Moving back home
Many of us have to move back home at some point. But whether you've finished university, have run out of money, or miss your weekly roast dinner, moving back home comes with its ups and downs.
Now called the 'boomerang kids', statistics reveal that more students than ever are moving back home after graduating. Unless you've been lucky enough to jump straight into a well-paid job, being able to rent or buy a place of your own is rarely a realistic choice. The pressures of debts or sky-high house prices force many to go back to the family home after a few years of independence. Yet the thought of taking a step backwards and returning to the bosom of the family can feel, literally, too close to home. But on the positive side, it could be a good opportunity to take time out to re-think your own circumstances, while having your socks washed and dinner cooked - if you're lucky.
"I had to move back to my parent's home a couple of years ago as the financial strain of university has left me in massive debt," says Neil. "The cost of finishing my training before taking a full-time job is so high that it would be financial suicide for me to consider moving out."
Finishing education can be a scary and unsettling time and you're likely to be skint. Getting a job at entry level can be hard and you may have to work for free for a bit. While you may be able to save money, your folk's home is very different to student housing and your way of life will no doubt change a lot. Be prepared to have to be a lot tidier, to tell people where you're going, what time you'll be back, and if you'll be in for dinner. You may have grown up a lot while you've been away, but you'll always be a baby in your parents' eyes, however frustrating that may be.
Bills, bills, bills
If you've been renting or have even owned your own home you might not want to go back, but it could be your best option if you want to start saving. If you make a token gesture towards rent and bills while you get yourself sorted, this should help keep everyone happy. Handing money over to your parents can feel a bit weird, but giving a little bit to them will feel a lot nicer then a large deposit and monthly rent to a landlord. Or perhaps you could agree to buy food and cook a meal (and we don't mean beans on toast) once a week to show your appreciation. It's also advisable to sit down and talk through how long you plan to stay and what will be expected of you while you're there - that way there'll be no surprises and everyone knows where they stand.
You may have grown up a lot while you've been away, but you'll always be a baby in your parents' eyes, however frustrating that may be.
Swap a big night out for a cheap night in a couple times a week and get a good savings account. With the right attitude you could save up enough money to move on and out quicker than your mum can say, "Call me if you're not coming home".
"I'm 23 and still living with my folks because while I could just about afford to rent in Surrey, I couldn't do so while saving for a mortgage, paying for my Open University course and my living expenses," says David. "The extra freedom would be nice, but given a choice between that or getting on the housing ladder earlier and getting my degree, I know what my choice is. If both parties are happy with the arrangement I don't see what the problem is."
Let's face it, parents and families can be a complete nightmare. Stomaching Christmas day with them can be painful enough, but living with them can feel like hell - especially if you've been doing your own thing for a number or years. A little bit of compromise will go a long way. As much as they wind you up, they're letting you stay with them, so be considerate. Your dad may not appreciate your techno at 3am as much as your old housemates did. Don't forget, in the time you've been away, circumstances at home may have changed and you may have to adapt to new people or situations. If you're still studying or finding it difficult to find a job, your parents may have to compromise too. Show them how hard you're trying and don't turn into an unappreciative slob. And remember, your parents also need their own space and freedom.
"I moved back in with my parents a few times over the past 10 years - straight after university, in between houses, and while relocating," says Anna. "My main benefit was to save rent. I suspect the main reason people find 'boomerangers' difficult is because they revert back to being fully-supported children again."
When the time comes to move on, you may realise that life at home is pretty cushy. Try and focus on enjoying spending time with your family, because understandably you'll see them a lot less when you move out.
By Lauren Paines
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