Moving Back Home After Graduation

If you find yourself moving back home after graduation (even a few months or years later), you are not alone. According to a May 2019 survey by TD Ameritrade, over 50% of students have delayed moving out of their parent’s home.

The good news is that moving back home with your family can have benefits; below are some tips to make the most of it:

  • Communicate:
    • Before you move home, have a conversation with your parent(s) in which you discuss ground rules and expectations (as you would with any other roommate), finances, and a timeline or goal date for moving out.
    • Some parents will expect you to pay rent to live at home, but this amount is likely to be less than you would spend elsewhere. Even if they don’t charge rent, your parent(s)’ expenses – including their grocery budget and utilities – will increase with the addition of another person in the household; consider ways that you can contribute, both monetarily and otherwise.
    • Beyond finding ways to contribute, you may wish to share these ideas with your family upfront – they will likely appreciate your thoughtfulness.
  • Establish Goals:
    • Be clear about your reasons for returning home – whether it is to save enough money to move out, pay off your student loan debt, find a job, or another goal that you wish to meet before living on your own. This will help you identify when you are ready to move out.
    • It is important for you to decide on a goal date for moving out of your parent(s)’ house; this will help you stay on track with savings. That said, be sure that the date you select is achievable. This video provides additional information about goal setting.
    • Initial goals don’t have to be rigid – if your proposed move-out date is approaching and you don’t feel prepared, having an open conversation with your family, can be helpful.
  • Set Boundaries:
    • It is important that, in light of this initial conversation, you and your parent(s) discuss boundary setting. This will help you to maintain more of your independence.
  • Get Started…Gradually:
    • Try to see this as an opportunity to start getting used to aspects of living alone – this includes grocery shopping and cooking, cleaning, and budgeting.
    • Consider that your parent(s) may be a great resource to help you develop any of these skills that are new to you.
  • Save:
    • One of the greatest benefits of living at home is that you may have the opportunity to build your savings, pay off debt (e.g., student loans), and develop credit.
  • Find Balance:
    • Your family may look for you to spend time with them or to help out with household duties, family functions, and the like. Consider including this in your conversation about expectations and boundaries.
    • Try to find a balance of time spent out or with friends, working, and time at home.

For more details on the pros and cons of living with your parent(s) after college, this recent article discusses some of the changes you might expect, or take a look at this “survival guide” for more on the process.

By Alexandra Pierce
Alexandra Pierce Graduate Assistant, College to Career Transitions & Alumni Services Alexandra Pierce