These days a lot of folks are moving back in with their parents: The cost of living continues to rise, and jobs are hard to come by. Those who do manage to find a place in the workforce often find themselves faced with meager wages, so much so that it can be inordinately expensive to rent an apartment or save up a down payment for a home.
While moving in with your parents isn’t always the ideal situation, especially if you are older, it can be quite wonderful: You’ll likely appreciate your folks even more when your mom cooks you her signature homemade lasagna, and some parents may even be okay with covering the rent or the mortgage, which would mean that you wouldn’t have to worry about housing costs. Of course, it’s always best never to be presumptuous.
If you look at it from a financial perspective, you could use this opportunity to save up funds in order to get back on your feet again. While there are a lot of reasons people move back in with their parents, this is certainly a common one. Fortunately, there are many ways to navigate this “new normal” for lack of a better phrase.
1. LET GO OF ANY SHAME YOU MAY BE FEELING
In a society where we are frequently judged by our net worth and that number is sometimes painfully close to our self-worth, it’s essential to separate the two. You may be struggling financially right now, but you are still inherently worthy because you are human, and you were put on this earth for a reason, so it’s essential to remember that.
Additionally, you’ll want to have an open conversation with your parents about what the expectations are: Are you allowed to bring visitors to their home and, if so, when is that acceptable? Talking about these issues, as well as any privacy concerns that might come up, will help you navigate the situation so that you don’t accidentally cause unnecessary tension in the future.
2. HELP OUT WITH THE CHORES
Since you’re likely staying under their roof and not paying rent, it’s important to fulfill your household duties: Don’t be afraid to do the dishes, sweep the floor, or even take out the trash every now and again. They’ll really appreciate that, and it’s a good way to avoid resentment so that they don’t feel as though you’re causing them twice as much work.
Leaving piles of dishes in the kitchen sink and walking inside with dirty shoes may seem trivial to you, but it can lead to mountains of resentment in the long run!
3. PRACTICE GRATITUDE
It’s extremely important to let your parents know that you are grateful to them for providing you with lodging during these difficult times. If they start fawning over you or nitpicking, it’s important to remember that they’re usually only doing this because they love you deeply: You’ll likely need to take it all with a grain of salt.
4. CONTINUE TO BE PRODUCTIVE
If you are seeking a job, you’ll want to spend a good portion of your day actually doing that. Binging Netflix shows or lounging around playing video games all day long might leave a bitter taste in their mouth: You don’t want them to feel as though you plan to live with them forever!
5. IF YOU ARE ABLE TO, OFFER TO PAY AT LEAST A FEW OF THE EXPENSES
Perhaps hard times have stricken you, and you truly don’t have any money to cover even some expenses. However, if you have a part-time gig that simply isn’t enough for your own apartment and are seeking more gainful employment, you may want to let them know that you’re more than willing to pay the electricity bill or buy groceries. Chances are, they’ll really appreciate this, and they’ll likely feel a lot less overwhelmed because, as much as they love you, you are another mouth to feed, and that can be exhausting sometimes.
If you can’t pay for expenses, you may want to offer your time and energy instead: Perhaps your mother needs help with the gardens, or, if you live in the country, your father might want assistance carrying firewood or harvesting the vegetables he’s planted. When you help them with these chores, it shows them that you truly care, and you are not taking their generosity for granted! It’s a great way to avoid resentment later on down the road because they’ll likely feel as though you’re a contributing member of the household, even if your efforts consist of time and energy rather than cold hard cash.
6. CHERISH YOUR TIME WITH THEM
When people are on their deathbed, they never say “I wish I spent more time at the office,” or “I can’t believe I wasn’t glued to my computer job hunting for twenty-four hours each day when I could have taken an hour or two to visit with my parents.” Your folks will almost always appreciate you taking the time to hang out with them: They’ll want to know about your life, and getting the chance to talk with you will likely mean the world to them!
Maybe you can use this situation as an opportunity to take more walks with your folks, cook your parents a nice meal occasionally, or watch your favorite movies together in the evening. They’ll always love you, no matter what, and you can use this time to bond with one another on a deep level.
7. MAINTAIN HEALTHY BOUNDARIES
It’s important to respectfully enforce boundaries when it comes to how much you’d truly like to share with your folks: For instance, if you bring a lover home and have sex, your mom really doesn’t need to know all the details, but it’s important to make this clear in a charming, polite, and perhaps even humorous manner — She’s probably only asking because she loves you very much, and she cares, after all.
Furthermore, it’s paramount to practice healthy boundaries with yourself: Half the battle when it comes to finances is managing your money well, so you might want to practice a bit of minimalism and watch what you purchase.
If you haven’t already done this, you might want to make a budget for yourself, so that you can cut costs if necessary: Maybe you’ve been buying fancy clothes you really don’t need or eating out a bit too much, and every dollar really does add up!
Fortunately, this can be changed with careful budget and an eye towards the future. Perhaps you’ve struggled when it comes to your relationship with money and this is a good time to educate yourself about finances so that you can learn to rely solely on yourself in the future. This isn’t easy, but it’s definitely doable.
“Does it spark joy?”
— Marie Kondo
Marie Kondo is well-versed in the art of elevating energies in interior spaces, and she always asks her clients this. At the end of the day, why do you even have an item if it doesn’t spark joy and remind you of happy memories? You might as well just get rid of the thing if it doesn’t!
You could do this through yard sales, or you could simply give your items to a thrift shop. Either way, it’s best to figure out what you really need in this life, that way you won’t inundate your parents’ house with junk when you move in: It’s an act of respect!
If you have a lot of stuff, we offer fabulous storage units so that you don’t have to stuff everything into your parents’ place! They really can make a huge difference.