During the past seven or eight years, it has become increasingly common for young adults to move back home with their parents after going to college or being out on their own. The recession forced the choice on many young adults who could not find jobs that paid sufficiently to allow them to pay their rent. Additionally, growing student loan debt, now averaging $35,000 for undergraduates who took out loans, is also making many young adults consider saving some money by living at home again.
Advantages of Moving Back Home
Rent costs less: Your parents will likely work out a reduced rent charge for you that is well below the market rate. Some may even let you move back home for free, especially if you have expressed intentions to use the rent money you are saving to get out of debt quickly or for saving towards a goal.
Home cooked meals: Chances are, your parents will be happy to have you join the family for dinners. This saves you money because you are not dining out or making food for just one person. You may even be able to get leftovers to eat for lunch the next day.
You can focus on financial goals: The money you save by living at home can free up your income to pursue your financial goals. Perhaps you want to escape student loan debt within two years, or you want to save up a down payment so you can buy a house of your own instead of renting.
Disadvantages of Moving Back Home
You lose some of your freedom: While living away from home, you most likely were used to being out from the watchful eye of your parents. Even though you are all adults now, they are still your parents, and you will still feel like they have some authority over your life.
Reduces your urgency and motivation: If you did not have your parents' welcome mat as a safety cushion, you would probably work harder to find a job that will allow you to pay your bills on your own. It can be tempting to be a little lazy about job searching and tight budgeting if you are living at home.
Tips for How to Make Moving in With Your Parents Work
- Have a financial meeting with your parents to discuss what they would like to charge you for rent. In addition to your rent, your parents might want you to contribute to utility bills, cable subscriptions, or other expenses related to living with them.
- Set expectations for how you will help with chores around the house. Your parents will likely want you to pull your weight with chores, and they may also have standards for how they want the public areas of the house to look on an ongoing basis.
- Openly discuss with your parents whether they want you to tell them when you are planning to have friends over, or when you are not going to be at home. You are an adult so you do not necessarily need to ask permission for everything, but you need to respect them and their home.
- Set goals and a timeframe for reaching them. Perhaps you want to pay off your student debt in a year, or you want to find a job and save money towards a security deposit and first month's rent for a place of your own. Whatever the goal, make it concrete, and give your parents updates on your progress.
- Touch base with your parents on a regular basis about how things are going. Be willing to get your own place if they think you have overstayed your welcome or if the family dynamics are making their life more difficult.