There are plenty of reasons for living with your parents into adulthood.
Maybe you just graduated, and you’re in a transitional period while you figure out your next steps. Perhaps you’re working part-time while you look for a full-time job, and the financial burden of rent and monthly bills is too much. Job loss, divorce, medical expenses, or other unexpected life changes could leave you with no affordable options.
Regardless of your reason for living at home, living with your parents comes at an additional cost to them. You don’t want to create a financial strain or lessen their quality of life. You should contribute even if your impact on their household bills is minimal.
Should I Pay Rent if I Live With My Parents?
If you’re 18 or older, living with your parents, and not in school, you should pay your parents rent. That doesn’t mean you should pay the same rent you would if renting an apartment. You should pay enough so that your parents are happy and you’re not creating any financial strain.
Whether you’re paying average, below-average, or dirt-cheap rent, your monthly rent payments help cover the added household expenses resulting from having an extra person in the house on a daily basis.
How Much Should I Pay My Parents for Rent?
How much you should pay your parents for rent depends on your financial and personal situation and theirs. A single parent or elderly parents living on social security might need more help from their adult children to cover the cost of an additional household member.
Coming up with a number can be a thorny issue, but one family meeting is all it takes to resolve it. The best thing you can do is have an open, honest conversation before moving in.
Your parents may look at the median rent where you live and discount it. They could settle on a percentage of their household costs or calculate the cost of having you in the house. If you think mom and dad are charging you too much rent, there may be room to negotiate, or there may not.
Your parents will likely have ground rules and expectations beyond rent, such as helping with the weekly shopping or paying a percentage of the utilities. They might even put them in writing. Moving in with your parents as an adult is a mutual decision that takes planning and reaching an agreement.
Is It Worth It To Live With My Parents and Save Money?
Living with your parents comes with financial benefits that will probably be worth it. Chief among the benefits is not paying market average rent and keeping your living expenses down.
Lowering your housing expenses by moving in with your parents can help you funnel more money into savings, aggressively pay off credit card debt or student loans, or establish a solid financial foundation before you move out.
You can also try new things and be more selective about your next job or apartment. You might not have to take any job you can get or move into a run-down studio apartment because that’s all you can afford.
People often live with family members to free up some room in their budget for saving or paying off debt faster. If you are saving a lot of money by moving in with your parents, make sure you put it aside or use it to improve your financial situation.
How Long Is It Acceptable To Live With Your Parents?
Adults over 30 should not live at home with their parents unless they care for parents in poor health. By the age of 30, a person should have had enough time to find a job and save enough to move out. According to a 2019 TD Ameritrade survey, living with your parents becomes embarrassing at age 28.
Not all families see it this way. However, your parents probably weren’t expecting their adult offspring to live with them for their entire adult life.
Paying Rent to Your Parents
Short of a tragedy or circumstances beyond your control, it would be best to contribute financially. Even if your parents don’t have a dire need to charge their adult kids for rent or have trouble paying their monthly expenses, paying your share of rent and household costs is reasonable.
Your parents probably aren’t going to make you fill out an application, check your credit score, and require a security deposit. They likely won’t charge you market rent for a one-bedroom apartment in your area. You’re getting a good deal, so help by paying your parents for rent without complaint.
Living with your parents rent-free like you did when you were a young child would be financially liberating. However, having zero housing costs or utility bills is an unrealistic expectation for an adult.
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Sara Graham is a frugal living and household budgeting expert. Her writing has appeared on MSN Money, The Good Men Project, Fairygodboss, and several other online publications. She is the co-founder of KindaFrugal.com, a personal finance and frugal living blog.