Would You Move Back In With Your Parents?

 Have you ever had a moment as an adult where you’ve seriously considered moving back in with your parents? This could have been because of a job loss, or a break-up, or because you just wanted to get serious about paying off debt or saving money. Or maybe you’ve never jumped ship to live on your own. With the increasing costs of renting or buying a home, it’s becoming more and more common for millennials to live with their parents. According to US data, 15% of 25- to 35-year-olds were living with their parents in 2016. That is an increase of 3% since 2010 and a significantly higher proportion of any other previous generation at the same age. 

While this has been a fact of life for many of my cohorts, it was never the case for me. I moved out when I was 21 and have never moved back home. That’s in no small part due to certain privileges I had. My parents paid for my university tuition, which meant I didn’t graduate with a ton of student loan debt. For many people, that’s just not 
an option and repaying those loans decreases the income you have available to move out on your own. Honestly, I’m happy that I moved out when I did because it made me grow up faster and be more responsible, but part of me wishes I took advantage of the free rent while I had the chance. Further down this post, I run some actual numbers, and they make a strong case for living with your parents. 

At this point, I can’t imagine what it would take for me to move back home. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and for me, moving back in with my parents would be the ultimate in desperation. Now don’t get wrong, my parents are great, wonderful even, but traipsing back to my childhood home would be the last resort for me. But why? It’s a nice home, in a nice neighbourhood (but the suburbs), my mom would cook for me, and they likely wouldn’t even charge me rent (at least temporarily). The problem is my over-stated sense of independence. I cannot go back to the ‘where are you going’, ‘what are you doing’, ‘who are you seeing’ questions that will bring back a flood of high-school memories. 

Sidenote…I talk about myself being this uber-independent woman, but I actually suck by myself. If the bf goes out of town for a few days, I’m basically a lost puppy who only eats cereal and watches re-runs of Grey’s Anatomy. It’s actually pathetic, and I’m really not sure why I just admitted it. I might not post net-worth reports on this here blog, but you guys get full disclosure on the way more embarrassing things. 
If I think about it from my parents perspective, I can’t imagine they really want me back under the same roof either. My ego likes to think they would be in heaven if I moved back home, but that’s unlikely. CIBC actually did a study on this, and they found that 65% percent of parents would rather give their adult children a financial gift instead of having them move back home. How about that for busting our millennial bubble. It makes sense though; if I flash forward 30 years, I can’t imagine I’d be too pumped about having my 30-year-old child crashing the nest. 

But the savings factor…

Let’s say your parents would allow you to move back home and charge you no rent, or substantially less rent than anywhere else. That is a huge advantage when it comes to your finances. For most of us, paying for a place to live (rent or a mortgage) is the biggest money suck in our budget. Our house related expenses break down as follows: 
 
Mortgage $1295/month
Property Taxes $254
Power/Water $124
Home Insurance $95
Natural Gas $150
Internet/TV $64
 
= $1,982
 
That would be an extra $1,982 we (as a couple) would have in our budget EVERY SINGLE MONTH if we moved in with my parents. That’s $23,784 in just one year. On second thought, this is an amazing idea. I’ve never actually run those numbers before, and that is substantially higher than I thought it would be. Those millennials who are still living with their parents are the real geniuses here! Ok not really, only in my ‘wannabe a rich person’ dreams. At this point in my life, I value my independence too much, even if it costs me $23,784 a year.

The Other Side

Housing related expenses aren’t all bad. Even though a mortgage is a substantial part of your budget, the hope is that you are also building equity and increasing your net worth. In our case, our home has gone up in value almost 25% since we moved in 7 years ago. Great if we were to sell our place (we’re not), but not so great when it comes with a similar increase in property taxes. That combined with paying down our mortgage means we have built up quite a bit of equity from owning a home and not living with parents. The numbers still favour living at home, but it’s not nearly as substantial.
Another factor for would be in transportation costs. We recently sold our second car and have been living as a one car family for a few months now, and that would no longer be possible at my parents’ place. As I said, they live out in the suburbs, and we both work in the city, with very different schedules. That would mean both of us commuting every day, and instead of spending maybe $40 a month on gas we’d be at almost $80 a week. This wouldn’t be the case for everyone, maybe your parents actually live more conveniently than you, but dealing with that commute every day would soon make me crazy. 

It’s Not All About the Money

If you’ve read the blog before you’ll know that I’m not going to win any frugal living battles. I understand the importance of saving for the future (and I do), but I also know that I want to live for the now. Moving back home with my parents would mean that I would hit my savings goals and retire a lot earlier, but it would also mean a big decrease in my right now happiness level. It’s never been my goal to get out of the workplace as soon as I can. There are certain luxuries I’m just not willing to give up to make that happen…my lattes, my pets, eating out, living on my own, etc. All of these things bring me enough joy to make working longer not such a bad thing. 

Let’s chat…would you consider moving back in with your parents if it meant you could retire early or would you avoid it at all costs? Do you think your parents would let you crash the nest? 

