Moving Back Home: Who Pays the Household Expenses?

Moving Back Home: Who Pays the Household Expenses?

Marcia Prentice
Jun 14, 2010

A couple of weeks ago I flew home to attend my younger brother's college graduation. As we talked about college memories and finally being out, I asked him what his plans were after graduation. While looking over his shoulder, he told me that he was moving back home and "finding a job is going to be his full-time job."

Young adults move home to help pay off school loans, save for a down payment on a house, or just to get ahead financially, but it is important to develop new adult relationships with parents and look at the relationship as more of a partnership vs. one person taking care of another person.

Expectations change when a kid becomes an adult and grown children are excepted to work full-time and contribute to the financial well-being of the household. Moving back in with parents can be a blow to ones ego; however, it can be a situation where everyone involved can win.

  • Discuss Household Expenses: Within the first week of moving back, initiate the conversation regarding household expenses. It is important to know what the monthly expenses are and how much each person is going to contribute. You may decide that you want to split the bills 50% or each person pays a certain bill. Either way, if everyone knows upfront their responsibility in regard to the household bills, there is no confusion when the bill comes due.
  • Share Dining Expenses: As a child we are accustomed to our parents paying the bill at the restaurant. However, as a responsible adult it is considerate to rotate who buys dinner.
  • Purchase Items on the Grocery/Household List: Technically it may be another household members responsibility to purchase the groceries; however, it is helpful to pick up a few items on the grocery list when needed. Working together as a team will ensure that the household runs smoothly.
  • Be Conscious of Forgotten Expenses: As an adult, we start to experience first-hand the many smaller bills that accumulate in a month. Turning off the lights, taking shorter showers, and unplugging electronics helps keep the often forgotten expenses within the budget.
  • Set Financial Goals: Even though parents may be excited about the extra bonding time with their children, everyone generally assumes the move is temporary. Parents are more motivated to help out financially if they know there is a plan. Set a move out date and discuss goals for paying off debt.

If everyone works together, the household as a whole can meet financial goals. I would love to hear any other suggestions that worked for a smooth transition.

(Image: The Ladies of the House)

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