Living at Home After Graduation

So you’ve graduated university or college and are about to start heading out into the real world or whatever that working world is called. One of the most important things you need to think about is where you’re going to live since you more than likely are now moving away from school. The most likely place is either head to a big city like Toronto or head back home into the reluctant arms of your parents.

One of the biggest struggles students face is moving back and living at home after grad. It’s also a parents dilemma about whether or not they want to charge you rent, put you to work around the house or find some other way for you to make pay for showing back up on their doorstep. I recently read a blog post called Dear Parents Charge Your Kids Rent by Broke Millennial. The post was refreshing and had some excellent points as to why parents should charge their kids rent when they decide to start living at home after graduation. But here’s the question I asked myself, do you think that’s the best idea? And simply put, I think the answer is no..but of course I have provided some excellent alternatives.

Putting Your A** to Work

Just like my fellow blogger I’m not going to put this lightly, I completely believe that if you are going to head home after grad, you better work your butt off and help out around the house. If you lived at school it’s really likely that you were paying rent, if you aren’t paying rent while living at home you better be doing something to make up for those lost dollars your parents aren’t making off of your lack of rent payments. I’ve been living at home while I work in Toronto for a semester and even I’m helping out (I’m sure my mom would maybe say I help out a little less than I should) but hey I’m doing something. Make dinner every once in a while, mow the lawn, vacuum the house or clean the bathroom..hey you did it at school for yourself anyways.

Pay Your Parents Rent..Sort of

Okay so here’s the catch. I don’t agree with paying rent simply because it’s pretty likely that students heading home after graduating are pretty tied down with student loans and may not have a high paying job yet. But I have an alternate solution to this rental payment system. Giving your parents a set sum of money every month just like rent but instead this money goes into a saving vehicle of some sort. This could be a GIC, high interest savings account, or if you have more financial know-how a portfolio with ETFs and stocks. You become more disciplined, save money for the future (retirement here we come) and will end up with a nice bit of money once you leave home. And you may be thinking, how do my parents win here? Well let’s just say they will have the comfort in knowing you will actually have some money once you head out on your own and the sooner you save, the quicker you’re out of the house.

In all honesty, I think a hybrid of the 2 would work really well in my opinion.

Do you think recent grads should be charged rent once they start living at home after graduation?

Let the debate begin..

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  • #Broke Millennial

    Thanks for the shout out!

    Interesting take. You’ll see a lot of comments on my post included current parents saying they would save their kids rent money and, assuming the kids were good tenants, return it upon their departure from the nest. This deal wouldn’t be disclosed upfront. Others mentioned doing a 401(k) type program and match a percentage. Both are solid ideas, but some kids return home and are a financial burden to their parents. In this case, they should absolutely be financially contributing to the household.

    A few comments on my post also mentioned the “doing chores” logic. I don’t think doing simple chores around the house is enough to teach a child what the real world is like. Landlords don’t tend to barter. If they do, then never move!

    I really like your invest plan option. Kids should negotiate this with their parents when returning to the nest.

    • No problem! I guess it all really depends on the parents and the situation. I think most people reading blog posts similar to this are financially responsible individuals who wouldn’t be as likely to be financial burden on the household. I think if your kid has out of control spending habits, make them pay like they would if they were renting. In an ideal world they would be able to manage their money, save on their own and I guess if need be, do chores. I’ve had the discussion with my parents and simply by helping around the house and making their lives easier they felt that would be sufficient enough when I move back…we will see if they feel the same way a month in.

  • Nick @

    That is a really interesting idea to charge rent but put it in a savings account. Luckily I saved all my money on my own when I moved back in with my parents, but it would be a great way to teach some responsibility.

    • Thanks! And I agree, I will be doing the same when I’m back at home and will save all my money on my own. The forced “rent” is definitely more of an option for those who need to learn some serious saving habits.

  • addvodka

    I didn’t even live at home during college, and there’s no way I’d have moved back after. I was an adult and it was my duty to go out and make my own money to support myself. But, i was lucky in that I had a job.

    • Same here, I actually moved away from home for college/university but am back for 8 months to complete a internship. Congrats on being able to do that, I would love to but may have to spend a little time saving up for a place of my own.

  • steph

    Even if they don’t want to, some grads really don’t have an alternative to living at home, mostly because of debt. But literally, the only advantage of living at home (other than being around family bla bla bla) is its free – free rent, free food, free utilities. Once you take that away, whats the incentive to live at home? Might as well pay the same to live on your own or with roommates. If my parents decided they were going to charge me rent, I’d be outta there

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