How to Survive Living with Your Parents (and why it is still cool)

** First- I had the opportunity to guest post over at Fit is the New Poor yesterday 🙂 Check out the post and let me know what you think! **

Throughout your days of high school and college, I know the first thing on your mind was how you would define yourself as successful: when you moved back home with Mom and Dad- right? When I was in college and grad school, my parents had always told me that I was more than welcome to move back home if I would like to. No, noooo, I thought. I was an adult and I couldn’t live at home again… or so I thought.

Living with dear ole’ Mom and Pops saves you on rent, bills, and often times groceries (and if you’re lucky gas!). Just like living with roommates, there are ups and there are downs and its best to mentally “prep” for the big move. 

After moving back home with my parents, my initial plan was to stay only for a few months and move out in June of 2013, after my first year of teaching. Then, January came and so did student loan payments. After a few months of putting down tons of money and hardly having any left over at the end of the month (I was on a different salary schedule last year), I sat down with my parents and decided to stay for another year. Then- I told them, I’d move out in June of 2014. My family and I would do just about anything for each other and my parents made it clear that I could stay as long as I needed and not even worry a thing about it . So, here I am (happily) at home and have, as of last month, have now decided to stay until June of 2015, when I will have my loans paid off (or at least that’s the goal).

If you just moved back home or are about to, moving back in as adult does require some adjusting. Keep the following in mind to help make your transition a little bit smoother.

Set Boundaries

This can be a really hard conversation to have and it actually took some time before my parents and I sat down to do this. My parents were the type that any time I came home during college, they never could really “sleep” until they knew that I had made it safely home. Once I moved back in as an adult, they never did anything like that, but we did have to have talks about a couple of little things: where I could keep stuff in the fridge (it sounds silly, but I’m super OCD and like to have things organized and my parents aren’t always so) or asking if I could have a shelf in the pantry (it actually took about 4 months before I got one) to keep my groceries.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents and I am SO grateful that they are letting me live with them while I pay off my debt. We actually live together really well, but it is important to be open and honest with them. If there is something that is bugging you while living at home, make sure to talk with them about it! This is true of any roommate, but even more so with your family.

Enjoy Family Time

If you’re living at home for free, make sure you carve out some family time. You’re (most likely) not going to live with your parents forever, so enjoy the time you have with them. Have a family dinner night, movie night or game night- but just do something. This school year, we started a Monday Morning breakfast tradition. Each Monday we wake up early to go out to breakfast together before work. I always look forward to it and it is a great way to start off our week!

Just Embrace It

At first, it was really hard for me to tell people that I had moved back home to live with Mom and Dad again. I felt like I had failed as an adult or something. But let’s be real- who cares? You can’t let other people’s thoughts of you dictate your life or how you feel. Living at home has been a HUGE blessing for me. I’ve gotten closer to my parents and have been able to put so much more money on my loans than had I been living on my own. To me, that has been worth it. And just remember– all the cool kids are doing it .

Do you live at home? What are your tips for survival? If you don’t live at home how do you save on living expenses?

Femme Frugality
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13 Comments

  1. I think it is great that you and your parents have adjusted well to living together again. Our four children had almost no debt after college (The most was $6,000), but two of them did move home after college for about six months to save money for a car, apt. deposits etc. So, I have the perspective of a parent of a child who moves back home.

    You see, the PARENTS have to set boundaries too, not just the kids! Did I like coffee cups everywhere when I got up in the morning? Did I like passing rooms with beds unmade and laundry piling up? Did I like people waking me up at 2:00 AM when they came home? No to all of this! It’s an adjustment for parents also when adult children come back home after they have lived independently for years. Fortunately, we were able to discuss all of these things like adults, and my husband and I enjoyed this time before our children flew the nest for good, and they seemed to happily put up with us for a short time too! 🙂

    • Such a great point Isabella!! It is so important that children moving back home are considerate. When I first moved back, I hand washed all of my dishes. My Mom prefers for everything to run through the dishwasher, but I didn’t know. After a week or two she sat me down and brought up the point. I had no idea, so it was good that she let me know what her boundaries were for living at her house. 🙂

  2. I think if you are happy and they are happy there is nothing wrong with it at all. As long as you are actively working towards a goal like paying off your debt. If it goes beyond that well… 🙂 Personally I would have gone bat shit crazy living with either my mom or dad, but that’s another story. 🙂

  3. Great post! I live at home. I moved back for my first year of teaching and whilst here I’ve decided to clear debt. Similarly, I have to stay until April 2015, that’s when the debt should be cleared in full. Its difficult living at home but I cope because I work long hours and my mum comes home when I’m asleep. So we see each other weekends which is works well. It’s like I live on my own.

  4. I think it’s great if you can manage, but 4 to 6 days is the maximum amount of time I can be around my mom. Don’t get me wrong, I love her dearly, but I know us both well enough and we’re just too different. Our entire worldviews don’t even match 🙂 oh, gosh, I’m laughing at the idea as I’m writing this… it could never work, unless I became a different person, I think 🙂

  5. I’ve lived with my mom for a month or two at a time a couple of times since I first left the nest. I love my mom, but every time I did it I just felt like I had to get out of there. I didn’t feel grown up enough if I didn’t have a place of my own. Sometimes I think I should have just been smart (like you) and stayed there rent free (or at least reduced rent) for a while…screw my preconceived notions.

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