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Is It Selfish to Move Back With Your Parents?

Many new grads choose to move home with their parents to save money while paying off student loans and figuring out their next steps, but I wasn't one of them and it was never even a thought that crossed my mind. According to Susan Shaffer, co-author of Mom, Can I Move Back in With You? A Survival Guide for Parents of Twentysomethings, about half of those fresh off the graduation high are planning on moving back with their parents. Is anyone else surprised by that percentage? It seems rather high to me, mostly based on the decisions made by my friends after we graduated some time ago.

Moving home can be a good option for some recent grads, particularly if massive student loans are an issue, but I'm definitely not as enthusiastic about it as some people. Even if you and your parents agree to certain terms like paying rent, living on your own right after graduation teaches you important early lessons in self-sufficiency.

Aside from the personal growth aspect, moving home can also be a hindrance to your parents' growth. Not to mention the negative impact it can have on their road to retirement.


Join The Conversation
aly1981 aly1981 8 years
Oh, man! You mean, you had a kid and now you have to help them SUCCEED? Unfortunately today's reality is not like those of the baby-boomers. It is simply next to impossible for their children to either move out and support themselves or get themselves through schooling on a minimum-wage paying job. What that means is that they are already entering "self-sufficiency" with debt. To makes things harder, even if somehow a family can afford college, this no longer means a guaranteed job at the end of it. To hold to children to a standard just because it was possible when you grew up is asking for trouble. You know, it's also much harder to retire and afford personal caretakers these days. Some day you might need their help, and in my personal opinion molding a supportive, problem-solving, caring family can benefit everyone all around.
CoralAmber CoralAmber 9 years
Why is it "selfish" instead of "smart" to save money and pay off debt by living with your parents? Wouldn't being more financially secure earlier in life benefit you both in the end?
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
My family couldn't afford to pay for my college, and I took loans. I had a very rough year after graduating, but will be starting law school in the fall. Iloved living on my own in college, and did for six months after, but not paying for rent these last couple months has really allowed me to start paying off my loans. My law school is in my hometown, and I am even considering living at home during school. Why would I take out loans to live on when I could live at home? And maybe my family can't afford to have paid for any of my school, but their mortgage on their four bedroom house is paid off, so this is their way of helping me. I hate how some people here just assumed that everyone had their college paid for by their parents. Okay, well its not like I'm calling YOU selfish for havng your school paid for!
haydee haydee 9 years
with the way things are in the economy, I am definitely sure that most parents would want to help out their children in any way
lem0n lem0n 9 years
I don't mean to make it sound like I'm only using them to pay off my loans faster. But just flip it around, would it be selfish for your parents to turn to you if they were struggling to pay for living expenses after retirement because their investments didn't work out? I wouldn't hesitate to do my best to help my family out. I think that's what family is about, but I guess that's not the understanding that other families have. So I am lucky to have parents who want me here.
itsallabouttheg itsallabouttheg 9 years
there's nothing wrong with moving home if you legitimately can't afford to live on your own. it's a bit selfish to do it purely to make paying off debt easier, but if all parties agree, it's fine.
lem0n lem0n 9 years
People who think that living with parents is selfish don't understand what it's like to have school debt in the upper seven digits or more. After my loan payments, I wouldn't have anything left if I spent my paycheck on an apartment. The cost of tuition has increased dramatically in recent years. When I was encouraged to obtain these advanced degrees, I was under the impression that education would pay off. Well, I would have more savings and might even be making more money now if I hadn't...but it's too late now. Even though finances played a large part of my temporary stay with my parents, I appreciate the time I get to spend with them. Not everyone who stays with their parents are bums. I would like to live on my own, but it's just not financially prudent right now.
shanimalcracker shanimalcracker 9 years
To uptown_girl, I really don't see it as necessarily being a factor of the staggering economy that young adults are doing this. In general, there are a plethora of reasons that college graduates would go back to their home, whether it be so that they can maintain familial ties, gain enough money to get on their feet, or have somewhere to stay during the time off between college and graduate school. I don't think that children should be expected to pay rent, after all, your parents would be paying the same amount on their mortgage whether or not you are there. However, I do think that it is a responsible decision to pay for your own expenses, such as gas, clothing, eating out, and the like. It also would be considerate to help out with house chores (if you have the time) and do things like pay for groceries when you go out to buy them. I find it strange still that so many people view it as "selfish" to move back in with parents because in many cases, it ends up being the favorable option for both the children and the parents. Of course, this is not the case for everyone, but I don't think that makes either those who stay home or those who continue to stay away from home "selfish" or wrong in any way. I am super thankful that I got to stay at home with my parents this year since I know this is the very likely the last time I will live at home with them and I want to cherish being with them. It also helped me because I had many fewer external stresses by staying at home. Plus, staying at home helped me to actually save a little bit of my income for my impending law school expenses.
cherrylistic cherrylistic 9 years
I am still in college but after grad i plan to move back just while i find a job i am deffinetly not staying there untill i am 30 but i think a lot of college grad need the help they can get before they find a good stable job isn't that what fam is there for...some of us just need a little help....but there are others that take advantage of the situatio.
