The number of adult children living with their parents is growing. Some might have never moved out, faced with the cost of living and rising rent and mortgage prices. Of those who have already flown the nest, many are returning as the expense of going it alone becomes less sustainable.
Having your grown-up children move back in – or live at home for longer – can be enjoyable, but also expensive. Another person in the household could impact your utility and food bills, home insurance and other financial considerations.
If your adult child or children want to move back in or live at home for longer, sit down together and have these important conversations to help set boundaries and expectations.
1. What’s the exit plan?
You could agree on a tentative move-out date – or if this isn’t possible, set a target goal, such as when they’ve paid down a certain debt, or when they’ve been working at a new job for six months or more. With the current economic climate things might not always go to plan, so having an element of flexibility is important. Consider helping them meet their goals by helping them work out a budget. Our article, which budgeting method is best for you? highlights some different ways they could do this.
2. How will you divide household responsibilities?
Spending time with your children can be very fulfilling – but you’ll enjoy it a lot more if you’re not constantly having to clean up their mess. Every person living in a household should contribute to the household chores, especially adults.
Avoid the potential feelings of resentment by sitting down with them and discussing how you’ll split the household responsibilities, such as gardening, shopping or cleaning. Consider making a list of regular chores to make sure everyone is on the same page.
3. How will they contribute financially?
Even if they’re staying with you for financial reasons, both of you will likely feel more comfortable if your child is making a financial contribution. It could be an affordable level of rent or sharing some of the bills. By setting up a financial payment, your child will be able to feel like an adult while working towards a goal of financial independence.
If they’re seeking full-time employment, consider whether they could look for a part-time job or a side hustle in the meantime to help pay for some of their own living expenses. Check out our article 5 easy side hustles to boost your income for some inspiration.
4. How will you set boundaries?
Parents raising children is a completely different household dynamic than adults of different generations living in the same home. Talk with them and set expectations for both of your privacy and boundaries.
As well as maintaining the ability to live your own life, it’s important for you to discuss your financial expectations. Your financial wellness plays an important role in your overall happiness, so make sure this living arrangement won’t lead you to an increase in debt or keep you from meeting your own financial goals. If you think the arrangement will last for a while, you could consider speaking to a financial adviser to help you both determine the best steps to keep you moving forward financially. You can find a financial adviser through MoneyHelper – there’s likely to be a charge for financial advice.
5. How will you communicate when something’s not working?
Living together means there will be times of disagreement. It may be easy to revert to old ‘parent-child’ roles, but that could be damaging to your relationship over time. Your child is now an adult and entitled to make their own decisions, so discuss upfront how you’ll handle disagreements. Doing so could make for a more peaceful living situation and a stronger relationship for the long term – even when they’re no longer living with you.
Enjoy your time together
For many families, multigenerational living is likely to be a temporary situation. While it might not have been the plan either of you had imagined, your support now could make the difference in helping your child achieve greater financial wellbeing in the future. If you both communicate clearly from the start, you can nurture a healthy living situation and enjoy your time together.