Smart SpendingSmart Spending

Tips for moving in with Mom and Dad

Showing your appreciation -- especially if you're living rent-free -- is practically a must when you're living with your parents past the age of 18.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 28, 2012 10:15AM

This post comes from Kelly Kehoe at partner blog Wise Bread.


Wise Bread on MSN MoneyIn 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 20s, 30s or even 40s has become a somewhat common occurrence.


Image: People with paperwork (© Thinkstock Images/Comstock Images/Getty Images)In some cultures, it is completely normal to live with multiple generations in one 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 in, this can be a great opportunity to get back on your feet. Here are some tips to keep in mind before making the transition. (Post continues below.)

Draw up a contract. This first step is important for everyone's peace of mind. Your parents 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, consider yourself extremely lucky.


It would also be wise to set up an exit plan, giving you the 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 3 in the morning or have alcohol in the house (again, these matters should be outlined in some form of 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 return to 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 age of 18. This could entail preparing some meals and paying for the food yourself, cleaning up around the house beyond what is already expected of you and yard work.


As a result of the recession, children have been rushing back to the comfort of their parents' homes in record numbers. If you're considering this move, you are just one of many who are seeking refuge from a tough job market and the high 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.


More on Wise Bread and MSN Money:



Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.


Smart Spending brings you the best money-saving tips from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.