Tips For Parents and College Grads Moving Home After College
Moving home after college is becoming increasingly popular. According to Business Insider, 85 percent of college seniors plan on moving back home with their parents after they graduate and an estimated 53 percent of 18 to 24 year olds are living at home. While living at home can be a great opportunity to find a job or save money, it can also have negative effects for both parents and college grads moving home and be rough on your relationship. Here’s what to consider before moving back home or letting your adult children move back home and tips to make it work for everyone.
Moving Home After College
A good thing.
With more than 53 percent of young adults with bachelor’s degrees reported being jobless or under employed, it comes as no surprise that a lot of college graduates are moving home because they can’t afford to move out on their own. If moving back home with your parents is an option, it can actually be a really great thing. If you weren’t able to find a job after graduation, you can now diligently look for work and not have to worry about plummeting into debt to support yourself while you look. If you were lucky enough to land a job, it can help you deal with your student loan debt before heading out on your own. It can help college grads determine your next move if you haven’t thought about it yet and research possible places to live. For parents, they’ll have some assistance financially or help with housework or yard work.
A bad thing.
It can be difficult to move home because as a grad, you’re an adult and want to do things your way. It’s hard to come back to rules and having someone tell you what to do. Both parties will probably experience far less privacy and having to learn to live together again. If the grad takes advantage of living back home and reverts back to teenage like ways of letting their parents take care of them, that’s not good for anyone.
Tips for College Grads Moving Home
- Set a goal for yourself.
Prior to moving home, set a goal for yourself. If you don’t have a job, make a daily and weekly plan for your job search. If your loans didn’t kick in yet and you’re not paying rent, you may not feel the urgency to find a job as quickly as others, but don’t slack just because you’re back at home. If you do have a job, take this opportunity to save your money so you can move out on your own. Since you are probably paying less than you would be on your own, put everything else towards any credit card debt, savings, and your student loans. Don’t just think living at home is a ticket to spend all of your money on vacations, going out with friends, and shopping. It’s a valuable opportunity to get ahead and avoid mistakes new earners make.
- Have a time limit.
It will be easier to stick to your goal if you have a certain amount of time you are planning on living at home. Whether it’s six months or 36 months, you’ll be able to make a game plan and stick to it. Knowing it’s temporary may make the situation easier to deal with if it’s getting stressful. A time limit is also beneficial in the opposite situation if you’re getting a little too comfortable living back home.
- Know what your parents expect from you.
Talk to your parents about what they expect in return for letting you move home. If you’re expected to pitch in financially, know how much each month and when you need it by. If your parents aren’t expecting any money, find out what else they expect you to do.
- Pitch in.
Either way you should pitch in around the house, but especially if your parents are giving you a break. Clean the house, cook dinners, mow the lawn, wash their car, walk the dog, run errands, and do whatever else to help out.
- Be respectful of your parents.
It can be rough living on your own for several years then trying to move home. But the days of leaving your mess around, having friends over all the time, and coming home late, might be over for awhile, or at least scaled back.
- Communicate your concerns and expectations for them.
If there are concerns you have about moving back in, talk to your parents about it. You might want to express that you’re happy to move back in, but you aren’t the same “kid” as when you left.
Tips for Parents
- Let them know what you expect.
Be upfront about what you expect from your college grad moving back. If it’s financial, be sure to let them know how much they are expected to contribute. Let them know what duties they have around the house.
- Make sure they are pulling their weight.
It shouldn’t be additional work to have your college grad back home. Don’t pick up after them or do their laundry. Resist those parenting urges, and let them take care of themselves. Let them tackle household chores, and let them help out whenever they can. Be supportive of their job search if they’re looking, or be supportive of their diligent savings.
- Share the experience of running a house.
If for some reason your college grad has yet to be exposed to bills, rent/mortgage, and everything else it takes to run a house, now is definitely the time. I’ve known people who went away to college, and their parents basically took care of everything. While that is a huge help financially for them, it also isn’t the best preparation for understanding how to pay bills and survive financially. If that’s the case, show them how much utilities, mortgage/rent, food, and everything else costs.
What do you think about children moving back in with their parents? What advice would you give to parents? What about to college grads moving home?
I have been on both sides of this (my parents and my son), and I can say the biggest thing you can do is write a contract. In it you can specify the length of contract (and procedures to extend it/renegotiate), how much you pay in rent, food, what you do for chores, quiet time hours, and anything else you wish to put into it. No one has room to complain if it is put out in front of them and they signed the contract. No hurt feeling either.
When I left my job 8 states away and moved home in a u-Haul, I stayed at my parents house. I owned a house (8 states away) and had a 9 year old with me. I had a clear contract w/ my parents about the rent, chores, things I would do with my son, etc. I found a job w/in a month, and was gone in 3 in my new house (and finally sold the other one).
When my son came back from college this summer, there was a contract waiting for him as to explain what is to happen. He is in charge of the lawn, and any dishes he creates, laundry, and he does not have to pay rent (since he is in school, I let this one slide). He has to have a job, and pays his own way on things unless I invite him to something (like dinner or a movie or other activity). If he tells me on the shopping list something he wants from the store, I will get it.
All this is a simple way of doing what you stated. List it out, negotiate it, and then you will have what you want and everyone should be happy. Resentment grows from people who do not communicate.
I agree with Big D above … while the kids should be more thoughtful with regards to helping out, keeping lines of communication open and avoiding assumptions and having to read minds will lower stress levels significantly!