Survival Tips for Moving Back Home
If you're a 20-something and moving back home with your parents, you're not alone. About a third of Americans in their 20s live with their parents at least once. Often this happens during stressful times of transition- after college graduation, between jobs or apartments, after a relationship has ended. Today's graduates face a tough economy full of unpaid internships, and we often have thousands of dollars of debt. So what's the trick to surviving the "boomerang" move back into your parents' empty nest? It's really important to maintain good communication so that tensions don't arise. Here's a few tips for keeping the peace while living with your folks:
- Set a move-out date. Create a timeline for how long you plan to stay. If something needs to be accomplished (finding a job, saving a certain amount of money, renting a new apartment), specify that goal and what steps you need to take as you work toward it.
- Budget together. You may think that living at home is "free," but it certainly is not. Sit down with your parents and discuss a realistic way for you to take some financial responsibility while you are living at home. Will you pay rent, cover the cost of food, or take care of cell phone bills? Think of this as an opportunity to learn better budgeting skills for when you get out on your own again.
- Discuss responsibilities. Sit down and have a discussion with your parents in which you offer to help out with chores and household tasks. When in doubt, treat your parents like you would roommates; Don't expect them to do your laundry or clean up after you.
- Talk about boundaries. You may be used to living by your own rules, but the house rules may not have changed since the last time you lived there. Have an honest conversation with your parents about what kinds of expectations everyone has about privacy, noise, hours, etc. Recognize that there will likely be situations where you will need to give up what you want because you are living under your parents' roof.
The most important piece of advice: try to take advantage of reconnecting with your parents without taking advantage of your parents. While living at home may not have been what you imagined for yourself, try to look at it as an opportunity. Your family can offer valuable support as you look toward the future.