Sometimes you have to move back home, whether due to financial reasons, the inevitable "Quarterlife Crisis" or simply wanting to relocate back to your hometown. Regardless of what the reason is, this is no easy task. Along with the regular stressors of moving, this type of move comes with its own special brand of anxiety and emotional upheaval, mainly because this a move that you have to do, rather than one that you want to do.
Although you have to go through this unexpected moving experience, it may be a little comforting to realize that you aren't alone. According to the U.S. Census, 56 percent of young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 moved back home in 2010. Moving back with the parental units isn't easy (trust me, I've been there), but you can work together by devising a plan and discussing your goals to make this temporary situation an enjoyable journey back to your old home and neighborhood. Here's how to not dread the journey back, and how to come out of this experience stronger, wiser and perhaps even with some savings to your name.
- Make A Plan
I've heard this scenario before: you moved to a big city, and a few things happen. You end up not being able to afford this city (the low-paying job and the high rent), use your credit card to pay for everything, end up in debt and decide that you want to go back to school or travel and that you quite simply don't like living in said city anymore. The only feasible situation (other than selling a few body parts) is to move back home. But before you show up on your parents' doorsteps (and even before you call them), figure out a six-month plan. Using online calculators, figure out a rough estimation of your goals for your financial and living situation, such as what jobs you will look for, how you will reach your new goal (save up, pay off debt, etc.), where you will sleep (if this is not known) and how you will contribute to the maintenance of the house, such as with rent and chores (yep, I said rent and chores). Even though you are moving back home, it doesn't mean a free ride and lazy days. Remember, you are a young responsible adult and are using your parents' place as a temporary means to an end.
Once you are armed with your plan, call your parents and go over your ideas. This will demonstrate that you have goals and simply don't want to return home for free food and laundry services. Let them voice their concerns and address how you plan to be an active member in the house, and give them a time frame for when you expect to move out.
Establish a contract with your parents stating your expected departure date. Don't worry if six months end up being a year. Your parents will understand that "life happens," but again, showing them that you have a goal will help your transition, which is important for you both to clarify.
Depending on your situation, you may have to pay rent or contribute to grocery bills and household maintenance (cleaning, laundry, etc.). Most likely, any rental agreement that you figure out will be significantly lower than what you were paying on your own, but paying them a little something will keep you on a schedule and won't make your parents feel like you are simply hanging out or on an extended vacation. Put the agreed-upon terms or rent in writing, and if you happen to fall short, be honest with your parents and figure out ways to make up for your shortage. Some parents may even hold the money in a savings account for you to be collected when you move out (which can also be addressed in your plan).
Establishing old relationships with childhood friends is a great way to experience your hometown as an adult. Who knows? Maybe the place you experienced as a child or teen will be a completely different world for you as a young adult. This is also a great way to network for work and get you out of the house. There is nothing worse than being home and getting in each other's way. Respect their space and your parents will return the courtesy.
You will get annoyed being home; you just will. It won't be as awful as you imagined, but your life will be altered as well as your lifestyle. For example, you may have gotten used to going out at all hours of the night when you lived in your old apartment; doing so in your parents' home may not go over as well. Of course, you are an adult, but it is best to discuss all of your weekend (and weekday) plans with them so that they know where to reach you and where you are; it's more of sanity check for them. And try not to be too annoyed with the new level of questioning. They only mean the best.
Don't let the idea of "I am moving home!" control your every thought. You did it, it's over, so now work on your next steps, such as living at home to pay off debt. While you are attaining those goals, enjoy this time back home and stay focused. Who knows? This unlikely relocation may just be the move you needed all along.