Making the Most of Moving Back Home

If you’re still saving for your first apartment or have a change in situation that leaves you with few independent options, moving back home may be your best bet. While you may lose a bit of independence, moving home doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If you’re thoughtful about the experience, it can actually be the best thing for you! Try the tips below when you’re home to make the most of the opportunity.

Contribute to the household

Think of yourself as a guest in your parents’ home, and remember that they are doing you a favor by letting you move in to help you get back on your feet! With that said… contribute! Clean up after yourself, offer to take on a few household chores, and be courteous. (You can also contribute by helping your parents navigate their home electronics!) Many parents won’t want to apply strict rules to your stay, but you should be mature enough to not take the situation for granted. Talk with your parents about activities you can take on for the family, like cooking a couple meals each week, doing some light cleaning around the house, or taking care of grocery shopping.

Secure a job

If you’re not yet employed, put extra focus on getting a job while you’re living at home! You are in a lucky situation because you don’t have worry about your next meal or housing, so you can take your time and get a job you really want. Make updates to your resumes and schedule interviews soon after moving home. Remember, the sooner you secure a well-paying job, the sooner you can move back out into your own apartment and have your own space.

Save, save, SAVE

One of the (if not THE) best parts of living at home is the chance to save some money! Even if you’re paying “rent” to your parents, it’s likely that you’re spending much less money than you would be if you were out on your own. Limit your extra spending and SAVE money! Don’t look at your situation as the opportunity to splurge on new clothes or vacations; look at it as the chance to build a big nest of money to ensure you can move out comfortably as soon as your job situation is secure.

Be grateful

Whatever you do, don’t take this time for granted! Your parents probably already changed their lifestyle during your years away and may even have reorganized the house for their empty nest life. Your moving back is a big change for you, but so it is for your parents, too. Remember that your family is doing you a favor of re-adjusting their life to have you in it each day, and be respectful and gracious during your time there. Even if you’d rather be living on your own, appreciate your family’s support in filling a really crucial need at this time in your life.

If you follow this mindset, not only will you secure the funds needed to land the perfect first apartment (via savings and a great job!), but you will build stronger familial relationships along the way.

What did you learn when you moved back home? What advice would you like to share?

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Author My First Apartment

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Sarah is a dog lover and advocate for conversation & laughing at your own jokes. Since finishing her college career in communications, she began working (and living) in Atlanta. After living in a few different apartments over the last few years, she's ready to share experiences. Stay tuned for adventures, tips and advice!

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Comments (2)

  1. Avatar Avia Allen

    Hi everyone, it’s me again, Avia. I have to say your estimate was incredibly close and informative in helping me figure out what I could afford for a year. My rent ended up being $720 a month, and saving around $500 a month with my salary at 44.6k annual.

    Because of how on the nose you all were last year, and because of some unfortunate news, I’m back in the same boat. I make $55k annually now, gym is $50, student loans is $281 a month, mobile is $66.05 and transit pass is covered by work. I’d like to save more this time around but the rent in the city is so insanely expensive, and thinking of moving out on my own seems very daunting. Could you please help me out again? I’d love to hear your thoughts! I want to be comfortable and not feel like all my income is going towards rent!

    Looking forward!

    • MFA Editors MFA Editors

      Hi Avia,
      We are very happy to hear that the formula worked for you. It’s great that you have been able to save a nice nest egg and plan to continue saving. You are slowly on your way to having your own place.
      It looks like you can save as much as 25% of your take-home income and still afford up to $1,200 in rent, but use this worksheet to to double check the numbers we did below. We may be missing some items, such as your credit card payments or health insurance, unless you are still under your parent’s plan. Let us know if these numbers make sense to you and good luck.

      First Apartment Budgeting Worksheet
      Your Budget
      Annual Salary (see below 1.) $55,000
      Less: Estimated taxes 25% (see below 2.) -$13,750
      Less: Other deductions (health insurance, 401K, etc.)
      Estimated annual take-home pay $41,250
      Monthly take-home pay (above /12) $3,438

      Monthly Essential Living Expenses
      Maximum Rent = 35% of take-home -$1,203
      Utilities 20% of rent (electric, water, trash, internet) -$241
      Car loan or lease payment $0
      Car Insurance  $0
      Gas $0
      Public transportation monthly pass (est. $125) $0
      Groceries/Food -$300
      Laundry/Dry Cleaning -$40
      Health Insurance (See below 3.)
      Cell Phone -$66
      Student Loans -$281
      Credit Cards
      Child care
      Other fixed bills Gym -$50
      Total Monthly Essential Expenses -$2,181

      Cash left for Savings and Discretionary Spending 4.) $1,257
      Savings (target 25% of take-home) $859
      Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if has car $397
      Cash left for Discretionary Spending, if public transportation

      1.) If you are paid hourly, estimate annual pay by multiplying weekly hours by hourly rate by 50. Example: 40 hrs * $20 *50 = $40,000.
      (Yes, we know there are 52 weeks in a year, but many hourly earners do not get paid sick or vacation days, so we use 50 paid weeks.)
      2.) % varies by income and filing status; use a tax calculator, for example at
      3.) Health insurance: include here, if not deducted from salary or paid for by parents.
      4.) Clothing, vacations, hobbies, entertainment, etc.