DEAR HARRIETTE: I'm a 26-year-old woman, and I think it is time for me to move out of my home. I feel like I am in a good space in my life because I just finished obtaining my real estate license, I have a job and I have a boyfriend who I am absolutely crazy about. I am also a songwriter, and I am working on my first album. Despite all of this, I do not feel like an adult at all because my mom and dad have guilted me into continuing to live at home. I asked my cousin if I should move out of my parents' home, and he told me not to move because it would be a wonderful way to save money. I want to live on my own, but I see the advantage of staying home and saving my money. What should I do? -- Want to Leave the Nest, Queens, N.Y.
DEAR WANT TO LEAVE THE NEST: Follow your heart with a strategy. You are definitely old enough to live on your own. (I moved out at 18 to go to college and have been on my own ever since.) Saving money is important in your life, but there is no reason to think you have to stop saving when you move.
Instead, make a plan. Find an apartment that you can afford. You may need to have a roommate to split expenses. I would not start with your boyfriend as a roommate. Find a neutral party with whom you can learn to share household duties. Make a budget so that you save something each week. In this way, you will continue to build a savings while also learning to be an adult without parental supervision. You can do it.