Moving Back Home: A Survival Guide

Recent studies show that an estimated 65 percent of recent college graduates have moved back in with their parents. Some can’t find a job in today’s difficult economy, and others are simply burdened with excessive debt from their student loans. Whether by choice or necessity, these young adults are saving money by moving back in with mom and dad.

Oftentimes, parents are happy to help out, and the arrangement can work well for all concerned. However, if you’ve grown accustomed to living according to your own rules, moving in with your parents as an adult can be a very uncomfortable fit. Parents may have expectations that you check in with them when you stay out late, or that you be available to them as long as you are living under their roof.

Another problem is that you may expect to be taken care of again, like a child. But as long as you and your parents have some common ground rules, moving back home doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Here are a few tips to help you and your parents live together without killing each other.

Set a Departure Date and Stick to it

Make sure that everyone understands that your return is a temporary, one-time event. If you make this clear to your parents, and stick to your word, that is the best way to make sure that relations with your family don’t worsen.

Take on Your Share of the Household Responsibilities

This includes paying rent, and maybe even paying for groceries. Help with the dishes and the laundry, and offer to make dinner one or two nights a week. Nothing says “I’m an adult now” better than pulling your own weight, even when you live with your family.

It’s easy to slip back into old patterns and let mom and dad take care of you, but you can avoid a lot of resentment by simply negotiating a reasonable rent at the outset and asking what your parent’s expectations are.

Be Cheerful.

This may seem like a small thing, but it makes a huge difference. If you moved out with great expectations of finding a great job and living in your own place, it’s natural to be a little depressed when those things don’t work out. But there’s no reason to take that out on the people around you.

If you can maintain a positive outlook, your family will be much happier to have you around for as long as you need to get on your feet.