Furnishing if you are moving into somewhere unfurnished and the various items you might need to buy when moving in
  • Bills
  • Council Tax 

From here, you want to ascertain what will be the monthly outgoings for renting – this may also include other costs e.g. grocery shopping, internet etc. Once you have these base values for your outgoings, you would want to consider feasibility in terms of this money coming out of your income month to month as rent is typically something that will come out of earnings and the savings part is more your buffer / to cover initial costs. 

If the number seems quite high and more than you can afford you may want to think about how to reduce that number e.g. flat shares or taking part in schemes.

  • Intermediate rent scheme – To support those who would struggle to afford private rents.
  • London living rent – A scheme with subsidised rent
  • London Muslim Accommodation – A group dedicated to help find housing
  • Home Girls Unite – If you’re moving out and want to find housemates, Home Girls Unite are facilitating a group with other girls in similar circumstances. A space to potentially find a new housemate and a new home together.

Often when a decision like this causes us to look at our finances, it may be a good time to take stock of what you are earning and if that earning potential can increase, through a pay rise, moving jobs or other means.

The backlash which arises from this can be very difficult to deal with, and it’s difficult to provide advice on this as each person has a different relationship with their parents and living in the same space can increase the intensity of this. You will know your parents best in what approach they may be receptive to. I would advise doing the above first in order to understand your timelines on when this can happen for you. You want to be able to be clear in your knowledge of your next steps as sometimes parents can undermine our decision making when they feel we are not clear on it.

This is also a process, it will not be one conversation, think about it as a series of milestones, for example the aim of the first conversation is not approval, it is simply to inform them it is something you are thinking about. However, something I would suggest is that you set up the conversation in a way where you aren’t asking, rather you are informing them about what you are thinking about and the steps you are taking. Sometimes we give away a lot of power when we set up a dynamic where we are seeking permission. This conversation will require patience on your part, in many instances I find parents eventually come around and their initial reaction is often based on fear for you and what will happen. 

Aunt Maya

If you would like some wisdom from Aunt Maya, send in your problems here! Please note Aunt Maya may consult the opinion of others from time to time and ask the Amaliah community for their advice too. Aunt Maya is not a licensed therapist or mental health professional. 

Maya Areem

Maya Areem

Maya is a teacher by day and student by night. She hopes to pass on what she learns.