Millions of Americans belong to “Generation Boomerang,” a term now used to describe 20-somethings who move back in with their parents after graduating college or after several years in the workforce.
In some cases, this younger generation moves back home by choice. Others are forced to following significant financial challenges affecting their ability to pay rent and other living expenses. Increased tuition costs, a fickle job market and rising debt are typically to blame.
If your children are among those flying back to the nest, we have six tips to help you adjust to this temporary lifestyle and enable them to ultimately make it on their own:
- Keep Communication Lines Open – Many boomerangers have been away from home for years. Both you and your children may need a little time to adjust to schedules and house rules. It’s important to actively communicate your intentions and expectations prior to the move, and to keep the lines of communication open while everyone is living under the same roof.
- Put Expectations in Writing – Don’t fall back into the same routine as when your children were teenagers. Adult children should be able to take on more responsibilities and be held to different expectations. Moving back home shouldn’t equate to a free ride. In order to prevent potential clashes, you and your children should agree to a temporary living plan and put it in writing. Will rent be required? What about food and extra utility costs? Who is responsible for what chores? A written agreement will help ensure everyone is on the same page.
- Focus on Finances – Many boomerang children are forced to move back home due to a poor financial situation. Help your children create a budget and debt payoff plan. If a third party is needed, suggest they visit with a credit counselor or financial planner. The sooner your child’s finances are stable, the sooner they will be able to regain independence.
- Make Job Hunting a Priority – If your boomerang child is unemployed, getting a new job should be his or her full-time job. Provide them with a quiet place to conduct their online job search. Remind them about priorities if you notice a trend of kicking back during the work day.
- Save as a Family – It can be difficult to save money when you are living in a household where others don’t need to restrict their spending. Consider taking on a new savings plan as a family. Where can you each make adjustments to your lifestyles? Can you eat in more, drive less, reduce cell phone usage or use major appliances during off hours? Can you pick up a part-time job or turn a hobby into a money maker? Set a family savings goal and track your progress.
- Set a Date – It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to lean on family members in times of need, but it’s also important to focus on independence. Set a date in which your children should be on their own feet. Take career status and debt into account. A target date can provide your children with extra motivation to move forward.