The number of adult children who move back in with one or both parents has been on the rise since 2000 and shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, more than 20 percent of adults age 23-37 are currently living at home. The high cost of housing, crushing student loan debt and stagnant wages are just some of the reasons millennials find it difficult to live away from home. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Use these tips to help adult children successfully move out and make it on their own.
Establish Goals and a Timeline
One of the most important things you can do to help get your adult child back out on their own is to work out a plan to make it happen. Discuss what they would like to do and figure out a rough timeline of how long it will take to get there. Ask questions like whether they plan to rent or buy a place to live, if they are going to have roommates, and if they plan on changing jobs any time soon. You want to make it clear that living at home is meant to be a temporary solution until they can be out on their own.
Build a Budget
Another key concept that will help your millennial reach their goals is planning and following a budget. No matter their current income, figuring out exactly how much money they have coming in and going out – and where it’s going, will help them reach their goals more quickly. There are countless budgeting apps available that make it easier than ever to stick to a budget.
If they are trying to tackle larger financial issues, such as credit card debt or student loans, we can help. Call us for credit counseling and/or student loan counseling to learn about potential solutions and receive a plan to get back on track.
Schedule a monthly check-in conversation to discuss the progress your adult child is making toward moving out. Once they’re back home, it’s very easy to become comfortable and complacent. If you don’t stay on top of the situation, what’s meant to be a temporary solution could easily become a semi-permanent living arrangement.
Discuss Potential Pitfalls
There will no doubt be some bumps along the road to your adult children moving out. Talk with them about all the things that can slow their progress, including getting into debt with credit cards or loans, jumping from job-to-job, or spending money on wants, rather than needs. It can be challenging to have these conversations, but if you keep it focused on achieving the main goal of moving out, rather than on their behavior, it should be easier and less awkward.
Model Positive Behaviors
If you’re telling your adult child to avoid getting into credit card debt, but they see you whipping out the plastic to pay for things you don’t really need, that advice isn’t going to mean much. Be sure you are modeling the positive financial behaviors you’re encouraging your millennial to adopt. Regardless of how old they are, kids learn more by watching what parents do, rather than just listening to what they say. You might even find your own financial situation improving as you strive to set a good example.