Recent data shows that 28% of new college graduates move back in with their parents. It could be due to the recent economic downturn or some students may have lived at home while they were in school to save money and are having a difficult time moving out post-graduation because they cannot find stable work.
Living at home as a new college graduate can be frustrating. But having a plan in place for when you'll move out, as well as a set of guidelines for everyone, can help ease the transition. Here's what to do if you find yourself living at home after college.
Create a Plan
First, you need to create a plan so that you all feel like you are moving towards a change in the situation. It will help your parents if you can show that you are actively looking for work and a steady income so you can eventually get your own place.
Spend time every day looking for and applying to work. You need to use all the available resources you can to look for your job. Attend career fairs in your area and contact temporary agencies to see if you can generate jobs leads.
If you are living at home even with a job, then your plan may include things like paying off your credit cards and working on getting your student loan debt down so you can move out. It helps to have a budget that clearly notes how much you are going to put toward each of these goals each month. It can help to track the progress with these goals on an app or with a chart on your wall. this can help you stay motivated.
It also may be helpful to contribute to the household in some way, whether by completing chores around the house or putting money toward the grocery bills.
Consider Other Options
If you are really having a difficult time living at home, you may want to look into other options. Try to find some roommates that you can move in with, and a part-time job to pay the rent.
This can give you a bit more freedom and will still allow you to work toward your financial goals. Also, even if your financial situation is less than ideal, you should not expect your parents to continue to help you out financially. They need to focus on saving for their retirement and other financial obligations.
Find Ways to Contribute at Home
While you are still at home, you need to find a way to contribute to the household in a positive way. Some parents may charge you a small amount of rent to help cover the grocery bills or utility costs. Others may allow you to live there for free.
Regardless, make an effort to help out around the house and in the yard, to show your appreciation for a place to stay. You will want to keep yourself established as an adult, and not revert back into the habits you had before you went to college. One of the best ways to do that is to take on more responsibility at home. Shop for some of the groceries if you have a part-time job, and try cooking one or two meals per week for everyone. This can help you both feel better about the situation.
Keep Communication Open With Your Parents
Talk to your parents about your efforts to look for a job each week. This report will help them to realize the efforts you are making. You can also use the social networks your parents have built to try and get an in for an interview. They may be more willing to help if they know you are sincerely trying to find a job.
If you have specific goals that you are working on so you can move out, share your progress with your parents. Although you do not want to share every aspect of your life with them, it is understandable that they may become frustrated if you are shopping every weekend and blowing through your paychecks instead of putting them towards your financial goals.
Finally, it is important to look for the positives in the situation. It can be discouraging to have to move back into your parents’ home after college. It may feel like a step backward instead of forward.
However, it may give you the opportunity to pay down your student loan debt, even to build a solid emergency fund before you get your own place. Your attitude will definitely affect how well this situation plays out. Make sure you let your parents know that you are grateful that they are willing to let you move back in. Be sure that you are courteous and considerate while you are living at home.
When you are ready to move out, make sure you have a solid plan in place, including setting up a moving budget, so you do not struggle financially after you move out.
Updated by Rachel Morgan Cautero.