Moving Back Home After College: Tips to Make The Best of ItJuly 8, 2022
If you are thinking about living at home after college, it’s helpful to make a plan first. This guide to moving back in with your parents will provide the insight you need to make sure cohabitating goes well after you have earned your degree.
Guide to Living at Home After College
After graduating, many people don’t have a clear plan for what to do next. You may not have a job yet, or may not have the money to set up a brand new life from scratch, even if you will have a paycheck coming. You may also be grappling with student loans.
Because of the expense of getting started and the lack of certainty many people have about what to do after school, moving back home after college is common, but if you’re thinking of living at home after college has been completed, you’ll want to make sure you follow some basic tips, so the experience is pleasant for both you and your loved ones.
16 Tips for Moving Back in With Your Parents After College
Whether you are moving back home because you’re interested in saving money after college or because you simply want to have a safe and comfortable place to stay while you plan your next steps, these 16 tips for life after college will make it easier to cohabitate with your parents without problems.
1. Set Boundaries
Your relationship with your parents will be different now than when you were a child. You may not want as much guidance or as much intrusion into your life. And they may not want the responsibilities of caring for you. Set some clear boundaries to ensure you are both on the same page. For example, you may make it clear you aren’t receptive to a curfew, and they may specify that they aren’t doing your laundry.
2. Agree On House Rules Beforehand
When you are moving back home after college, it’s important to understand what rules both you and your family members are comfortable with. Your parents may still not be OK with certain behaviors under their roof, even if you are an adult, and you should discuss this issue upfront. You don’t want to move in expecting to be free to come and go as you please while your parents want you home for dinner at six sharp every night.
3. Update Your Old Room
Just because you’re moving back in with your parents doesn’t mean that you want to live in your childhood room forever. You may want a bigger bed or more updated decor in order to make the space a more pleasant spot to spend your time.
4. Pay Rent
If you are living at home after college in order to work and save money, you may not want to pay a lot of rent for the privilege. But, since you are an adult and you’re likely going to be entering into more of a roommate situation with your parents, it’s a good idea to agree up front to pay at least something for living there. This can more clearly establish the parameters of your new cohabitating relationship, which should be equal.
5. Respect Privacy
You will likely expect your parents to respect your privacy when moving back home after college. But this should go both ways. Your parents may have gotten used to being empty nesters, and chances are good they don’t want to revert to having their kids around all the time. So be sure to respect their private moments and give them some space.
6. Help Out Around the House
When you’re living at home after college, your parents are not in a caregiving role anymore — you are an adult and more like a roommate. This means you should help around the house just as you would if living with a friend. You wouldn’t have expected your college roommates to do the dishes or all the shopping, so don’t expect your parents to either. Pitch in as much as you can.
7. Use a Lease
Although you are living with your family, drafting a lease is still a good idea. You can use this document to detail how the finances will work when living together and even outline some basic household rules. This way, there will be no surprises on either end, and everyone’s rights and responsibilities will be clear.
8. Pay for Groceries & Utilities Occasionally
Your parents will have an extra mouth to feed and higher utility costs after you move in. So if you are moving back in with your parents, consider offering to pay for groceries and utilities for part of the time. While you’re likely living at home after college to make adjustments to save money, you still want to pull your weight, and your parents will appreciate you making an effort to contribute.
9. Outline a Plan
You probably don’t want to live at home forever, and your parents likely don’t want a houseguest for the rest of their lives. For both of your sake, make a plan to save up some money and eventually find a place to live of your very own. If you outline a plan, you can work on achieving it so you can become independent — and your parents will know what to expect as far as how long you’ll live at home.
10. Take Any Job Opportunities That Come
While you may be living at home after college to reduce unnecessary spending, you can only cut your costs so much. If you want to get ready to go out on your own, you’ll need to save money and earn enough income. As a result, consider taking on any work that comes your way — even if it is not your dream job. You need to start somewhere by gaining experience, and you never know what opportunities will arise once you get your foot in the door.
11. Avoid Asking for Money
Just because your family is OK with you moving back home after college doesn’t mean they want to be your sole source of financial support. As much as possible, avoid asking your parents for money. They are already giving you help by offering a place to live, and you don’t want to fall back on them too much — especially if doing so could put a strain on their own efforts to save for retirement. You can create a monthly budget for yourself which will help you avoid asking your family for money.
12. Avoid Old Habits
It can be easy to fall back into old childhood habits after moving back in with your parents, but don’t let yourself fall into this trap. While disrespectful behavior, untidiness, and other undesirable traits may be accepted as teenagers, they aren’t as cute as adults. You want to grow and set up your future as an adult after graduating, which means giving up the bad habits you had in the past and forming new ones.
13. Work On Mature Communication
If you can’t communicate as an equal adult with your parents, the chances are that living at home after college could end up damaging your relationship over the long run. You should work on developing solid communication skills so you and your parents can each express your needs — and your frustrations — without upset.
14. Show Appreciation for the Support
Living at home after college can save you money and help you get ready to go out on your own, so be sure your parents know you appreciate the assistance they are providing you. Don’t just say thank you, although you should do that — also show your gratitude through actions.
15. Don’t Run From Hardship
If problems arise when living at home, don’t just turn to your parents to try to fix the situation. You’ll need to be able to develop the ability to resolve issues independently, so try to tackle hardships head-on without turning to your family after moving back in with your parents.
16. Prioritize Paying Off Student Loan Debt
If your parents aren’t making you pay rent or contribute financially to other household expenses, this will allow you to pay off your student loans more quickly since you can devote your money to debt payoff.
Whether you have around the average student loan debt or more or less than your peers, student loans can be a major financial burden. That’s especially true because the interest accruing on student loans while you are in school can add thousands to your debt balance. Paying off this debt as quickly as possible means it will cost you less and will give you more financial freedom later.
You can also make paying off student loan debt easier by refinancing. This means getting a new loan at a better rate and paying off your existing debts with it. There are many benefits of student loan refinancing, including:
- The ability to consolidate student loans by paying off multiple existing debts with a new refinance loan
- The ability to lower your student loan interest rate, so more of your payments go to the principal balance
- The ability to extend student loan terms so you can reduce your monthly payment by stretching out the time you take to pay back your debt
Remember Your Goal
Living at home after college can make a lot of sense temporarily, but always remember that the goal isn’t to stay in your family home forever. Instead, you should have a clear reason for moving back home after college, such as paying down your debt or saving for a place of your own. Whatever your objective, make sure you keep your goal in mind at all times so you can work towards it — and remember that any sacrifices you’re making are worth it.
Refinance Your Student Loans With ELFI
If you’re working on paying down your student loans, consider refinancing with ELFI.* ELFI offers personalized support during the refinance process and competitive rates. You can use ELFI’s student loan refinancing calculator to calculate student loan refinancing savings and can work with an expert at ELFI to find the new loan that’s right for you.
Student loan refinancing can make a big difference in your efforts to pay back your debt, as can living at home after college. It’s worth making an effort to research your options so you can decide if refinancing is right for you.