back in with parents

In 2016, co-habitating with parents is the most common living arrangement amongst 18-34 year olds. It’s not uncommon for millennials to return to the family fold at some point, whether it be directly post-graduation or some years later. The reasons for this are numerable and include rising housing costs, delayed marriage, student debt and continued underemployment.

If this is your current scenario, or may soon be your current scenario, don’t despair; there are so many reasons to approach a return to the nest, for any window of time, from a place of gratitude. After all, the stigma around shacking up with your parents after the age of 18 is a uniquely American phenomenon — in Europe, more than 50% of all 18-29 year-olds live at home, and this is a perfectly acceptable arrangement.

Here, a few reasons to reconsider your perspective on living with your folks as an adult:

1. You can pay off debts and save money.

This is the most obvious benefit of living at home, and it’s a big one. Nearly 50% of 25-year-olds have student loans in excess of $20,000, and the rising cost of housing means that budgets for this mostly underemployed demographic are squeezed incredibly tight. If you live with your parents, you can save anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars a month to a couple of thousand dollars a month, depending on where you live, and put that towards paying down debt and building a fiscal safety net for yourself that would otherwise be impossible to accrue.

… there are so many reasons to approach a return to the nest, for any window of time, from a place of gratitude.

2. You’re able to make riskier career moves.

Rent is such a beast of an obligation — particularly in urban areas — that it ties you to whatever pays you enough to write that check on the first of every month. If you are living rent-free, you can potentially afford to take a job that pays a little less and is more so in the direction of your dreams. Many people also start their own businesses while co-habitating with their parents.

3. You get to know your parents as adults.

Many of us leave home when we’re still teenagers, before we’ve had the time or experience to gain true perspective on our parents. Living with them as a grown-up can be a completely different experience. You may come to understand them in ways you didn’t before. You begin to see them as humans as opposed to just as parents.


4. Your parents get to know you as an adult.

This is a cool thing, when your parents get to learn who you are as a fully-formed human, as well. They may always remember you as a baby, but they’ll be amazed by the opinions you express as an adult, the ways in which you desire to spend your time, and the relationships you’ve built outside of the family. With enough time, you will likely become something more akin to friends with your parents than you ever were before.

5. You can help your parents out.

Chances are, your parents are still going strong in their 50s and early 60s, and they might not need a lot of help. Still, this doesn’t mean they wouldn’t welcome it all the same. With you in-house, they have someone with whom to split the burden of chores again (and to explain Snapchat, maybe).

6. You’ll get irreplaceable memories.

Unfortunately, none of us are aging backwards, and our time with our parents as adults is precious. It’s normal to look towards building your own family at a certain age, but if you are living with your parents as an adult for any reason, we suggest you take a moment to notice the moments that will one day be memories — memories you’ll be so grateful you were able to make.

Are you currently living at home? What’s surprised you about it?

Images via Becca Tapert


  1. I love this! It shines such a positive light on parents and gives one so many things to be grateful for while living with them! I’m currently taking advantage of all 6 reasons. 🙂

  2. Just moved back in with my parents after a mutual seperation/divorce from my ex husband. Being 32, it was comforting to be back home to something familiar and warm even if my parents still drive me crazy with tech support questions and the occasional “where were you last night?” check ins.

  3. My husband and I currently live with my in-laws. We moved in with them after two years of living out of state and far from any family. We wanted to save up to buy a house. We bought the house and are currently renovating it, going on three years of living with the in-laws. It is a challenge and I often feel ashamed of not being on our own after years of being away from needing family and parents but these are good reminders that it is not all bad. While I often feel awkward or like a “guest” in a house that is not mine I have gotten to know my in-laws better than k ever could and I think my husband and I have become closer because of our living arrangement as well. It’s hard to know I own a home and yet I’m still here in someone else’s house. This article will be good to come back to so I can put it all into perspective. It is necessarily and it is not all bad and I am grateful to them because we never could have afforded to buy a home if we did not move in with them to save up.

  4. After having lived on my own for two years, I moved back in with my parents as I was in between jobs. Fully expecting to only be at home for a couple months, I am now going on 3 years of living at home. There have been a lot of ups and downs as far as my perspective of living at home again, I would absolutely love to have my own space again and feel like I’m “making it” as an adult by having and paying for my own place, but I can’t help but appreciate the benefits I’ve encountered and this article affirmed and reminded me of some of those. The relationships built and the learning that is happening on both sides of the equation, not to mention saving money, have been some of the highlights of living at home again. These will definitely be times I cherish more than I previously expected.

  5. I think you make lots of valid points here, but for me, living with my parents was definitely never an ideal set-up. But it’s nice to look at it from a more positive perspective like you do here 🙂

  6. I have been living at home with my parents since I graduated college. The first few months were an adjustment, especially when I was unemployed, but once I started working full time, I learned to appreciate the time spent with them more than before. Now I come home and my mom and I enjoy a glass of wine after a rough day, or I’ll talk to my dad about our future travel plans. I’ve realized that I actually enjoy spending time with them, which is something not many people can say. And living at home has let me use that money I could have used for rent for trips to Europe instead! 🙂

  7. I come from a Hispanic background and for many of our families, living at home as a single adult is the norm (especially if you’re a woman). My issue is almost the opposite, where it’s going to be harder for my mom to accept me moving out than it is for her to accept me staying post-grad. But that’s also why I realize the stigma of living at home as an adult is not worldwide. It’s a lot more prominent here in America, I guess because we value individualism so much.

  8. Ive been with my mom for about 11 months now and I can say the first 10 months were really rough. Learning to live with each other as adults and respect each others space was not an easy task, but we are finally getting the hang of it. I’ve also been learning a lot about what I’ve missed out on for the last 12yrs not livin at home. Didnt realize how much was going on without me lol. Im only planning on being here for about another 10months but I think it’ll keep gettig better and better!

  9. Wonderful article. I chose to move back home after 10+ years living in other cities and abroad (twice!), not just to save money but mainly to make cherished memories with my parents! Growing up, home is the last place I wanted to be; like you said, none of us are aging backwards and I never want to regret wishing I had more time with my parents. Living with them is the best ever by the way, but that’s because we have a mutually respectful and loving relationship 🙂 Hope this goes for all of you out there at home, too!

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