For many of us who graduate from college and end up back in our hometowns, moving home is the only option. And it’s a great one, really, for any type of situation, whether you have a job, don’t have a job or are applying for graduate school. Living at home saves you money, gives you time to carefully plan your living situation (no shotgun roommate situations here!) and allows you time to spend with your parents and family before you are permanently on your own (after all, you just spent four long years away!).
However, the transition can sometimes be daunting. Rules to follow, space issues, ego issues. We all have them. Here are some ways to cope with moving back home to make the transition a little easier.
First, always look on the bright side. Saving money is a huge opportunity that many kids don’t take advantage of. I wish I had! The average apartment costs $1,200. Utilities an extra $200. Factor in food (if your parents don’t mind) and add in an extra $200. Imagine if you could save $1600 in just your first year. After Uncle Sam takes his share of your gross income, that’s $19,200!!! Almost $20,000 in your pocket. What would you do with that money? Invest? Save for a down payment on a house? The possibilities are endless. Now, if you don’t have a job, you have a wonderful opportunity to find as close to your ideal position as possible instead of working somewhere just so you can pay your rent and other bills. Take your time – you have the rest of your life to live on your own. This is the time to get off on the right foot financially!
Next, have a nice, adult conversation with your parents and maybe even our siblings. Plan out what your expectations are and also ask what their expectations are of you. Having a conversation about boundaries, ground rules and more before you have settled in will ensure that everyone feels comfortable with the situation and even prevent misunderstandings. Expect your family to forget things you discussed and just gently remind them. You will likely also have new things come up, so patiently set up another time to have a talk and start a new conversation.
Finally, try to emulate the schedule you had in college. The transition back home is much easier if you maintain a routine that works for you and that others in your family will have to respect. Join a gym or exercise class, meet up with friends regularly, anything to keep your work-life-home balance in check. It will leave you feeling as if you do have the space you crave but still able to enjoy the company of your loved ones while you live together.
Try your best to cherish this time with your family. The years will fly by quickly throughout your twenties, so this will be one period in your life that you will want to treat well and look on fondly.