Should You Move Back In With Your Parents? Pros and Cons for Recent Grads
As many as 85% of new graduates planned to move back in with their parents after graduation in 2011, according to a recent poll by Twentysomething Inc. And moving back home can make smart economic sense—especially when the unemployment rate for recent grads is up around 9%. But moving back in with mom and dad can also have its drawbacks. If you’re weighing whether to move back into your high school bedroom after graduation, here’s a look at some of the pros and cons.
The Pros: Why You Should Boomerang
You save money
This is the biggest reason new grads move back in with the parents. Many new graduates are only just realizing the size of their monthly student loan payments during this time, as well as handling a loss of health insurance and dealing with a horrible job market. Many students who move into their own apartments after graduation find themselves struggling financially and unable to save. Living with your parents lets you save some of the money you earn—instead of throwing it all toward living expenses as well as student loans.
Moving back home is never an easy decision. For some, however, it’s a necessity. But be sure you’re doing it for the right reasons—not because it’s easy.
For some students, education loan debt makes it impossible to afford their first apartment—even when they have a job. Others just want to get a head start on paying the debt off before they move out on their own. Moving in with your parents allows you to put as much money as you can toward your student loans—so you can pay them off faster.
You buy yourself some time
Between saving up, paying off debt, and landing a job, moving in with your parents takes the pressure off. It lets you have some time to figure things out financially and professionally. While you live at home, you have time to get your own situation in order without worrying about rent, food, and basic survival.
The Cons: Why Moving Back is a Bad Idea
You put off adulthood
Moving back home keeps you in a state of suspended animation. True, you have some time to figure things out without the pressure of basic survival— but sometimes that pressure can drive you to succeed instead of pulling you under. Living with your parents, you aren’t pressured—but you’re also not challenged. And some recent grads wind up putting off adult moves and choices for far longer than necessary because living with the parents is easy and safe.
You get less freedom
For many recent grads, it’s tough transitioning from the relative total freedom of an on-campus environment back to the family home. Your parents’ rules will chafe twice as much after living independently for four years. Moving back home often requires some intense negotiation to establish new ground rules everyone can live with.
You put more pressure on your parents
For many recent grads, parents are always waiting with open arms. But no matter how willing your parents are to support you again, living with them puts financial strain on them. If your parents are like most in today’s economy, they may be facing their own problems—including mortgage issues, loss of a job, medical bills, and credit card debt of their own. All that time you get living at home comes with a price—and your parents are often the ones who pay it. Some students choose to try to make it on their own even when parents are willing to welcome them back, because they don’t want to be a burden.
Moving back home is never an easy decision. For some, however, it’s a necessity. But be sure you’re doing it for the right reasons—not because it’s easy, but because you need to in order to survive. And be sure to set a time limit. If you do, you’ll be much more likely to be motivated to find a job—and live on your own.
Penelope Trunk: Twentysomething: Be Responsible, Move Back Home After College
The College Investor: Staying Sane When You Move Back In With Your Folks
Metro: Recent Grads: How to Survive Moving Back Home
FastWeb.com: Live With Your Parents After Graduation?
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