Should You Move Back Home at 30 to Get Out of Debt?

Julissa Treviño Updated on May 13, 2019

If you're like me when I had student loans, in creating a budget, you've realized that you're not making enough to make ends meet and pay off your loans. 

So it's no wonder why people choose to move back in with their parents post-graduation. In 2017, TD Ameritrade's Young Money Survey found that 26% of Millennials in college said they planned on moving back home to help pay for student loans. But what about moving back home later ... when you're closing in on 30?

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Is it the right move for you? It might be. But there are several emotional and practical issues to consider before you decide.

Consideration #1: You'll save money

The first thing to think about is the most obvious: money.

Rent is one of the biggest expenses for adults living in the U.S. According to 
Apartment List, the national average for a one-bedroom apartment is $946, with much higher prices in big metro areas like New York City.

Moving in with your parents eliminates or reduces this cost significantly, giving you a better chance at saving money.They may even be generous enough to let you eat their food. 

One way to ensure you use this arrangement to your fullest advantage is to set up automatic payments with your student loan provider or transfers to your savings account. 

Consideration #2: You'll might feel restricted

Let's be real: moving back home with your parents has the potential to be uncomfortable. 

Their house, their rules. You need to understand that your parents may have certain expectations for how you behave in their home, including what time you come home at night and how often you go out. 

In addition to the space not quite feeling like it's yours anymore, you might get unsolicited dating advice and judgments about how you're spending your money. 

Trust me, this was something I personally learned the hard way. Just know that it's something you should consider and discuss with your parents before you make the decision. 

Consideration #3: It's not a free ride

You and your parents need to go into this situation with pre-agreed terms.

Whether that means paying a small amount of rent or taking on chores every week, living at home doesn't mean you won't have responsibilities. And since it's  your parent's house, you'll probably need to clean up after yourself, and do your own laundry and dishes.

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Consideration #4: It may take a toll on your parents

Whether you move back home is also up to your parents. After all, this is a big financial decision for them, too, since they will likely incur additional costs for utilities and food. 

By the time you're out of college, your parents may be focused on retirement, and adding costs to their budget might put a damper on their retirement savings. Understand that this is a big undertaking for your parents, and be respectful of their decision, their home, and their finances.

See also: How to Get Out of Debt: A Guide for Millennials

Consideration #5: You could achieve your financial goals more quickly

In addition to saving money that would otherwise go toward rent, living at home could help jumpstart your ambitious financial goals. Do you want to pay off your student loan debt in two years? Save for a down payment on a home? Buy a new car that you need for work? Work on your startup? 

When living on your own and making your monthly loan payments, these bigger goals can seem like pipe dreams.

But tackling these goals quickly is a worthy reason of moving in with your parents, though you need to have a plan. Work backwards, by deciding how much you money you need in order to achieve these goals, and then figure out how much you need to invest each month to make your goals a reality.

Also, clue in your parents so that they know you're not just mooching off of their generosity.

Consideration #6: You'll need an exit strategy

Before you move in, you need to be able to decide, and tell your parents, how long you plan on living at home.

This, of course, means having a budget in place, figuring out what your financial goals are, and having a realistic timeline for these goals. Without an idea of what your future plans are, it's easy to feel like you're stuck at home, rather than the situation feeling like a strategic financial decision. Have a move-out date and plan in place before you move in.

Read more articles about Your Financial Future.

Published in: Financial Freedom

About the Author
Julissa Treviño

Julissa Treviño is a writer and journalist based in Texas. Her work has appeared in BBC Future, CityLab, Columbia Journalism Review, The Dallas Morning News, Racked, Teen Vogue and other publications. She enjoys traveling, playing with makeup, biking and trying new food. Follow her @JulissaTrevino. Read more by Julissa Treviño

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