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How to Budget When Moving Back Home

August 23, 2018 | By Louis Tully


Now more than ever, more and more young adults find themselves moving back in with mom and dad. So much so that one in every five Americans is living in a “multi-generation” household according to a Pew Research Center analysis. So, what’s the reason for it? Is it because jobs aren’t paying enough? Is because of the cost of living is at an all-time high? Are younger generations drowning in a pool of tuition debt? More than likely, it’s all the above. Either way, we can all agree that moving back in with mom and dad is usually a financial matter. Though it might feel like you’re moving backwards, moving back in with your folks is a smart decision that can ultimately catapult you into better financial standing – if you go about it the right way that is. If installment loans were helping with the bills before you moved back in, take these budgetary ideas to heart to get you back on track toward moving back out.

A New Budget

If you don’t want to live with mom and dad forever, then budgeting is the most important thing you should be doing right now. Moving back in to your old room doesn’t have to be a permanent set up if you can learn to manage your money the right way. Figure out a budget plan that works best for you so that you can get all your bills paid on time each month while making sure there’s enough room for savings. Here are some quick steps you could use to help you set up your budget:

  • Set a realistic goal (how much you’d like to have saved in 6 months).
  • Subtract your expenses from your income to see how much money should have leftover each month.
  • Look up past bank statements to see where your money went.
  • Focus your spending more on needs than wants.
  • Revisit your budget on a regular basis.

Establish Some Ground Rules

Your parents may be happy to have you back, but you, on the other hand, might not feel the same way. Coming back home might mean reverting back to the old way doing things. These may include:

  • A nightly curfew.
  • House chores.
  • Little to no privacy
  • Paying room and board, etc.

The only problem here is that you need your time, money and space in order to meet your financial goals. If your parents expect you to devote all your time and income to helping them out, you may inadvertently end up spending more than you save by moving back. To avoid this, set up a little meeting with your parents and explain to them your reason for coming back and how you plan to move back out. Try to work out a plan so that there can be a balance in the house that pays respect to both your parents’ wishes and yours. Not only will this help make life at home more bearable, but it’ll also allow yourself enough room to meet your financial goals.

Prepare For Conflict

Granted, you’re an adult now and while your parents will respect you as such (or should), old habits die hard. They’re still going to get frustrated with you for leaving dirty dishes in the sink and they might get on your case about how late you stayed out the night before. To make life back at the homestead as drama-free as possible, try to follow some of these common-sense guidelines going forward:

  • Clean up after yourself (ALWAYS)
  • Avoid inviting friends over
  • Try and keep the late nights down to a minimum
  • Offer to help where you can
  • Cover the easy-to-do chores (take out the trash, run the dishwasher, etc.)

Revisit Your Budget Regularly

The more you stay on top of your budget, the faster you’ll be back out on your own. Revisit your budget frequently and make sure you’re staying the course. Remember, financial freedom is the goal here and it’s only achieved if you know where your money is going. If you get too comfortable living with mom and dad, you may forget about why you moved back in in the first place and risk forfeiting a fulfilling life on your own. Or worse, you could end up getting kicked out before you’re ready.

Keep Your Parents Informed of Your Progress

Lastly, you’ll want to make sure you’re keeping your parents informed of your progress, especially if you feel like you may be overstaying your welcome. They may have taken you in with open arms in the beginning, their patience is bound to wear thin sooner or later if you don’t step up. Be sure to give your folks a monthly (or even weekly) update on how your finances are shaping up. This will not only give them some peace of mind, but it’ll also remind them of why you’re there with them in the first place. If they know you’re trying, their patience with you is bound to be reignited.

All that said, your parents love you and they’ll always be there to help you. So long and they can see you’re trying to do it for yourself, they’ll always meet you halfway.