Figure finances for moving homeToday, many adult children are returning home to live with their parents. Often this move is because the adult child is experiencing financial problems as the result of being unemployed, in the process of divorce or simply because of the inability to earn enough to make ends meet.
By: Eunice Sahr, The Jamestown Sun
Today, many adult children are returning home to live with their parents. Often this move is because the adult child is experiencing financial problems as the result of being unemployed, in the process of divorce or simply because of the inability to earn enough to make ends meet. This return home will change the parents’ household expenses. One more person does make a difference. Anticipating the change in the parents’ finances will help both the parents and the child plan to minimize family conflicts.
Talk about money arrangements. Be as specific as possible. Some questions to consider are:
* How much money are the parents willing to contribute to help the child?
* Is this financial help viewed as a gift or a loan?
* How much money can the child contribute to the household?
* Is the child going to help out with household tasks?
* If so, which ones?
* Does the living-at-home situation have a specific time limit; for example, until a job can be found or until the ideal career is available?
If the child is going to pay for his or her share of the household expenses, discuss the arrangements and put them into writing so all parties concerned clearly understand what expenses are to be shared, how much is to be paid and when the money is to be paid. Keep the arrangement business-like. On the other hand, if the adult child will not be paying for room and board, that should be clearly understood, so no one will be confused or feel uncomfortable.
Many household operating costs increase with the addition of another person. Electricity, hot water and fuel are definitely affected. Laundry arrangements are a frequent source of tension. Who does the laundry?
Time management is another topic that should be agreed upon. For example, bedtime, quiet time and noise levels like TV and radio volume should all be discussed.
The increase in the family food bill will depend on how much and how well the new household member eats. Not only will the cost of food increase, but so will the shopping. There will likely be a change in the types of food to be purchased, preparation time and possibly shopping locations. Who will do the shopping? Who will decide what to buy? Who pays for it and when? Who will do the meal preparation and clean-up? What meals will the family eat together?
The situation gets even more complicated when the adult child has children. It’s vital to clarify babysitting responsibilities and other procedures related to care of the young children, as well as the financial situation.
Talking about the family finances and responsibilities is not easy. But not talking will create misunderstanding and family conflicts. Having an adult child move back home can help young people get back on their feet financially and be an emotionally satisfying way to strengthen family ties if everyone agrees on the arrangement.
For more information on these topics, contact Eunice Sahr, FCS Extension Agent, NDSU Extension Service/ Stutsman County. She can be reached at 252-9030 or by e-mail at eunice.sahr@ ndsu.edu