Re-Nesting: Tips for Moving Back in With Your Parents

by Kelly Kehoe on 8 March 2012 2 comments

In nature, when an animal’s offspring are old enough to leave the nest, the children are gone for good. With human beings, however, particularly in a rough economic climate, going back home to live with your parents in your late twenties, thirties, or even forties has become a somewhat common occurrence. In some cultures, it is completely normal to live with multiple generations in the household, but many people who are not accustomed to such living arrangements often feel a sense of failure or embarrassment when moving back home. (See also: The Benefits of Having a Roommate — Besides Saving on Rent)

My advice? Don’t feel that way. Financial stability is crucial to your mental well-being, and if your parents are willing to take you, then this can be a great opportunity to get back on your feet. Here are some tips to keep in mind before making the transition.

Draw Up a Contract

It may just be your parents, but this first step is important for everyone’s peace of mind. They aren’t obligated to allow you back in their home, so it is necessary for them to lay out the rules and determine how much you’ll be paying for rent, utilities, and food. If they’re letting you stay rent-free, then consider yourself extremely lucky.

It would also be wise to set up an exit plan, giving you a motivation to move out by the given deadline and assuring your parents that you’re not going to stay with them forever.

Expect Diminished Independence

Yes, there are bound to be rules and restrictions, and even though you’re no longer a child or teenager, you ought to respect them to the fullest extent, even if you don’t agree with them. Perhaps you won’t be able to stay out until three in the morning or have alcohol in the house (again, these matters should be outlined in some form of a contract), but even a lessened sense of independence shouldn’t get in the way of your path to financial freedom. Again, there’s no shame in living with your parents (temporarily), and if you decide to rejoin the nest, take this as a valuable opportunity to build up your own savings (perhaps for a down payment on a home of your own), even if it comes at the expense of your social life.

Help Out

Showing your appreciation — especially if you’re living rent-free — is practically a must when you’re living with your parents past the regular 18-year-old limit. This could entail preparing a meal one night (and paying for the food yourself), cleaning up around the house beyond what is already expected of you, and yard work.

During the economic recession, children have been rushing back into the comfort of their parents’ homes in record numbers. If you’re considering this move, you are just one of many that are seeking refuge from a tough job market and untenable cost of living. It will take some getting used to, but with proper planning, patience, and a sense of appreciation for what your parents are doing for you, this can be a very smart decision (so long as it’s only short-term).

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Meg Favreau's picture

I think moving back in with your folks can be a really good choice if it's an option available to you. A fair amount of my friends have done it, and while it might not be the ideal situation, it's also a lot better than sinking into debt.

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Yazmin

I'm glad that you brought up the fact that this is normal in many cultures. During this time it's even becoming the norm. Keeping the lines of communication open is important. I's suggest you bring up the fact that you want to pitch in first so they can see you're not there to mooch of their hard earned cash.