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13 comments

  1. My parents moved to a different city when I was 20, so I spend the last two years of undergraduate living on my own. For graduate school, I decided to follow them to their new city, and I lived with them for a year. Huge mistake! Neither they nor I appreciated living together after two years of freedom, and it was a really awful year. I was very happy to get back into my own place after a year.

    So heck no, I would not move back in with my Mom. Unless it was absolutely necessary from a survival perspective. Maybe in the zombie apocalypse?

  2. Haha- my husband, then 1 year old son and I moved in with my parents for about 2 months last year. We had just moved across the country and they helped us make the move easier by offering a place to stay while we found a place to live. It was incredibly generous and worked well, but it was a little odd (back in my parents house… but with a husband and son?!?). I think the saving grace was the fact that we all knew it was temporary.

    If I had to move back in under different circumstance (longer term and without a family), it would be a lot harder… I think I’d try other options first. Don’t get me wrong, my parents are awesome! But being back in a “high school stage” as a 25-30 year old would be rough…

    1. My boyfriend and I actually did something similar years ago, but much shorter term. When we moved back to my hometown my parents were conveniently going travelling for 6 weeks so we house sat for them while looking for our own place. There was two weeks of cross over between them coming home and us getting our place and that was enough for me!
      It was a great short term solution but not a long term living situation I could deal with.

  3. Oh laaawd no, I wouldn’t. I had the opportunity to move in with my dad after college, but I couldn’t do it. From a financial perspective, the cost of living is much higher in my dad’s city compared to where I live now; I would have blown through any of my savings living with him trying to find an apartment in that city anyway.

    But I know this is an option that works for many people! Sometimes you have no other choice because of life circumstances.

    1. Cost of living is a factor for sure. I imagine I would spend a lot more money on eating out and activities out of the house if I were living with my parents. It’s a lot harder to just hang out at home when family is around.

  4. I still live with my parents 😛 It’s an arrangement that works for both of us, especially since I’m gone, usually, 6 months out of the year. I did live with a bf once, and that was perfectly manageable. I live with roommates too, but I still haven’t gotten over the mindset of paying someone else’s mortgage. I do when I travel abroad, but considering the relationship I have with my parents, it would make no sense to do that when I don’t have to.

    My great-Aunt and Uncle in Poland still have their children living with them. My cousins don’t have significant others, and they’re in their 30s and 50s. That’s the normal for me. For me and my parents, it’s an entirely different mindset and culture than what it is here. But it’s a pretty unique approach to things in Canada, and it wouldn’t work for 95% of my friend group.

    1. Paying someone else’s mortgage is a good point! Moving out seems to be such a cultural thing. I would say moving out in your earlyish twenties is still the norm in Canada but I think it’s shifting to later because of the increased price of housing.

  5. I wrote post on this somewhere over the rainbow on my blog. I absolutely did. After coming home from college, I lived at home until I was married (at 27!). It wasn’t financial either. It’s expected in my mom’s family. Not insisted upon but it’s a surprise when kids don’t. I will extend the same offer to my son, but I’m not holding my breath.

    1. It’s funny how different that assumption can be in different families. My parents really didn’t push me either way but out of my group of friends we almost all moved out during or soon after post-secondary. I almost wish I had stayed at home longer to save money, but I’m not sure I would have been in the right mindset to do that at that time anyways…probably would have just ended up spending all the savings.

  6. I’m so lame. I moved back home when I was 35! I did it to save up for a down payment on a condo. It worked out great–financially, that is. But for two years, my love life was pretty woeful. It seems women–or at least the women I like–don’t fancy 30-something men living with mommy and daddy. Who knew?

  7. My mom’s parents did not want her to move out on her own – as she was packing the car to leave, her father’s parting words were “You’ll never make it on your own – you’ll be back!”

    She, of course, decided that she would NEVER come crawling back – and lived in some pretty crappy places – at one point she survived on “hot jello” as her only meals for a few months!

    So when it came time for HER kids to be moving out – she was determined to make sure that we wouldn’t feel like she did – and that if we needed a safe place to land, that we felt comfortable coming home.

    And, so, when I was in a bad place where I was working for a company that wasn’t *paying* me (long story) but couldn’t quit my job and find another one where I was living (work visa issues) – I went home.

    I ended up living at home, at age 26 for 6 months, while I figured out what I was doing and what my next step was going to be. It was never going to be a long term arrangement – but it gave me a staging place to launch from for the next phase of my life.

    7 years later, my mom lost a battle with cancer – and while by that time I was no longer in a place where I needed to go home, I realized that in addition to losing my mom, my best friend, I (and my brothers) had lost our safety net – we were on our own now – there was no crash pad to land on if we needed to.

    1. I’m so sorry about your mom, I can’t imagine how hard that is. I completely know what you mean about having that safety net. Even though I feel like moving back home would be a last resort, it is still an option for me and I know that my parents would accept me back in a heartbeat if I was going through a challenging time. Sometimes when things go awry you really do just want the comfort of falling back on family. Thanks for stopping by and sharing 🙂

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