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Tips for managing finances when your kids move home

Help your kids develop smart financial habits while staying mindful of your own finances.

Living at a 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. In fact, 32 percent of young adults age 18 to 34 live with their parents.

But this living arrangement 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.

Encourage independence

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.

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