Since 2011, the average college student has graduated with student loan debt in the range of $26,000. Because that’s no small amount for someone who’s just starting to look for their first real job, a significant number of graduates make the decision to move home. Whether they want to focus on paying off debt or are unable to find a job with the type of salary they expected, this decision can help take a significant financial burden off their shoulders.
Not every graduate decides to move home once they finish college. There are plenty who get a job and decide to either rent an apartment or live in a house with roommates. However, just because someone doesn’t move back home as soon as they graduate from college doesn’t mean they’ll be on their own forever. According to a recent study published by the Pew Research Center in Forbes, 21.6 million people between 18 and 31 currently live with their parents. If that number seems high, it’s because the 36% of that age range this selection accounts for is the largest it’s been in a full forty years.
Because so many adult children are currently living with their parents, if you’re personally debating moving back home, it’s not something you should be ashamed of. Not only is it the sole option many twenty-somethings have as a result of the current economic climate, but it can actually be a very prudent decision. Instead of spending money every month on rent, living at home means you can save that amount and eventually put it towards a down payment on a house.
While moving back home can be a smart decision, that doesn’t mean it’s an easy one. If you’re almost positive that this is the path you’re going to pursue, it’s important to know some key tips to make this major transition as painless as possible:
Decide What You’re Going to Do with Your Stuff
Since most people don’t live in the dorms for all four years of college, even if you’re moving back home after graduating, chances are you have at least a few pieces of furniture. While you may really like the furniture you own, that doesn’t mean your parents feel the same way. So before you make your final arrangements to head back home, it’s important to decide what’s going to happen with your stuff.
When it comes to handling your larger belongings, you have three main options. The first is to bring them with you to your parent’s house. For items like your bed, this may make sense. The second option is to put them in storage. Deciding whether or not to store any of your items really comes down to calculating the cost of storage versus buying new items. In most cases, the longer you plan to live with your parents, the less attractive storage is going to be. That being said, if you can find a good deal on a storage unit, it may definitely be in your best interest to hold onto items like your couch until you get your own place again.
Since many people decide to bring some of their items and store some of the others, it’s worth noting that professional moving services like Signed Sealed Delivered will be happy to pack up all your belongings and then drop them off at more than one location. In addition to splitting your items between your parents’ house and storage, the third option you have is to sell or donate. Unless it’s something that’s severely damaged, it makes sense to list belongings you don’t want to move on Craigslist or donate them to Goodwill.
Set Basic Ground Rules
Don’t wait for things to turn into problems. Instead, as soon as you move in, have everyone sit down and discuss anything you all believe may become an issue. By getting topics ranging from money to curfew out in the open, you’ll be able to come up with solutions far before these potential problems ever have a chance to cause significant stress or even resentment.
Have a Goal and Timeline
One of the keys to keeping both yourself and your parents feeling positive about this arrangement is to set a concrete goal for what you’re trying to accomplish. By setting a goal such as how much you want to save, as well as when you plan to move out, you’ll remove the uncomfortableness that can occur when it seems like this arrangement may drag on for years and years.
Enjoy the Time
You never know how far away a new job may take you. Even though there may be times when you feel stressed, just remind yourself that this is an opportunity to spend lots of time with your family that may not come again!
Annie Harris is a lifestyle blogger. While her two children are currently in their first and last years of college, she’s 99% positive that both of them are going to move back in for at least a year after they get their degrees.