5 Reasons I Chose to Live with My Parents After Graduation

Hello everyone! I hope some of you are enjoying a three day weekend here in the US. Monday’s are my normal day off so I don’t get an extra day, but I do get overtime, so I can’t complain. Some days, I would rather have the bigger paycheck than a day off.

I have briefly mentioned in the past that I chose to live with my parents during college, and a year after I graduated. Today, I wanted to share the reasons with you all.

Many of my friends are still living at home. I think R and I were the first to get our own apartment. One of the biggest reasons being that we were able to split the cost. It would have been a rather daunting task to find an apartment either of us could afford on our own.

5 reasons I chose to live with my parents after graduation

1. Affordability. I’m going to list the obvious one first. When I was researching our options last year, most of the prices seemed in line with each other. Studios were running for about $800-$1,000, 1 bedrooms were about $1,100-$1,300, and forget 2-bedrooms. I just filtered the results in Craigslist by listing $1,100 as our maximum. As I’ve said before, we pay slightly more than that, but this was the only place that would allow us to have cats.

living with my parents
Our old backyard. Lots of fun times.

There was no way I was going to be able to afford living on my own unless I decided to do a room-share. Even those are about $500-$700, just for a room and then sharing the rest of the living space. Personally, I didn’t see the value in that. I was paying for the majority of my own stuff while living with my parents, and I was comfortable.

I had done the “room share” thing years ago with an ex, and it stressed me out. We didn’t know the other tenants, and I rarely surfaced from our bedroom. I didn’t feel the need to be independent, either. I know everyone has different situations, but at the time I figured it was best to remain at home over venturing into a new situation.

2. My family is great. I’ll be honest and say there were trying times, especially when my dad was laid off. My parents were under a lot of stress and understandably, there were fights. Overall though, I am lucky to have a good relationship with both of them. I know a lot of my friends aren’t so lucky, and living at home with their parents is really stressful.

In hindsight, I’m glad I decided to stay, since I knew my parents would eventually be moving away. I was able to spend more time with them than I would have had I moved out earlier. In any case, R and I were hoping to move in together when we did, so everything worked out.

3. My parents wanted me to stay. This might sound silly, but as an only child, my leaving meant an empty nest for my parents. Maybe they weren’t quite ready for it. When I was discussing the possibility of attending college out of state, my mom made it pretty clear she didn’t really want me to go. Not in a controlling way, but I knew she would miss having me around.

That didn’t really have much of an influence in my decision to commute to college (it was just the cheaper alternative), but it was comforting to know they wanted me there. I know there are some parents out there who think that kids should be out and on their own by eighteen.

Living with my parents
Pool parties were had, too

I think that was more viable in the past, when there were more jobs available. So many millennial’s are moving back in with their parents after trying to make it on their own, which proves that times have changed. Not for everyone, but it’s definitely affected a good many people I know.

4. It allowed me to build up my emergency fund. I’ve spoken about this before as well. While I had a job a month after graduating, it didn’t pay amazingly well. It was a standard entry-level office job, but living with my parents enabled me to stash a lot of money away. Rent eats away most of my income now, so I am grateful I was smart about saving early on. If I had tried to move out right after getting that job, I would never have the amount in my EF that I do now (as evidenced by the lower savings rate I currently have).

5. It helped my parents out. Emotionally, and financially. They only charged me $100 a month, which is really not a lot when compared to others. R had to pay $200 a month, and I know some of you were paying fair market value. However, if my parents needed extra, I would give it to them. Again, we were kind of struggling even when I was still in college, so I looked forward to the day when I had income that I could contribute.

Do I have any regrets?

Nope, not at all. If I could go back and do it all over again, I would, though I might actually pay more in rent. I am still really grateful my parents continued to let me live with them after I graduated college. They could have easily told me I could afford to rent somewhere else, or told me that I was a burden, but they didn’t.

I know to some people, living with their parents sounds “lame.” There’s always that joke about living in their basement, being unproductive, but that’s not true unless you make it so. You can contribute to your family to make it easier on them. Buy your own groceries or put money toward shopping trips, cook once in a while, clean, pay your own bills if possible, and try not to be a nuisance.

