When you’re a young adult, there’s nothing quite like living on your own to give you a taste of freedom—no more living under your parents’ roof or obeying their rules.
But there’s also the flipside: Living on your own can be expensive. Whether you’re saving up for a down payment on a house, trying to land your dream job, or paying down student loan debt, moving back in with your parents could be the financial relief you need.
Asking yourself, “Should I move back in with my parents?” We’ll break down the pros and cons, help establish some ground rules, and look at some alternative options.
Pros of moving in with parents
Moving back in with your parents has some major plusses – that’s probably why one in three adults between 18 and 34 currently live with their folks, according to U.S. Census Bureau data from 2021.1 Here are some of the pros of moving back in with parents:
You can cut costs
Parents may let you live rent-free or only ask for a nominal monthly fee to live under their roof. And it’s not just rent you’ll cut out: You won’t have to pay for utilities like water, gas, electricity, and internet, and you may even save money on groceries depending on your arrangement. (Consider offering to split all these bills, though!)
You can start saving
With these reduced expenses, you can start saving for your future. Store the money you would be spending on rent and utilities in a high-yield savings account instead. Eventually, you may save enough to comfortably get your own apartment or even put a down payment on a house.
You can pay down debt
Student loan debt is a problem for Americans of all ages, especially those fresh out of college. 22.5 million Americans 34 and under have student loan debt.2
Moving in with parents gives you an opportunity to make extra payments on the principal balance rather than making minimum payments that largely (or completely) go to interest.
And it’s not just student loan debt: Moving in with your parents may also make it easy to pay down credit card debt, medical debt, or any other debt you have.
You get quality time with your folks
Moving in with your parents allows you to reconnect with your parents and any siblings still at home. Never take these moments for granted!
Cons of moving with parents
Moving back home has its downsides to consider:
You lose a sense of freedom
Living under your parents’ roof often means living under their rules once again. While they might be more lenient with you than they were when you were growing up, families may revert to the traditional parent-child relationships. You’ll need to respect their ground rules.
You lose your privacy
You’ll likely have your own bedroom and maybe your own bathroom, but the rest of your parents’ home is shared living space. If you currently have an apartment all to yourself, moving back in with your parents can be a major adjustment.
You can lose motivation
Living at home with fewer responsibilities can make you too comfortable if you’re not careful. Without the burden of bills, it’s easy to slip up and overspend on things you don’t need and lose sight of your financial goals.
And if you have doting parents who make you dinner and do your laundry, it may be harder to motivate yourself to move out when the time comes.
Your relationships will work differently
Moving in with your parents doesn’t mean you have to put your social or romantic life on hold. But hanging out with friends or maintaining a romantic relationship may require some adjustments, like spending time outside the house more often.
Your job prospects may suffer
If your parents live far from your current job – or far from the area where jobs in your industry typically are – you may have more trouble gaining or maintaining employment.
Tips for moving back in with parents
If moving in with your folks feels like the right call, you should set goals for yourself and expectations with your parents. Here are a few tips:
1. Form a financial plan
Look at your monthly expenses to understand how much money you’ll save by moving in with your parents. Then form a plan for what you’ll do with that money. For example:
- Will you make additional payments on your student loan?
- Will you tackle your credit card debt?
- Will you save toward a down payment for a house?
2. Set a goal for moving out
Create a timeline so you know when you should move out again. For instance, you might move out when:
- You get a new job.
- You can afford several months of rent.
- You can buy a house.
- You’ve put a significant dent in your debt.
3. Make a plan with your parents
Sit down with your parents and have an honest discussion about expectations. What expenses will you cover? What chores will you help with? What privacy do you expect?
Splitting the grocery bill and utilities may make it more challenging to hit your financial goals faster, but it can help you feel like you have earned your keep when living under your parents’ roof. And it can go a long way in making your parents feel more comfortable about your extended return home.
Having trouble with the conversation? Here’s a checklist of things to review with your parents before moving in:
- Will I pay rent? If so, how much?
- Will I pay utilities? If so, how much?
- Will I pay for my own groceries?
- What chores can I help with?
- Will there be a curfew?
- What’s the policy for having people over?
- Is there a timeline or cut-off to this new living arrangement?
- Are there other expectations, like having a family dinner once a week?
- What are the communication expectations?
- How much notice do you need if I plan to move out?
4. Maintain your social life
Just because you’ve moved back home doesn’t mean you can’t still socialize the way you used to. For your mental health, go out with friends, get outside, go to the gym, and date if you’re interested.
And remember: Your parents are people, too. They may also want free time. Give them their space to live the way they want as well.
Alternatives to moving back in with parents
Moving in with parents is a great way to save money and tackle debt. But if you value your privacy and independence more, there are other ways to get help with rent and tackle debt:
- Get a roommate: If you currently live alone, find a roommate to split the bills.
- Downsize: Do you need as big a space as you have? Getting a smaller apartment could lower your rent enough to help you save.
- Find a rental assistance program: Look for government and charity programs that help individuals cover rent, especially during unemployment.
- Cut out unnecessary expenses: Canceling streaming subscriptions, reducing how much you eat out, and cutting back your budget on clothes and nights out with friends may be tough, but it could also mean avoiding moving back in with your folks.
- Get a side gig: If you can’t cut expenses beyond what you’ve done, try adding to your income. Become a rideshare driver, turn your skills into a freelance gig on the weekends, or dog sit for your neighbors. Here are some side hustle ideas to get you started.
Moving back to move forward
Moving in with your parents can transform your finances if you’re diligent about saving or paying down debt. Just ensure you have an end goal, set ground rules with your parents, and remember to let yourself still enjoy what you love about life.
Think you’re ready to move back out? Use our rent calculator to determine if you have enough money to afford your own place.
How do I cope with moving back with my parents?
Moving back with your parents can make a huge difference in your finances, but it can also rob you of some freedoms and privacy. To ensure a successful move back home, set ground rules with your parents, prioritize your social life, and maintain some household responsibilities.
Is it a good idea to move back in with your parents?
Moving back in with your parents can be a good idea if you’re struggling with bills, saving for a house, or tackling your debt. It’s not the only option available, however. You might be able to cut your expenses by getting a roommate or downsizing to a smaller apartment, and you can work toward your financial goals by starting a side hustle.