According to CNN, 85% of college seniors plan to move back in with their parents. That number is up from 67% in 2006. The rise is almost surely due to the recession and how competitive the market is for the limited number of jobs being filled.
But is moving in with your parents good or bad?
I did it. I don’t regret it. And I did have a job.
Sure, it lasted only 10 months. It wasn’t the worst or the best 10 months of my life, but in the end I was able to save up some cash!
There is a negative stigma placed on those who do it, as the grads are often portrayed as lazy, not ready for the real world, or dependent on their parents for survival. And even on the parents side there seems to be a negative stigma that the parents are too overbearing or not ready to handle the emotional effect that comes with sending their ‘baby’ out into the jungle.
In many cases some of that might be true, but there are certainly positives as well. Each situation deserves its own analysis. Here are my thoughts on the ups and the downs of moving in with the parents.
Pros to Moving in with Parents
If you do have a job, you’ll have some time to build up an emergency savings fund or other reserves, or simply pay off that debt you accumulated in college. If you don’t have a job, you should be spared from racking up too much debt, if any. This is the whole point of moving back in, right? It’s a safety net or launching pad at a time when you really don’t have any cash.
2. Stress Relief
Those just starting their first real job out of school are going to feel some stress, particularly the ones who feel like they need to overwork themselves to get recognition. And there is nothing more stressful than being unemployed or under-employed. Having to not worry about bills, insurance, finding a place to live, and everything else right away, does give some much needed stress relief. Of course, if your parents are all up in your business every day, this pro disappears pretty quick.
If you do not have a job lined up or can’t find one right away, you need to be able to stay mobile so that you don’t get stuck having to break a lease or something worse. Moving back home affords you the luxury of mobility, which could be the key component you need in order to expand your job search and find a job.
Honorable Mention: Your Second Chance to Learn how to Cook
You didn’t appreciate mom’s (or sometime dad’s) home-cooking when in high school, but after years of Ramen noodles, your perspective has surely changed. Use this as an opportunity to learn a thing or two about how to expand your culinary repertoire.
Cons to Moving in with Parents
1. Responsibility (lack of it)
I don’t know what it is about going back home around the holidays now, but my goal usually to do nothing but eat, drink, lay on the couch, and absorb the warmth from a fire. And that’s all fine and dandy once or twice a year (I think), but… you get the idea. It’s very tempting to get lazy when you’re living in another’s home, particularly when they make you feel guilty for trying to help out.
2. Self-Respect (lack of it)
There are definitely positives that come as a result from simply toughing it out on your own from the first time. It pushes to you mentally and emotionally mature quicker than you might otherwise if you’re still living on your parent’s dime. And it’s hard to have feelings of high self worth if your mother is still folding your underwear at the age of 25.
3. Urgency (lack of it)
When you move back in, give yourself a time-line. And then evaluate things when that time is up. I have seen friends extend their welcome from weeks to months to year after year at home because of how much easier it is than living on their own. And if one is not careful, you can get comfortable, and lose all motivation to go out and push yourself to make a living on your own. When you have to pay the bills and you have no fallback, you tend to pick up your job-searching game significantly.
Moving Back Home Discussion:
- Did you move back home? Tell us your story, along with pros and cons.
- How long did you live at home?
- Why did you move back home? Was it to find a job first or otherwise?