Boomerang Living

by Emily on November 30, 2011

Many young adults will graduate from college this coming December, with even more graduating in May 2012. These individuals have been living away from their parents for the last 4 years, but now with graduation upcoming where will they go? Currently, the employment market is bleak and student loan debts are high. These young adults and many others find that they cannot afford to live on their own, so they move back home with their parents. The move back home has been referred to by many as boomerang living. This move back home, is not limited to graduating college students, but also to adults of all ages. The hope for the young adults is that they will work, save up money and be able to move out on their own shortly.

For parents who are facing the prospect of their college graduate child moving back home, establish a budget and timeframe for your child. If your child can continue to live as they did before they left for college with all expenses paid for, what real incentive is there for them to move out? If your college graduate has a full time job and no expenses, you are not helping them prepare to move out of the house on their own. You want to ensure that your child is saving and has a clear time frame of when to move out. As parents, establish what expenses the child will be responsible for within the household. Some parents decide to charge a small amount of monthly rent for the child to help them become accustomed to setting aside a portion of their paycheck for rent each month. Other ideas include having your child contribute to groceries, pay their own cell phone bill and paying their own car insurance. If you put your agreement in writing with due dates for payment as well as possible late fees, your child will get used to the idea of leases and contracts.

If your child cannot yet afford to pay these expenses when moving back into your house, have them help out with errands and other chores in order to earn their keep. You can have your child do the weekly grocery shopping, run errands for you, clean up the house or help out with younger children or grandparents. If your child is unemployed post college, make sure they are actively and aggressively seeking employment. Help them with resumes and encourage them to contact their universities alumni network for help with employment opportunities. It may not be glamorous, but your child could also get a part time job while they seek employment in the field of their choice. You want to encourage your college graduate so they develop a strong work ethic and are not sitting around the house for months. Having your child move back in can put a financial strain on you as parents, so establishing what is expected from your child financially will help lessen the strain.

Although it is not ideal to have your child return home to live with you at any age, you can help them to develop financial discipline and work towards them moving out. One website can help give you tips and advice on how to handle this transition. As parents you do not want to have to dip into your retirement funds when your child returns home. Unforeseen costs such as higher grocery bills and utility bills can occur with your children moving back home. Establishing a financial plan with your child and sticking to a timeframe to move out and support themselves will lead to a happy and financially sound outcome for all.

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