mjane79 mjane79 9 years
I think it depends on the situation. If you just graduated and have to move out of a dorm, but don't have a job yet, I don't see an issue with it. You haven't established yourself yet. Once you do get a job that you can support yourself with, you probably should move out in a resonable amount of time. I do have friends who have done the thing where they move out, move back in, move out, move back in. I think that's selfish. Once you decide to move out, you need to take the resposibility to take care of yourself. Unless there are exenuating circumstances where you can't take care of yourself (like an illness), you shouldn't run back to mom and dad everytime you need something. That's part of growing up.
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 9 years
Ugh, this reminds me of my boyfriend who was criticizing a mutual friend of ours who is finishing her law diploma and makes quite a bit of money as a piano teacher and accompanist on the side as well. He was calling her tight for living with her parents when I know that a huge part of it is cultural (she's Asian) - I was like, if I was given the opportunity, I would do the same thing and you KNOW I'm not cheap. Some people say that you never gain independence or learn how to live on your own if you live with your parents for most of your life, but look at the countries where this is prevalent - the adults seem perfectly capable and successful to me!
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 9 years
I still don't understand the stigma surrounding this issue - I also think it's a cultural thing that isn't acceptable in America and also Britain. Seriously, if my parents lived close enough to where I worked now (though they'd have to move to another continent), I would definitely move in with them. And they would never, ever, EVER make me pay rent. My parents are taking care of me as long as they can and I fully intend on taking care of them when they're old - am not sending them to some nursing home!!!
AtlantaNoleGirl AtlantaNoleGirl 9 years
Most of my friends moved home after graduation. I did it for a year because I had the opportunity to do a post-grad internship that was a great experience but paid very little. My parents would have rather had me at home than helped me with rent. As soon as I got a "real" job I moved out, though.
uptown_girl uptown_girl 9 years
Oh, but I don't consider it selfish. I understand in this economy it's needed for a lot of people.
uptown_girl uptown_girl 9 years
I think our generation has been too coddled to begin with, and now this makes it even worse. No chance in hell I would of moved back in with my parents after graduating (logistics aside). I love them, but I cannot live with them!
meerkat meerkat 9 years
My parents would love for me to move back home... If I get a job in my hometown... then I will probably move home for a few months while I get my finances in order and save up a few months rent... then I will haul ass to an apartment. :P
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
I wish theyd let me move back in. That was the LIFE! :)
RaCheer RaCheer 9 years
I am 24 and have always lived at home with my parents. I went to a local university so it only made sense. I am also an only child with an extremely close relationship with my parents. They would love for me to live at home forever. I mentioned moving out a few nights ago and they begged me to stay until I get married. That's not too far off since I've been dating my b/f for 5 years now. I have a full time job and pay for all my own expenses. Also, I am able to save for a down payment on a house this way. I don't think it's selfish at all...especially since they want me there. My parents are my best friends and we have an awesome time together. I feel very blessed to have the type of family and living situation that I do! :)
omlove omlove 9 years
I forgot to mention that I will be contributing at home as well even after I get married and move out.
omlove omlove 9 years
Like many have mentioned, this is not acceptable only in the U.S. In my country that is not the case and as soem have mentioned children take care of parents when they grow old. I am working towards my Masters in Business Administration currently and have been working since the time I graduated. I quit a couple of months back as I was diagnosed witha pretty serious condition and am now under treatment. But as soon as Im cured I will be working again and taking care of my own expenses. Paying rent to your own parents sounds a bit ridiculous to me. Also, most people here do not live on rent. We have our own apartments.
carhornsinapril carhornsinapril 9 years
my fiance and i live with his mom. it isn't ideal, but it's a big help, financially, and i really appreciate that she lets us do that. he was able to pay off his student loans completely, and i'm chipping away at mine. we're saving the money we would spend on rent, and squirreling it away for a down payment on a condo. especially living where we do (nyc borough) and not making astronomical sums of money, it seems impossible to pay rent, save for a house, pay off your loans and still have money to eat. so i feel really lucky that we're in the situation we're in.
blu-eyes blu-eyes 9 years
Wow, after reading everyones posts I dont feel so alone. I thank everyoee for sharing:)
seems-suga seems-suga 9 years
As others have stated in their posts, moving back in with the fam is different for everybody depending on their situation. In my culture family stays together whether you graduated from college or never went to college. I grew up in a house of 15 people, 3 families. We all could have afforded to live on our own as a unit but we didn't because fam is THE most important. Six months after I graduated from college my son and I moved back in with my family so I could pay my student loans and save. Now I am moving into my own apartment. The time spent with the fam has been great for me and especially my son because he has become close with everyone (he's 18 months old). We have our ups and downs as a family but for the most part I couldn't live without them.
stargrrl stargrrl 9 years
I find it funny that a lot of posts that mention "every situation is different" then go on to a make a final judgement that living with one's parents after graduating is inherently selfish. Being the 1st college grad from a working class immigrant family who went to an Ivy school, I had no choice but to move back in after graduating. Mind you at one point I was working 3 jobs & balancing a full course load despite the scholarships and loans.
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