Tips for managing finances and expectations when living with adult children
Help your kids develop smart financial habits while staying mindful of your own finances.
Living at home can be a great way for boomerang kids to save money when they're just starting out. And many parents welcome the opportunity to have their kids back in the nest – for a reasonable amount of time. In fact, 15% of young adults age 25 to 35 live with their parents.
Sometimes a little tough-love is needed to teach young adults that living with parents is a privilege and not a right.
Living with adult children shouldn't derail your financial security. Consider these tips to stay mindful of your finances while helping your children get on their feet.
Set clear expectations
Come up with a realistic time frame for how long your kids will live with you. Is it a year? Is it when they receive their first raise? Whatever you agree to, put it in writing.
No room service
Treat your children as the adults they are by expecting them to pitch in. If they're working, consider asking for rent to defray any added household expenses. If they're unemployed, they should pull their weight by cooking, cleaning or helping with yard work.
Sure, you could pay their mobile phone bill or fill up their tank, but will that help them learn to pay their own way and stick to a budget? It is usually more cost-effective to stay on a family cell phone plan than going solo, but consider asking them to cover their share.
Help them save
If the goal of moving back home is to save, hold them to it. Consider stashing away their rent money (if you don't need it) in a separate account to help them jump-start their savings and become financially independent.
Should you feel guilty?
Of course not! Your kids might get angry and try to make you feel guilty for setting rules and expectations. Hold your ground – there are just going to be rules for adults living with parents. Then try to take advantage of the time together to grow your relationship and encourage your child to move toward independence.