Are you thinking about moving back home with your parents? Results from our latest Affordability Index painted a less than idyllic situation for many young Canadians, especially around debt, the need to cut back on essentials, and even savings.
As a result, the number of Canadians who have moved back in with their parents has risen. In many urban centres, 40-50% of people aged 20-34 are living with at least one of their parents or grandparents. The trend has become so common that universities have started researching the nuances of the arrangement, like household decision-making, division of labour, and conflict resolution.
If you make that choice, you won’t be the first to have done it. And you certainly won’t be the last. But if you play your cards right and use the time to get yourself back on track, you will have more than avoided failure. You’ll be in a fantastic position to succeed, and your move back home could wind up being one of the best decisions you ever make.
Moving back in with your parents will not go well if your presence negatively affects their financial position. If, for example, your folks are living on a fixed income, the extra cost of another person in the home could destabilize their long-term financial plan or their short-term plans to travel, renovate, or downsize.
In short, moving back home has to benefit you AND your folks, and this will be on you to ensure. That could look like contributing more to bills than you’re comfortable with at the outset. It might mean taking on jobs around the house your parents had been outsourcing (like gardening or cleaning). And it will probably mean paying your parents rent money.
But remember that you’re getting something in return. For you, you’re buying a familiar, stable environment conducive to giving your life a reset.
There are advantages for your parents too. Not only do they get a helping hand with some of their bills, they also get to spend more time with their child, so make sure to make the most of it.
According to rentals.ca, the average Canadian renter is paying $2,014 a month. That’s $24,168 back in your pocket over the course of a year. And even if your parents charge you rent for living with them, it’s unlikely to cost what you’d pay on the open market.
In December 2022, CTV News reported the price to feed an average family of four would rise by $1,000 in 2023. If you’ve been to the grocery store lately, it’s clear that prediction is coming true.
Splitting the bills with your folks will also be a big help. So will splitting the costs of heat, hydro, water, home phone, home data and anything else you pay monthly.
When you live alone and you’re not interested in being by yourself, you have to leave your place for face-to-face human interaction, almost guaranteeing you spend money. Being at home means having someone in the next room to chill with any time. If you’re lucky, your parents will have faced and overcome similar hardships and can give you real guidance.
As you take bigger chunks out of your debt with the money you save on rent, food and bills, you’ll pay less interest every month, which gets you closer to being debt-free. Once you do that, you’ll be closer to repairing any credit damage you may have incurred, which will make it easier to find a place so you can move out of your parents’ house.
Finally, you could be putting some of what you save towards first and last for your future living situation. Depending on how much you can save, your next place could be exactly what you want.
Set boundaries and responsibilities to avoid awkward moments down the line.
This will probably be the hardest part of moving back home with your parents, especially if you’ve been out of their house for enough time to develop your own routines and preferences. Among the topics up for discussion should include:
Making these decisions early and collaboratively will save you a ton of stress throughout your time living back with your parents. And that sense of peace will show in everything you do to turn your situation around.
As Holly Hunter’s character said in the 1995 movie Home for the Holidays, “home is the place where, if you have to go there, they have to let you in.” So, use the time with your folks wisely, save some money and get some quality time in with them.
When you’re ready to move back out, you’ll be in a much better financial position than your peers, and you’ll be ready to take on the world once again.
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