Moving Back Home

So the unthinkable has happened; you’re moving back in with Mom and Dad. Your Lexus-after-graduation dream has evaporated, and your student loan is so high that moving back home is your only alternative for paying it off in this life. How do you make this arrangement work?


If your parents are not going to charge you for rent, food, utilities, telephone, etc., it’s a good idea to pay them something, say maybe 10% of your net income. No matter what your station in life – be it a secretary, associate attorney, entry-level management, first-year teacher, or job-hunter – whatever you pay to your parents is directly proportional to what you are making. Remember that you will be using more electricity, water, gas, cable, telephone, etc., and try to be mindful that your parents probably have financial goals, such as retirement, of their own. You don’t want them to fall behind in achieving their long-term goals because you are living there, enjoying the facilities.


Though your parents may not assign you chores to do around the house (you’re not 12 anymore), the mature thing to do is help out. You could mow the lawn, do KP in the kitchen, wash the cars, or help with housecleaning. It’s only reasonable to carry your share of the load.

Set a Leave Date:

Before you move back home, know when you will be moving out again. This is important for you and your parents – who, most certainly, have rebuilt their lives as a couple since you flew the coop. Now you are entering your parents’ world.

Budget Wisely:

As soon as you move back in with your parents, create a budget and a plan for paying off your debt. Be careful – with more money at your disposal – not to overspend. You don’t want to sabotage your reason for moving back home – to pay off debt.

This link will help you create a budget:

Adhere to House Rules:

Certainly there won’t be a curfew at Mom and Dad’s, but in things like late-night television, try to be considerate. Let your parents know your schedule and ask them if it will pose any problem with theirs. You’re coming into their home and need to work around their daily routines in things like shower times, fixing meals, doing laundry, parking, etc.

You’re Not Alone:

Thirty-five percent of adults living with their parents report that at some point in their adult lives, they lived on their own. One out of every 10 adults aged 18 through 34 have had to move back in with their parents. The reason is all economics. The recession has hit all sectors.

Short-Term Sacrifice / Long-Term Gain:

It’s possible to move back in with Mom and Dad and survive quite nicely. It doesn’t have to be difficult. With planning, budgeting, consideration, and communication, it can be a time when parents and adult children can form new mature relationships. Paying off student loans and catching up financially are admirable goals. By moving back home temporarily, you will put yourself in a better position to handle independent living once again.