Most young adults eagerly look forward to the day when they will be able to break free of the restrictions of their parents’ home and move out into their own place. The ability to earn enough to money so that they can become financially independent is a major milestone in their lives.
However, there are times when adult children, who had previously flown the nest, decide to go back home to their parents. Inadequate earnings, failure to secure steady employment, job loss, illness or divorce are some of the reasons that may turn them into ‘rebound’ or ‘boomerang’ kids.
It can be very demoralising for adults to be forced to return to their parents’ home because of financial difficulties. They may feel a sense of failure that they could not make it on their own, worry that they are a being a burden on their older relatives and be despondent about their future prospects.
If you are in the position of a rebound kid, understand that the challenging economic reality makes it very difficult for many people to manage financially in these times. If you are fortunate to have parents who can help you with your money difficulties, here are some tips to manage your move back home.
Don’t make assumptions
If you are considering moving back in with your parents, you should explore your ideas with them before you start making major plans to change your abode. Don’t assume that they will welcome you with open arms; you should first determine if they are willing and able to help you with accommodation.
Even if your parents told you in the past that their doors would always be open if you needed to come back home, remember that your return may not necessarily be convenient for them. Chances are that they may have become accustomed to life without you living in their house a long time ago.
Be sensitive to your parents’ financial situation; although they may want to lend assistance, your presence may add extra pressure on the household budget. If you know that they are facing difficulties, assure them that you will try not to increase their costs by being at home.
Respect the boundaries
While your old bedroom may not have changed much since you originally left home, don’t behave like you’re still the young, petulant child that they once had to contend with. Understand that it is their home, so don’t make unreasonable demands as if your name belongs on the property title.
If your parents have guidelines on the use of the facilities in their home, ensure that you adhere to their wishes, even if they may seem antiquated. For example, they may prefer that you switch off the television if you’re not watching it or keep the lights turned off, to conserve on their electricity bill.
Your objective should be to make as little disruption as possible to your parents’ preferred routine, so you may have to put up with some personal inconveniences until you can afford to have your own place again. Acknowledge the sacrifices they made and show your appreciation for their hospitality.
Contribute to household costs
One of the biggest areas of concern for your parents may be the additional charges that they will incur on their utility and food bills because you are living in the house. This may create tension in your relationship as they may choose to keep reminding you about the high price of these items.
If you are earning an income, offer to take care of some of these shared costs so that their fears can be alleviated. You could take care of particular bills or give them a fixed amount towards the expenses. If they decline to accept your money, save those funds for a later time when they may really need it.
If you’re without the means to adequately support yourself, tell your parents that while you can’t make a monetary contribution to the household bills, you will help wherever possible to reduce costs. You could take on the cooking or washing chores, keep their car clean or provide transportation services.
Share your goals
It’s very important that you do not become complacent with your status as a ‘rebound kid.’ Although your parents may initially be happy for your companionship, they may also be very worried about the adverse financial circumstances which forced you to move back into their house.
Assure your parents that your predicament is only a temporary setback that you will overcome. Use the opportunity to assess where you may have made money mistakes, think of ways in which you can adjust your financial practices, and determine a new course of action that will improve your situation.
It would be considerate for you to share your ideas and plans with your parents so that they can give their feedback and advice on what you need to do. It will also help them to see that you are serious about doing whatever it takes to get back on your feet and regain your financial independence.
Learn more about handling your money relationships by reading my eBook, The 3 M’s of Money: How to Manage, Multiply and Maintain Your Money.