Living with Mom and Dad? Maximize the Benefits!

benefits of living with parentsWhen you move back in with mom and dad, it’s easy to treat your time at home as just a vacation from the grown up world.  You start acting like you’re sixteen all over again, and waste a perfectly good opportunity to maximize the benefits of this period without the pressures of rent, excessive utility bills, and the responsibilities of living on your own. My advice is to view your flight back home as a chance to don your “training wheels” and prepare for the day when you’ll (hopefully soon!) move out again. What does this mean exactly? It means learning good renter habits now so you’ll be prepared when the tides change and those aforementioned bills and responsibilities become yours to handle. However, don’t think we are criticizing too much — we’ve all been there, made these same mistakes, and learned the hard way to make our stays with mom and dad count for something. Luckily for you, we’re here to break down some tried and true tips for getting the most out of your extended visit with the ‘rents.

The most rewarding perk of all? You’ll develop a new “adult” relationship with mom and dad, and they won’t be dying to kick you out.

Tip 1: Carry Your Weight With The Bills — 

One of the best ways to prepare yourself for when you’ll have apartment responsibilities of your own is to go ahead and start training yourself to pay your bills, even when mom and dad are there and willing to pay for you. Even if you don’t have many bills of our own, chip in with the expenses that you’re costing your parents by living with them — help out with that higher electricity bill, the internet bill, water bill, etc. That doesn’t mean you have to go broke while you’re trying to save funds; it means showing some initiative and getting yourself in the habit for the day when you won’t be able to spend all your money on fun stuff. The bills will come, so teach yourself how to handle them now. An additional plus? Your relationship with your parents will probably be better, especially if you show you aren’t taking advantage of them by having them pay for everything.

Tip 2: Help With Cleaning (And Maintain Your Space) — 

Maintaining a whole apartment involves a whole lot more than just cleaning your room every now and then, so go ahead and develop those tidy home skills while you’re crashing with mom and dad. What do we mean by this? Vacuum when the floor needs it, dust when you see it collecting around the house, etc. Once again, your family will appreciate it to no end.

Tip 3: Buy Your Own Groceries (And Cook For Yourself Too) — 

Your mom and/or dad may love to cook for you and sit down with you for dinner, but that doesn’t mean you should always let them do all the grocery shopping and food prep. When you move out, who will prepare meals for you then? A fantastic way to develop the food shopping and cooking skills you’ll need for when you are living alone is to go ahead and buy your own groceries and cook for yourself now. Those family dinners can still happen, but let there be times when you’re the one purchasing and making the food.

Tip 4: Do Your Own Laundry, Dishes, Etc. — 

There’s no arguing about it — chores like laundry and dishes are one of the sucky part of everyday life. When you make the jump to your own place, they’ll be a constant part of your life way more often than you’ve ever imagined, so start carrying your weight now by taking care of your own dirty dishes piled up in the sink and your own mountain-sized loads of laundry that are towering in the corner of your room. Sure, mom and dad may take care of those pesky chores now, but one day there’ll be nobody but you to tackle these tasks. Be a good renter-in-training and start teaching yourself these essential skills while you’ve got the time.

Tip 5: Practice Saving Money —

Sometimes, life will throw you unexpected curveballs. The chances of one of the “uh-oh” moments happening to you can increase greatly when you are living out on your own. Yes, things like a broken clothes dryer will happen to you at some point. And, unfortunately, these “I wasn’t prepared for that” scenarios often involve you forking out a lot of money when you’re least prepared. So prepare yourself now for the future and start saving money while you’re able to. While you have the luxury of living with mom and dad, you have a chance to save money in a way that you”ll most likely never be able to replicate when so many monetary items start eating away at your paycheck. You want to have your own first apartment one day, right? You want to be able to survive on your own, right? Then start prepping now!

Fellow renters — please weight in. Were there any big mistakes you made while living at home with family? Are there things you wish you would’ve done differently? Share your ideas below!

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Audra is a recent college graduate and an aspiring writer based in her home state of Georgia. She’s a lover of the sweetest Southern tea, warm weather, and decorating with lots of color, DIY projects, and shabby chic pieces. Her apartment living journey is still young, so she’s busy navigating the ups and downs and learning along the way. For more from Audra, follow her on Pinterest or check out her website

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Comments (2)

  1. Avatar Kay

    I wish I saved more money instead of spending it shopping and going out with friends. I contributed to my mom’s home by upgrading her appliances, keeping the place clean and buying groceries.