Okay, so You’re a Boomerang, Here’s How to be Smart About Money

No one goes off to college intending to study something they love intending to fall in the category of adults living at home with parents when the move back post-graduation. Yet the tough economy has turned many passionate grads into “boomerang kids” – grads who move back home after graduation. If you’ve become a boomerang kid, here’s how to be smart about it and leverage time at home into a stepping stone to your goals.

No one wants to say they are amongst the adults living at home with parents. It does happen even to the hardest working.

So, let’s find out what to do.

Don’t Assume Your Parents Will Pay for Everything

Some college grads who move back home after graduation fall into old routines with their parents. They might expect Mom to wash their laundry or think their parents should pay for car insurance, since they need a car to get to work.

Rather than fall back on childhood patterns, approach the situation like an adult. Don’t expect to live at home for free or have your parents pay for everything. Come up with an arrangement that works for you and your parents. Maybe you cook dinner once a week if your parents pay for household groceries. Maybe you pay a nominal rent for living at home, or pet sit for free whenever your parents go on vacation. Act as if you really need help paying the rent and take your parent travel finance needs into consideration.

As long as you are one of the adults living at home with parents, do your part around the house. Put away your dishes or clean up after you cook, rather than expecting someone will do it for you. If your parents set additional rules, follow them so long as the rules are reasonable.

The gist of the situation is, you are adults living at home with parents and you should act like one. By the same token, your parents should treat you like an adult. You are allowed to come and go freely — no curfews — as long as you are considerate of others’ schedules.

Adults living at home with Parents need to Prioritize

Living at home buys you time to come up with a plan and put it into place. Map a plan for your next steps, whether it’s applying to law schoolAsk Friends for Money or getting a full-time job in your field. Get up early and be productive with your day, rather than sleeping in or vegging out.

Talk about your financial planning with your parents, earning their support and buy-in. If your parents know how hard you’re working to get a job in your field, they might be willing to pay for your car insurance so you can get to interviews, for instance. Open communication reduces conflict that may arise when “boomerang kid” parents fret they their child has no plan to become independent.

Part of planning and prioritizing is careful budgeting. While you’re already adults living at home with parents are saving money — even if your folks are charging rent, it’s hardly market rate — save money toward your future goals. This way, once you land that job in the city, you can afford the deposit on an apartment.

If you moved home because financial management isn’t your strong suit, take time while you have a safety net to boost your financial management skills. Read personal finance books or take a budgeting class. If you need to take a job outside your field so you can pay down student loans, do it while finding the time to hunt for your dream job.

If your stay at home is longer than you originally anticipated, revisit the initial arrangement you made with your parents to ensure it’s working for everyone. As long as you remain understanding, flexible, and grateful, you can get through this unanticipated return home with the support of your parents, and move on feeling empowered by what you’ve learned.

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