Living with Parents to Save Money – How to Do it With Minimum Hassle

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I think it’s safe to say that when we move out of the house and head to college, none of us think about moving back in with our parents. But sometimes bad luck does happen, and we have no other choice to move back in. It’s not an ideal scenario for most people (and their parents as well), but sometimes that’s the only option that makes economic sense. If you do need to move back in, this post will share some ideas on how to minimize the hassles associated with moving back in.

There’s no shame living with your parents, unless…

TV and movies are always quick to portray people who live with their parents as losers, slackers, and deadbeats. After all, if your professional life is doing so good, why would you even live at home in the first place? But despite that stereotype, there are lots of legit reasons for living at home, none of which have anything to do with being a slacker.

I know some super-rich tech entrepreneurs started their empires in their parents’ garages. And I know a bunch of people who lived at home while finishing law or medical school. Maybe you’re working to get out of student debt and need a place to stay that won’t charge you rent. Living at home can also be a legit way to save money… and there’s no shame in that, provided you still contribute to the household expenses. But even when you contribute, chances are you’ll still be spending less than if you were living on your own. So what’s the big deal?

So to put things bluntly, there’s no shame living with your parents, unless you really are a slacker or deadbeat. Since I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, I’ll assume that most people reading this post are not!

With that said, living at home when you’re a full-grown adult can pose a few challenges. At times, it may even feel like you’re still a kid living with your parents. But it doesn’t have to be.

To make things smoother for you and your loved ones, here’s a list of tips and suggestions. These are based on my own experience and are put here to make things less painful for all parties involved. Read on!

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Contribute to household expenses

Let’s start with one of the most important things you should do when living with your parents. I get it; the reason you moved back home is to save on money. But as an adult, you should always contribute to the home expenses, hard stop. It’s part of being a grown-up. But you don’t need to pay for everything. Talk things over with your parents and decide where you can contribute. It could be power or groceries. Or maybe you can take on the cost of regular home repairs.

Your contributions could even be non-monetary. If you’re handy with tools, you could take over an important home improvement project. Or you could tutor or babysit your younger siblings.

It’s all up to you and your parents to figure that out. And speaking of which…

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Talk things over with your parents before moving back in

Your parents need to understand why you’re moving back in, and they need to be cool with your reasons. No parent will want their kids to be left out on the street, but make sure they understand your circumstances for moving in. Then talk about how you plan to help around the house, whether financially or through other efforts. Doing so will ensure everyone is on the same page – and that means a more peaceful transition for everyone.

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Establish your personal time and space

Just because you’re living at home (maybe even in your old room), that doesn’t mean you should live like a kid. Don’t forget that you’re a grown-up, and have your own thing going. You help at home, you contribute to the monthly budget. But beyond that, you are your own person.

Do not forget to remind your parents that. Because it’ll be too easy for them to revert back to “well, our son/daughter is back home – let’s dump all the chores on him/her!” Calmly explain that you do pull your own weight around, but you still deserve your own time and space.

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Have your own entrance and exit

This might seem like such as trivial detail, but have your own entrance and exit can make you feel more “grown-up” even if you’re living with your parents. My best friend went through the back door even if the front door was more convenient. And it wasn’t for my friend’s benefit. Parents sometimes get sick of seeing their kids all the time. So using a different door will definitely keep everyone at home sane.

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Know how and when to compromise

Living with family as an adult is a balance in expectations. Your parents might expect X from you, but you’re only willing to do Y. I already mentioned earlier in this post that you need to talk things over with your parents first. What I didn’t mention then that you also need to compromise when talking about the various expectations and ground rules that involve you moving back in. And just because you’re a big person now, that doesn’t mean you should fold your arms and demand everything go your way. When you do, you’re only showing them that you’re a childish person who probably never should have left home in the first place. So put on your big person pants and be prepared to give as much as you take.

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Never take your parents for granted

Remember: you’re living at home in your parents’ good graces. Always remember to show how grateful you are for their assistance. The best way to do this is by doing things you don’t have to. My mom is a great cook, but she totally flips out (in a good way) when I cook breakfast for her, especially if she had a tough time at work the previous day. My dad loves it when I read the same book he’s reading at a given time. I also try to drive them around and accompany them on errands. They really appreciate this since having to look for parking can get really tiring for these lovable oldies. Or sometimes, the best thing you can do is to simply tell them “thank you.” But whatever it is, make sure they feel loved and appreciated. Trust me, this is key to maintaining good relations with your parents now that you’re a grown-up.

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Have an exit strategy

Living at home should always be a temporary thing – a path towards financial or emotional recovery. Make sure you have a plan for moving out, even before you decide to move back in. Because let’s face it, it can get pretty comfortable living at home. My mom can whip up a pretty mean beef stroganoff, and I’m still suffering from withdrawal after I moved out.

Communicate what that plan is. Maybe you’re just saving up enough to make a deposit on an apartment. Or you’re living at home to pay off some major debts. Whatever it is, you need to work towards that goal no matter how difficult things get (or no matter how comfortable living at home gets!).

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