Monday, April 20, 2009

What happens when the empty nest isn't so empty?

Here's a guest post from my friend, freelance writer Trisha Wagner. Enjoy!

Do you remember the first time you moved away from home? The feeling of excitement, independence and freedom? The joy and trepidation of finally striking out on your own with no parents looking over your shoulder or bossing you around? I know I remember those feelings well and nothing ever compares to moving into your first place. Now imagine fast forwarding five, ten or even fifteen years and having to face the fact that you can no longer make it on your own. While it has become somewhat common for some college grads to bounce back to the family homestead until they get “established” the current state of the economy is forcing grown men and women out of their homes and back to mom and dad's place.

With the tough economic times that we are facing, this situation is becoming a reality for many families. To say the least this arrangement can be stressful for both parties and it is important to set some ground rules to prevent both of you from falling back into your old roles. The following tips can help you get in and out of the family home with the least amount of disruption to all involved.

Set Rules Before Moving Home. This is important for both the parents and the adult child to establish what is expected of all parties. If the move home is a result of a financial hardship, agreeing on what will be expected of you will go a long way toward a peaceful co-existence. Due to the current state of the economy your parents may want to help you financially but find themselves unable due to their own financial situation. Both parties need to agree and feel comfortable discussing these financial responsibilities before you move home.

Be Respectful Of Privacy. Let's face it, you have grown accustomed to having your own space and so have your parents. Remember this is their home and just because they want to help you doesn't mean they will relish having another person (even their child) hanging on the sofa all day. Be respectful of their privacy and the daily “routines” that we all have.

Have A Plan. Remember moving back home with the folks should be a temporary arrangement to help you get back on your feet. This means if you are unemployed you should continue to look for work. If you are currently working, you should be extra mindful of your spending habits. You don't want to be a mooch, cost your parents more money or spend your paycheck on fabulous new shoes. Make the most out of this opportunity to get your finances in order by saving as much money as you can possibly afford. This may mean making sacrifices or adjusting your lifestyle but that is the reality of your life at the moment.

Learn From Your Mistakes. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes. Successful people however learn from those mistakes. There are many reasons why an adult child may be forced to move home. Some situations are out of your control (loss of employment or major medical issues). Other circumstances may have been preventable had you managed your finances better. Don't let past missteps stop you from moving forward toward your financial goals; establish where you went wrong and make the changes necessary to prevent the same mistakes from happening in the future.

While no one wants to move back home under the watchful eyes of their parents, certain situations may leave you with no other options. At a time when your pride might be hurting don't forget to be thankful and appreciative that you have parents and a home to fall back on-- not everyone is as fortunate.

Trisha Wagner is a freelance writer for where you can compare rates of deposit accounts from dozens of banks in one place. Trisha writes regularly on the topics of personal finance and savings accounts.

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