There are those that will move back in with their parents and think that their parents are totally obligated to take them back. That is definitely not true. Don’t take your family for granted, especially if you have younger siblings your parents still have to take care of. R’s brother moved back home recently, and his mom is trying not to rip her hair out right now as he’s turned the house into a mess. Don’t be that person!

Have you ever moved back home to live with your parents? When did you move out on your own? If you’re a parent, what are your thoughts on the matter?

Erin M.

Erin is a personal finance writer and virtual assistant who loves talking about money and how to use it as a tool to get what you want out of life. When she's not obsessing over numbers or working (which is rare), she can be found messing around in Photoshop, laughing at her cat, watching YouTube videos, playing video games, chair dancing, or any random combination of the above.

48 thoughts on “5 Reasons I Chose to Live with My Parents After Graduation

  1. I didn’t move back in after graduation. I did a room share like you mentioned (and didn’t come out of my room much either, haha), stayed in my brother’s basement when I started hating all the girls I lived with in that house (I don’t count living with a brother the same as living with parents, haha), then lived with an acquaintance, and then finally with Mike.

    It was a rocky road (and super expensive- I could have saved SO MUCH by moving home) but I just couldn’t bring myself to live with my parents. So much of my self-worth is related to my feelings of independence, and whenever I’m home, I just don’t feel independent. Something about staying in my childhood bedroom, I guess?
    Ashley recently posted: Rock BottomMy Profile

    1. That was my worst fear – living with people that like drama or really loud parties. Since I didn’t go away to college, I didn’t really want the college experience after the fact. At least you had your brother to fall back on!

      I guess I don’t consider it my “childhood” bedroom since I continued living there through college. I can see how it would be different after being away for four/five years. I actually repainted and redecorated everything in the middle of college so it felt more like present-day me.

  2. I would take in my kids after graduation provided there was a clear understanding of responsibilities, length of stay, lifestyle habits, etc. I wouldn’t want that arrangement to damage the relationship or turn into a long-term deal. I love all my kids but I want to spend my later years with my wife and not have a 40-yr. old living in the basement because he/she is too lazy or scared to go out on their own. Doesn’t sound like that was your experience at all.
    Brian @ Luke1428 recently posted: How I Come Up With Blog Post IdeasMy Profile

    1. That sounds very reasonable! I think it’s smart to have a mutual understanding of living arrangements beforehand. My parents knew they would be moving soon, so I guess they didn’t feel it was necessary.

  3. I lived with my parents throughout university, so after I graduated that’s where I still resided. I was charged a small rent after I graduated though. I only stayed a few months before finding my own place, but it was a perfectly fine arrangement!
    This Life On Purpose recently posted: Weekend Blog Love #1My Profile

  4. I moved back home with my mom and stepdad after I graduated college for maybe 6 months (it was a LONG time ago), but I knew I had to leave because my situation was turbulent. But it was also cheaper to do so in Michigan. I think it’s OK as long as there is a purpose, and mutual benefit. If you are just sponging off the rents, it’s time to grow up, but if you are savings toward a goal like a down payment on a house or paying off loans I think it’s cool.
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted: How Do You Challenge Yourself?My Profile

    1. Agreed. Right now my cousin is working a part-time job (never went to college), and my aunt is fine with it. It kills me to see people with no motivation. Many of my boyfriend’s coworkers make a decent salary and still live at home. They get new cars instead! I guess when you have it made you have no reason to change things.

  5. I think this whole “living with parents after graduation” is a cultural thing. In hispanic culture, you’re supposed to live at home until you get married. SO my mom always thought it was weird when kids would never move back home after college. I lived at home until I was 25. I was making $1600 a month my first job out of college as a reporter, and that barely covers a one-bedroom apartment in southern california, never mind my student loan payments, car payment, car insurance, etc. There were moments when it was VERY hard living with my parents, and as soon as I could afford to move out, I did. But that being said, I don’t look down at anyone who chooses to live at home to save money. Smart move, in my opinion.

    1. Yes, that’s very true that in some cultures, it’s expected. When I hear of families that have generations living on the same block, it seems nice to have that sense of family. In the same vein, sometimes it’s a little too much! I would have moved out around the same time had my parents remained here.

