We were very proud parents a few weeks ago when my step/bonus daughter graduated from university. And like many of you, she is moving back home.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love my Millennial, and her father and I are actually pretty excited to have her around.
For a while!
If you plan to move back home or need to stay a little longer, don’t be embarrassed.
You are not alone:
According to the most-recent U.S. Census Bureau figures, 22.6 million adults between the ages of 18 and 34 were living at home with their parents in 2012, about 32% of all people in that age group. That is up from 18 million, or 27%, a decade ago. The percentage of young adults between 18 and 24 years old living with parents has increased the most, to 56% in 2012 from 51% a decade ago.Wall Street Journal
Be grateful and proud that you have family, and one that is willing to support you during this transition. But moving back home is a transition in itself.
Want make this go as smoothly as possible? Here are 6 “Musts” to make this work:
1. Like every good fixer asks, “What’s your endgame?”
To maximize this opportunity you want to go in knowing your endgame; figure out what you want to accomplish and how much time you need to do it before you move back in. Whether your goal is to:
- a) Get a job
- b) Save money
- c) Further your education
- d) Gain practical experience
- e) All of the above
Know your endgame!
If you aren’t sure what you want to do, home may not be the place to flounder or find yourself. But don’t worry, its not too late, uncover your passion and consider which professional avenues can engage you in meaningful work that utilizes your skills and talents.
2. Have an “exit strategy”
All good things must come to an end so set an “exit date” before you move in. Setting a limit to your time home will not only prevent you from wearing out your welcome and keep your family off your back, but will also be a great motivator to achieving your endgame.
3. Sit down and have “The Talk”
Talk to your family before you move in about expectations! Don’t make any assumptions about what moving back home will be like. This is a new situation and will be different from the last time you lived at home. Share your expectations for them and type of support you are looking for, and ask them what they expect from you.
Will there be chores? A curfew? Rent?
Discuss the details and re-address issues as needed once you’ve moved in. If any agreements need to be renegotiated then do it honestly and promptly. This can be challenging, especially if there is tension. Here is what you need to know to have those difficult conversations.
4. Pitch in!
Your family may or may not be asking for you to pay rent or contribute to the expenses, but either way you should find a way to pitch in.
Pay for your own booze, snacks, and entertainment. You managed it on a student’s budget so it can probably still be done. I don’t want to buy your beer. If I do, I’ll take you out for one so I can enjoy your company too!
And it isn’t enough to clean up after yourself! A good roommate contributes to the entire household.
5. Be Smart!
This is a generous gift your family is giving and great opportunity for you to minimize your costs. So use this time wisely, be conscientious about your spending, and save. Now isn’t the time to get that new tattoo you’ve been wanting.
6. Don’t Aggravate Them!
So since you’ve lived at home before, you have a pretty great idea of how to aggravate your family. So don’t do those things. Time hasn’t made them more tolerant, it probably has actually made them less tolerant.
If you aren’t sure, ask them.
Things that would aggravate me:
1. A new tattoo (obviously)
2. Sleeping in (If I get up for work, you get up for work)
3. Drinking my booze (unless offered)
4. Uninvited guests (no exceptions)
5. Messing with my DVR (seriously, DON’T)
What would aggravate your family?