Moving Back In With Your Parents? How Co-Mingle Expenses And Co-Exist Peacefully

July 1, 2013  |  

The number of young adults moving back home has jumped in recent years. Some people move back home to take care of an aging or sick parent. But these days, due to the troubled economic times, many adults are moving home to save money.

In fact, USA Today reports on a a 2012 report by the US2010 Project that found young adults ages 20 to 34 who lived with their parents increased from 17 percent in 1980 to 24 percent in 2007 through 2009. This generation has actually been called the Boomerang Kids. Out of older adults — 30-to-34-year-olds — nearly one in 10 lived with parents. Of this group, 20 percent returned home when their marriages ended. “Financial insecurity, coupled with massive student loan debt, has exacerbated another trend that might encourage some to live with their parents: delaying marriage and postponing having children,” reports USA Today.

The report also found that men are much more likely to live with parents than women, partly because they marry later. African-Americans (27 percent) and Native Americans (30 percent) had the highest. And, non-Hispanic whites had the lowest percentage living with parents while Asians had the biggest jump (from 17 percent in 1980 to 26 percent in 2007 to 2009). The report explained that Hispanics’ rates were lower (24 percent) mostly due to the fact that many parents of immigrants do not live in the U.S.

And of the cities that most adults returned home to live, Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn., topped the list with 34 percent. Honolulu (32 percent) and McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas (31 percent) followed.

But moving back home can be stressful for both parties. One way to ensure a peaceful co-existence is to communicate with each other.

Live by the rules of the house. If your parents have certain rules even though you are an adult, you have to abide by them when under their roof. This includes curfews. Maybe your parents like to turn in early. If you come in after a late night out you will disturb their rest. “Adhere to their rules and expectations.  No matter what age you are if you are living in your parents’ home you must remember that you are a guest and they are being generous to allow you to stay,” life coach and author Tanya White points out to us. 

Have an exit plan. When Laurie Johnson (not her real name) moved back to her parents home in Fort Lauderdale, FL, she had an exit plan already. A curriculum supervisor, she was returning to the States after working overseas and was pregnant at the time. She needed time and financial stability to reestablish her roots and prepare for the birth of her child. “My goal was to stay two years,” she tells us. “And I made it!” Discuss your exit plan with your parents, says White. “Having an exit plan holds you accountable,” she notes. “Have a set date to move out. Living with your parents as an adult should be temporary not a permanent residence.”

Discuss household finances. Even if you are struggling, your parents will probably expect you to contribute something to the household. If it’s not money, help with the home’s upkeep and chores. “I chipped in toward bills and other expenses and bought groceries, etc.,” says Johnson. “My mother and I were very open with each other about finances.” White suggests discussing household expenses before moving in. “Adult children in my opinion should always pay rent if they are living in their parents’ home,” offers White. But if this is not possible, discuss your situation with your parents beforehand. ” Write and stick to a financial plan. If you need to get a part-time job then do so.  It will not only help you out financially but will also get you of the house,” says White.

Don’t get too comfortable.  “The less comfortable you are the more motivation you will have to move out quicker,” says White. Not having your own space can also cause some conflict. One of the drawbacks for living at home for Johnson was space. “Space was an issue and not wanting to encroach upon her lifestyle–and vice versa,” recalls Johnson. “I was messy. I know that bothered my mother. Also, my son’s father stayed over quite a bit. That became an issue.” So make sure you have enough room for privacy, but don’t call  in the interior decorator to put your stamp on the space.

Get to know your parents. This is a prime time to get your parents to know you as an adult. Spend quality time with them while you are home. For Johnson, the time also allowed her mother to bond with her new baby. “My mother loved having my (then) baby there and was very helpful with him,” she remembers.

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