  6. I lived with my parents for about 7 months right after college, but when it became clear it wasn’t working out I moved. We were living in a HCOLA, but even on my low salary I was able to swing splitting a 4 bedroom house in the suburbs with 3 coworkers (near our work) while saving for retirement and paying off debt. I just had to accept that my lifestyle would not be the same as the one I was leaving at my parents’ house. I like the idea of the parents’ home as a safe place to land when needed, but there should be firm policies in place, which is what my parents and I failed to do well.
    Emily @ evolvingPF recently posted: A Peek at Graduate Student Loan DebtMy Profile

    1. I remember seeing the interview you did with Huffington Post, speaking on this issue. You articulated it very well! Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. It’s great that you were able to find a place close to work with your coworkers. Living so close to work now, I wouldn’t want to give that up.

  7. I lived at home for three months with my parents after graduation. I then got an apartment with two girls from church and ended up trying to sublease it for 6+ months until I got my teaching job. Looking back, I regret moving out, mostly because my mom got sick after I already signed my leave. It did give me independence (which I need), but looking back, it wasn’t worth it.
    Rebecca recently posted: Sunday ConfessionalsMy Profile

    1. It’s nice that you were able to move in with two people you knew beforehand. As much as I hate to say it, I don’t think I could have made it work with our friends. Many of them are quite messy!

  8. I lived out of home from 10-12, and again from 14-22 I think. I went to boarding school and then stayed in university accomodations. I paid my own way when I finished high school, save for a grant for the first year’s rent from my dad. I moved home at 22, when I was *almost* graduated and stayed about 3 years as I saved to buy a house. I noticed at 22, my brother had better financial prospects than I did renting in the market, and prior to 23, I was working cashier sorts of jobs, and many different jobs, and it was hard to feel like I’d every ‘get ahead’ and buy somewhere. There was always a end date to be there, but honestly my mother loved having me ‘back’ as I cook, clean and generally act like an adult :) Admittedly, sometimes I regretted moving home – namely emotional/stressed times, and it was further from my social activities.

    I did pay board at home, and I think it was totally fair. A lot of parents don’t expect or want it in Australia. My brothers have no idea how good they have it, and really should not begrudge any requests my parents make for help (not $ but doing things).
    SarahN recently posted: Spending reportMy Profile

    1. Yes, there was definitely some emotional and stressful times for me as well. It does seem like it’s going to take a while for us to build up enough of a down payment for a house. If you’re single, moving back in to save for such an event sounds pretty smart.

      I was so spoiled. My only regret is not helping out more. I guess sometimes as “young adults,” we don’t realize how much effort it takes to run a household. Now that I’m partly responsible for cleaning and cooking, I get it!

  9. I didn’t move back in after college, but had I done it all over again, I think I would have done the same as you and built up an EF before I moved out (though moving out would have been a must since I wasn’t too fond of the area she lived). I definitely think that’s the smarter path since I accrued a lot of consumer debt (in addition to student loans), especially once I started living in LA where everything is so pricey.
    anna recently posted: No Debt is BoringMy Profile

    1. Not liking an area is a good reason to want to get out! Sadly, I knew if I chose to move out, anywhere around here would have been far too expensive.

  10. I got married 9 months after graduating college and spent 2 months at my parent’s before moving into our apartment. My lease was up at the house I was renting and half my roommates were getting married so we all kind of went our separate ways.

    It totally depends on your situation whether moving back home makes sense or not. I have multiple friends who live at home for various reasons. Some have big debt loads from student loans that they are paying back. Others can easily afford to live on their own but are far too comfortable at home.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted: A Better Way to Do the 52-Week Money ChallengeMy Profile

    1. It is highly situational. Since many of our friends still live at home, they can afford to go on vacations and eat out far often than us. I think being too comfortable can be dangerous for some. It’s important to have that motivation to make a life for yourself!

    1. I really didn’t think it was worth it to trade the comfort of home for a studio or “independent experience” at the time. I’ve always been close with my parents, though, so that changes things. I know a lot of my friends would pay the price to get out if they could. I’m glad to see others have taken the same steps!

    1. I think it’s great to make sure your kids are working toward their goals. It’s pretty clear when that’s the case. I was asking my parent’s for advice on interviews, and always kept them in the loop regarding those and job offers. Having a close relationship with your children/parents really helps.

