When you imagined graduating from university or college, you likely thought you would return home to your nice apartment near your amazing new job where you live with cool and easy to get along with roommates.
But setting up your own place can be expensive – especially when you're making an entrance-level salary or still looking for work. Add to that the fact that you'll have to start repaying student loans, buy a professional wardrobe, and put together a security deposit, and your post-grad dream might not be possible right away.
But if you have a good relationship with your parents, it might make sense to move back in with them or continue living at home. So, how do you negotiate living with your parents as an adult while saving money so you can move out? We've got you covered!
Moving back in
Not so fast! Before you move back in with your parents, you need to evaluate if doing so makes sense. First, you need to figure out if it's logistically possible. If you have a job, how far is your parent's place from work? If you're looking for work, do your parents live close to potential employers? While you can always commute or apply for jobs in another city from a distance, both come with added complications.
Next, you need to see how your parents feel about you moving back in. Sit down with them and ask if they would let you move back in and under what conditions. Your parents might be thinking about downsizing or might have rules you'll need to follow when living with them. They will also likely want you to contribute in some way to the household – whether through rent, doing chores, cooking, or paying for groceries.
No matter how much you love your family — relationships are complicated. One big challenge of living at home is coping with limitations your parents might place on you. If you've lived on your own for a while, it might be difficult to accept their rules now that you're an adult. Consider having a proactive conversation with your parents about it.
Sometimes it can be useful to bring in an outsider like a counselor to help everyone with the transition. Just remember that your parents are helping you out and that a condition of doing so might involve giving up some freedoms you might otherwise have if you lived with roommates.
One important way to help ensure that everyone gets along is to pull your weight. Help out around the house, cook dinner for them, and thank them frequently for their help.
Ways to save
You might be in a hurry to move out, but you want to do it right so that you're not moving back in again six months later. Before you move out, you should save enough for a security deposit, your first month's rent, money for rental insurance, money to buy furniture and an emergency fund to cover your costs for a few months in case you lose your job or have an emergency.
Do some research into how much these things cost in your area and add all that up to give yourself an idea of how much you'll need.
Set yourself a budget that takes into account how soon you want to move out by dividing how much you need to save by how many months you have to save between now and your ideal move out date. Now, you just have to find a way to save that much every month.
Not sure how? Try cutting back on things like buying new clothes, eating out, or going out. Still not saving enough? Consider taking on a side hustle or selling things you own in order to save money faster. For example, you might not need all your old textbooks and can put the money you get from selling them towards your security deposit. You also can use your extra time to take on moonlighting work like tutoring or doing a part-time job.
If you’ve never made a budget or just want a second opinion on how to make one that works for you, come into your bank and meet with your financial advisor. They can help you create a budget and tweak it as you save towards your new place.
Your move-out plan
Once you know when you'll likely have enough saved for your new place, you can create a plan to move out. Figure out where you want to live and who you want to live with. If you don't have friends who are looking for a place, think about what questions you want to ask potential roommates to know if they'll be a good fit. Do they listen to loud music? Do they like to have parties? What kind of cleaning schedule would they want? Knowing these things in advance will keep you from being stuck with roommates who drive you up the wall.
If you've never signed a lease yourself, be sure to learn about what to look for and the legal responsibilities of signing a lease before you do. Learn your rights as a renter. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has a helpful list of responsibilities for landlords, like making sure your home meets health, safety, housing and maintenance standards and for renters, like paying on time.
Also, make sure to get renter's insurance since your parent's homeowner's or renter's insurance policy won't cover you now that you're no longer in school.
Final step: thank your parents!
Last but certainly not least, thank your parents for letting you live with them. Their help was crucial — make sure they know it. Write them a heartfelt card and buy them a small gift that you'll know they'll appreciate. Or better yet — invite them over to your new place for dinner. You'll likely miss them once you're on your own.
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