June 2020 coronavirus update:
Many students headed home as soon as lockdown was announced – maybe wanting to be around family during this strange time. If this was you, you may be struggling to adapt as you return home from uni, back under your parents' roof (and maybe their rules too!). We thought we'd bring an existing blog post to your attention to try and help you through the coming weeks/months.
It can be a difficult transition, moving back in with mum and dad after even a short time of living independently. There are many reasons why people move back in with their parents or guardians, and sometimes there’s no way to know whether it’s going to be a short pit-stop, or more of a permanent fixture. It could be that you’re jetting off for a gap year after leaving uni, which means that you probably won’t have time to get too accustomed to living back at home. But if you’re planning on hunting for your dream job, you might find that you end up staying a little longer than anticipated. Either way, moving back in with parents can be a great opportunity to take stock of your life, and your finances.
To help ease your transition, we’ve pulled together some simple tips for moving back in with your parents.
Some general housekeeping
Respect the house rules
It goes without saying that you should always show your parents courtesy and respect. However, you might find that the dynamic of your relationship changes slightly when you move back in after graduating from uni (or even if you’ve just popped home for the summer).
Remember that the situation is entirely different from when you lived at home before graduating. Now that you’re a uni graduate, you can certainly no longer be considered a dependent, and that makes you a fully-fledged adult.
This shift means that inevitably there will be an awkward teething period where your parents try to figure out what they are and aren’t entitled to offer advice on, or tell you to do. But whilst you’re all trying to figure things out, make sure you clean up after yourself, and try to be a courteous house guest for as long as you’ll be staying there. It’ll make your life a whole lot easier if you can all just get along.
Go above and beyond
Whilst it can feel like a step backward, going from living independently at uni to living with your parents, it doesn’t have to be. Think of living back with your parents as more of a stepping stone, a chance to stay at home and hang out with your family whilst you financially prepare yourself for the future. It can actually be a really pleasant experience living back with your parents. There’s always company when you need it, and they never stay mad for long – unlike some of the arguments you might have had with your housemates. To make your existence in your parents’ home even more pleasant, it’s a good idea to keep your family happy by treating them occasionally. It could be something as simple as cooking them dinner once a week, or even just picking up the occasional box of chocolates on the way home from work. As much as you’ve enjoyed your independence, your parents probably have as well. That’s why it’s important to go out of your way to show that you’re grateful they’ve let you move back in, as well as showing that you have actually missed them whilst you’ve been away.
Make it rain
One exceptionally good reason to move back in with your parents is to save money, whether this be for a tenancy deposit, or perhaps even to buy your own home. And once you’ve received your first pay check post-university, you might be a little loathed to part with any of it – after all, this will probably be the most disposable income you’ll have for a while. However, in the interest of getting used to managing your finances (and giving your parents a helping hand at the same time) you might want to offer to pay a small amount of housekeeping – even if it’s just enough to cover your food, water and energy bill. Your parents will probably be a bit relieved if you bring up the idea of paying rent before they do. Having a chunk taken out of your pay packet for housekeeping each month will also help to get you used to the inevitability of paying rent.
Show some initiative
You don’t want any grey areas when it comes to money, especially with your own parents. Although there’s unlikely to be any confusion or complications when it comes to paying your parents a small amount of housekeeping, it’s good practise to have a formal agreement in place, as well as keeping an audit trail of how much you’ve paid to them and when. Not only will your parents be impressed by your proactivity, but it’ll be great practise for when you start to rent privately, or decide to buy your first home.
Use it as an opportunity to bolster your savings
Living back at home is a great opportunity to take stock of your finances – after all, it’s unlikely that your parents will let you starve. Whilst you have a bit more disposable income, now would be a good time to consider creating a budget. Consider your monthly income, deduct any outgoings you might have, such as housekeeping and monthly direct debits, and this will give you an idea of how much you’ll be able to save each month. If you pencil in a rough end-date for your residence as well, then this gives you a date to aim towards and will let you know just how much you’ll need to save each month. It might also be worth having a look into some of the help to buy ISAs and savings accounts available, as this will help you save for your own home.
Keep your parents up to date
Everyone knows that plans change, and sometimes they change last minute, meaning that you can’t always give your parents a lot of notice as to your evolving whereabouts. In fact, after a few years living at uni where you’ve had the freedom to come and go as you please, you may feel like you shouldn’t have to tell your parents where you are at all hours of the day. But you have to remember that your parents’ perceived nosiness has only come from a place of concern for your safety, and that its common courtesy to keep your family informed of your location – even if it’s just a text to let them know you’ll be home half an hour late. It’ll save your parents a whole lot of worry knowing that you’re safe and sound – after all, they’re not going to stop worrying about you just because you’re an adult now.
Give them some space
After a few weeks at home, you might start to feel like you’relosing your independence by moving back into your parents’ home, and begin to crave your privacy. The thing is, your parents are probably feeling the exact same way. They’ve had their own freedom whilst you’ve been away at uni, so you should bear in mind that there are probably times that they’d rather have the house to themselves. Talk to them to find out just how much they want you around, and when they might need time for themselves.
Speaking openly about the fact that you don’t need to be together all the time will save a whole lot of arguments, and will make sure that everyone has the space they need – the house might quickly become crowded with lots of adults living under one roof!
Spend quality time with the family
Equally, as much as your parents might want their space, they will also want to see you on occasion – so don’t just turn up for meals and then head straight back out the door, as it might start to appear a little bit ungrateful. Try to find at least one evening a week where you can spend quality time together, whether it be a family meal or just sitting down to have a cup of tea and a chat. Otherwise your parents might start to feel like their home is being turned into a hotel.
Make sure you’re covered
Whilst you may have had insurance cover in place for your belongings whilst you were living at uni, either in halls of accommodation or a shared home, it’ll be worth considering whether your items will still be covered once you’ve moved back in with your parents. Find out if your items are covered under your parents’ home insurance policy, or whether you’ll need to take out your own insurance to protect certain items, such as your phone or your bike.
As the UK's no. 1 student insurance provider and the only one recommended by NUS, Endsleigh have a range of products and services to meet your needs, throughout university and beyond. Find out more about our graduate and professionals insurance.