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  • Moving home after college can make it easier to pay off students loans or stash up some savings.
  • To make it easier on your parents, be sure to contribute what you can while living at home, either financially or helping with household chores.
  • You’re an adult now, which means different rules might apply to you at home. Communicate often and openly with your parents to ensure everyone is on the same page.

If you find yourself moving home after college, you're not alone. There are lots of reasons to move back in with the parents after graduating, whether financial or just to offer a helping hand. 

And while living at home is not without its challenges, it does have some advantages. Here are some ways that you can make living at home after college work for you and your parents.

1. Pay off your debts

If you're one of millions of graduates who has student loan debt, you can use your time at home to tackle it. Even just one year living at home can amount to a big savings and a reduction in your student loan balance.

If you have multiple loans from various lenders, consider consolidating your loans to help you better manage them. You may even be able to lower your interest rate or your monthly payment.

2. Save your money

In addition to paying off debt, college graduates who move home after college can also use this time to save money. Maybe you have something large you’d like to buy (e.g., a home or car) or you want to make sure that when you do strike out on your own, you have a decent cushion of savings. The savings from living at home with your parents could help you set yourself up for the future. 

While it probably feels too soon to think about retirement, now could also be the ideal time to start saving money away into a retirement fund, like a Roth IRA. The sooner you contribute to your retirement, the better. Contributing even small amounts now is equal to contributing large amounts later in life because of compound interest.

3. Contribute to your family

When you move back home, it's easy to fall into the default parent-child relationship that was in place before you went to college, but the reality is that you are now an adult. While this can lead to sticky situations—like who pays for what or whether your parents set rules—there are things you can do to make the transition easier.

Even if you can’t contribute financially, there are lots of ways you can pitch in around the house, like cooking meals, keeping the kitchen clean, and helping with other household errands. Also, now that you’re an adult, it’s time to do your own laundry.

4. Communicate early and often

Communication is key when you move back home with your parents. Clearly discussing expectations and establishing boundaries is one sure way parents and adult children can avoid unnecessary conflicts. For example, do your parents expect you to move out at some point? What is the timeline for that? Are you paying rent, buying your own groceries, or paying for your cell phone? 

Keep in mind that even though you are an adult, your parents still want to make sure you're safe. Talk to them about their expectations around when you come home at night and if they would like a head's up if it's going to be late. This isn’t so they can keep tabs on you, but just plan their life around you living in their home.

5. Maintain independence

You may be living at home, but you’re still an adult, and it’s beneficial to do things that remind both you and your parents of this fact. In addition to helping out around the house, be sure to make time to see friends. It’s important to have a social life that is separate from your parents. They’ll value the occasional alone time as well.

6. Keep a positive mindset

Moving back home after college may not be ideal, but it is a reality that some graduates are facing. While it can be a little awkward at times, and sometimes friction can occur, the key to a smooth transition is to communicate with them openly and agree on the terms up front. Instead of looking at this time as a negative, take advantage of it. Work to pay off your debt and save money so you can have a better financial foundation when you move out on your own.

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