  11. I think living with your parents, as a stepping stone not a permanent deal, is a very smart move, especially when you used it to build up a great e-fund. We would totally let our kids live here under the same circumstances (small rent to be paid, and not a forever situation). Good for your parents for being loving and supportive, and good for you for being smart!
    Laurie @thefrugalfarmer recently posted: Can You “Bootstrap” Your Way Out of Poverty?My Profile

    1. I really can’t thank my parents enough for being understanding of the situation I was in, especially considering my dad was unemployed at the time. They could have easily told me to make it on my own. As long as there is a mutual understanding it can turn out to be beneficial for both parties.

  12. I really respect that you paid rent while living at home. Even if it was “just $100” it teaches great lessons and preps you for live after college/living at home. My parents lived in China while I was in college so no option to live at home and then I was an RA for three years so I got paid to live on campus! I think been a commuter can change the college experience quite a bit, but it’s often a fantastic financial move.
    Broke Millennial recently posted: How I (Financially) Handle a Long Distance RelationshipMy Profile

    1. Thanks! I know I had a different experience than the people I knew who went away to college, but overall, I think it was worth it, especially to lessen the cost.

  13. I lived with my parents for a few months after graduating. It wasn’t super easy but it really helped me save up. I really appreciate them giving me the opportunity to move back for a few months.
    Liz recently posted: Starting a BudgetMy Profile

  14. I did the opposite. I lived at home during my undergrad and then moved out when I started grad school (poor choice financially, but great socially).

    I am not sure how I would manage going “backwards” because although my parents are great, I’ve always lived at home with rules and restrictions – and even though I was an adult, I would still sort of revert back to child-life… even though I was a contributing adult. It’s interesting dynamics.
    Alicia @ Financial Diffraction recently posted: Becoming my Personal Sous-Chef.My Profile

    1. I am thankful my parents were never that restrictive. I was always a good kid so I guess they just trusted that I was doing the right thing. They were pretty relaxed with rules; if they weren’t, I could see how that would feel limiting. I wouldn’t want to be a college grad and still have a curfew!

    1. Getting along is definitely key in the entire process. My boyfriend couldn’t wait to move out as him and his mom weren’t on the greatest of terms.

  15. I think as long as your parents don’t encourage you to stay there forever, it’s a wise idea to be open to having your kids live at home while saving money/paying down debt. It’s when the kid is still staying at home in their mid 30’s that I think the parent really needs to cut the cord! ;)
    Tara @ Streets Ahead Living recently posted: Yay for Snow DaysMy Profile

  16. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with living with your parents after graduation (as long as you’re not mooching off of them). I moved back home and paid my parents $600 a month which help them out financially, and it was cheaper and nicer than sharing an apartment. That and I had a nice home-cooked meal. It got tougher living at home as my parents and I would have some conflicts, but for the most part, I think it’s a great way to save by living at home in the beginning.
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted: House Hunting UpdateMy Profile

    1. I think I miss my mom’s cooking the most! My time there was not all conflict-free, but who is to say we wouldn’t have faced some drama living elsewhere with roommates? The comforts of home tend to win out!

  17. All throughout college, I lived away from my family. Even for a year after graduation, I had an apartment in SF with some friends. But after a while, I bought a house in the town where I’m from and moved back in with my mom, brother, and auntie. I don’t regret it – it’s definitely helping them, and me, with cost cutting. I do hope I move out again soon though! I think my relationships with my family were better when I didn’t live with them. If that makes any sense haha.
    Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans recently posted: Choose to be DifferentMy Profile

    1. It definitely makes sense! When I went to visit my parents back in the fall, even though we all obviously wanted to make the best of our time together, there were still times when we got on each others nerves =).

    1. That’s great it worked out so well for you and your husband. I think it would have worked out better for my ex and I had we been able to afford an actual apartment rather than a house share. The brief break away from my parents was pretty fun though.

  18. Thumbs up for staying with your parents! I perfectly understand your reasons. After graduating I also decided to move back and help my parents. They deserve my support and I don’t regret doing this. In addition, it is so hard to live by yourself! Prices of rental apartments are too high. Thanks for sharing! :)

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