‘Rents as Roommates

First, I want to take a quick minute to say THANK YOU to everyone who has been reading this blog, sharing it with friends, sending me emails, and leaving comments.  It’s been a really exciting experience to watch the pageviews grow each day and to get such wonderful feedback from old friends, new friends, and complete strangers!  During this holiday weekend, as I enjoy grilled meats and cold beers, I will be thinking of each of you.

One topic that has come up a lot recently is the idea of moving home.  Not only have several of you written me about your experience, but my own parents often suggest the idea.  I left home at age 18 for college and despite changing schools, moving towns, and losing my job, I have yet to move back.  That’s not to say it’s not an option – it’s just not part of my plan as of yet.  For those of you who have met my parents, I’m sure you understand.

Moving home is a tricky endeavor.  It’s something that should take as much time and consideration in preparing for as any other major life decision.  A few things to consider:

  • Be honest – with yourself and your parents.  Take some time to lay out the reasons why you’re moving home, what you hope to accomplish, and what you need to make the best use of the experience.  Moving back home is not an effective means of avoiding the real world [this holds true for grad school as well, folks.]
  • Don’t hate, communicate. Parents are people too.  Set up some ground rules and remember to respect the rules set by your parents.  You may sacrifice some of your independence in exchange for the financial and emotional benefits of living at home.  This is part of the package but if you talk openly about it, it won’t be so jarring.
  • Set a time line. Have a plan to get out of there and be realistic about it.  No one expects you to find a job in two weeks but you would be surprised how quickly two weeks can turn into two years.  Make it a graduated time line so you can feel accomplished and build momentum crossing things off your list.
  • Don’t be a mooch. One of the benefits of living at home is saving money – not mooching.  If your parents won’t accept financial contributions for rent and utilities, consider other ways you can help out.  Do the yard work.  Purchase a few groceries.  Sign your parents up for a couple months of Netflix.  A little bit of reciprocity can go a long way.
  • Enjoy it! Life is short.  Whatever your relationship with your family, remember that your parents won’t be here forever.  My own little sister chose to move home after graduation and while she may call to complain about some aspects, she also keeps me posted on the hilarious things my dad wears or the hours-long card tournaments the family plays.  It’s those moments that she’s going to take with her when she finally moves out.

Did you move home after graduation?  Are you cohabiting with your parental units currently?  Leave a comment with your experience!

Have a wonderful and safe Fourth of July!


2 thoughts on “‘Rents as Roommates

  1. I briefly lived at home the summer between getting my BA and starting my MA. Then I moved back home for a year and a half after I couldn’t find a worthwhile job after getting my MA. The MA run was the longest year and a half of my life! My parents and I could not figure out that whole adult child shouldn’t be treated like a 10-year old child thing. I will always appreciate their hospitality, but the experience was mind numbing.

    • Thanks for the great comment!

      I briefly moved back home for one summer during an internship between my junior and senior year of college. That experience was enough to prove to me that moving back after graduation was not going to be a good fit for me. However, as I mentioned in my post, my sister seems to be having an easier time with it than I would have. So I definitely recommend it as an option for some people – and even if it doesn’t work out or it’s mind-numbing, as you said, it’s an excellent opportunities for some “life lessons”!

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