Leaving home means it’s time to prepare for your bigger world, so get ready to be more ‘street smart’ and able to take care of yourself. Start with changing the relationship you have with your parents from a ‘parent to child’ relationship to an ‘adult to young adult’ relationship.

What does this mean? Ultimately, you’ll be able to plan for meals, budget, cook, clean and pay the bills. You may be surprised just how many things there are to know and to master. It also means treating your parents with the same respect you’d show a flatmate or landlord.

I hope your goal is to be independent and easy to live with when you leave home. No one wants to share a house with someone who doesn’t know how to clean up after cooking – living with someone like this becomes tiresome very quickly. You’ll learn more about how to start looking after yourself in my book.

The other must-do path to independence is paying board to your parents. This is a financial contribution to the running of the household that you’ll pay when you start to earn enough – usually from about 30 hours paid work a week. I recommend 25 to 30 percent of your take-home income, paid by automatic payment so you can’t get out of it!

Read more about these important steps to independence in Making It On my Own; 52 Smart Ways to Smash It in the Real World. Buy the e-book or paper copy here.