Survival tips for moving back in with mom and dad

homesweethome1.jpgAccording to research company Twentysomething Inc., up to 65 percent of 2009 college graduates are slated to return home upon graduation. Although not the ideal choice for many young people, it’s a smart option if you don’t have the means to support yourself and your parents are willing to put a roof over your head for a while.

I lived at home for a few months after graduate school and, frankly, I didn’t handle it very well. I spent a lot of time sulking in my childhood bedroom-heart-design wallpaper, prom photos and all-and fell into an “I’m a failure” funk. Eventually, I set up some networking lunches, had a few sessions with a career counselor and landed a job and an apartment on my own.

In retrospect, I wish I had handled the situation a lot better. I wish I’d treated that time as as a positive opportunity rather than a post-college purgatory. If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are some tips-a.k.a. what I wish I had done when I moved back in with mom and dad:

1. Communicate early and often. If you have a good enough relationship to move back home after graduation, you should have a good enough relationship to talk openly with your parent or parents about your expectations for living together again. For instance, discuss up front whether you’ll be expected to come home at a certain time, whether you’ll need to ask permission to have guests over and what you’ll be expected to contribute to the household in money or chores.

2. Use your parents’ financial support wisely. If your parents offer to help you financially, consider asking them for help purchasing items and services that will help your job search or career development. For instance, they might take you shopping for work appropriate clothes, pay for the gas in your car or put you on a family cell phone plan that includes both voice and data for keeping in touch with friends and conducting your job search (check out the Spring Simply Everything Family Plan, which is a great value and also available for individuals).

3. Learn a new skill or two. Why, oh, why did I not learn some cooking tips from my mom while I was living at home? If you view your time at home as an opportunity, you’ll take advantage of the skills your parents can teach you-things you probably overlooked when you were a kid. For instance, ask your parents to share their knowledge on home maintenance if you want to own a home someday, work in the garden with your dad or go to yoga with your mom. You might also offer to teach them anything you’ve learned while you were away at school. While she was living at home, my younger sister helped my dad set up his Facebook profile!

Have you moved back in with your parents and made the best of it? Please share!

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5 Responses

  1. Very interesting article with some solid advice! I actually have quite a few friends that have chosen to move back in with their friends post-college to save $, seems like a growing trend given the current state of the economy.

    Quick question, do you have a direct link to that statistic about 65% of 2009 grads going to grad school? You provide a link to twentysomething’s homepage but not the actual research. If you could, send that link my way on twitter (@joshgroth). I’d love to reference that stat and you as well!


    -Josh Groth

  2. I would also add that if living at home, it’s a great opportunity not only to invest in one’s self by saving up to 1/3 of your income (what you would normally spend on rent), but also to invest in one’s community via service. There are so many great organizations that provide service opportunities, as you’ve mentioned in past posts. It’s a great way to get out of the doldrums, enables you to make a positive social impact, and can be a great way to build your network of professionals and friends. is a great place to start.

  3. @Josh – I am looking for the direct link and will send when I find it. Thanks!

    @Alexia – GREAT suggestion to spend some time volunteering when you’re living at home. Thanks for the tip and the link!

  4. This is a great reminder that we can only control ourselves, not others. So, while someone may give us harsh negative feedback, we still have the ability to be graceful in our response.

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