Ask the Money Coach: Losing it While Living at Home
Let’s face it. Most people don’t have access to a financial advisor. And if they do, those financial advisors may not take into account the human side of managing money – like how spending, saving, and stressing about it actually makes us feel.
Nav.it money coaches* answer questions like how to cope with living with your parents and how to manage your money so you can fly the coop for good.
Dear Money Coach,
I recently moved back home and can’t really afford to live on my own.
I feel fortunate to have a safety net to crash back into, but the problem is it’s only been a couple of months, and my mom is driving me nuts. Aside from the normal disagreements about chores, she now thinks she can hound me about my life choices. I don’t have any privacy while I figure it all out.
What can I do?
-Losing It While Living at Home
Tips for Living at Home and Planning Your Exit Strategy
Dear Losing it Doing the Best You Can While Living at Home
First of all, good job on taking care of yourself. Despite our best efforts, sometimes pandemics, recessions, and less-than-ideal circumstances happen. And sometimes that means heading home. You’re not alone. In fact, you’re one of the millions returning to the nest (to the tune of 52% of young adults).
I know moving back home comes with extraordinary challenges, particularly as you try and build an adult life.
However, think of this as a perfect opportunity to grow into your next life phase.
It sounds like the best way to manage your mom is to focus on you. Coming from experience, parents are less likely to change than you are. I mean, they have probably been acting that way for longer than you’ve been alive.
When you start to take control of your life and set boundaries, your parents have a choice on how to react and continue to behave. Also, therapy works wonders for helping adult children set boundaries. Ideally, your parents will adapt and respect the new, improved adult you. If not, maybe your self-development will inspire them to be better and do better.
So how do you focus on yourself while living at home?
1. What’s going on with your income?
Your income is the key driver to gaining independence and even starting to grow your wealth. When I coach people, we always begin with income. From there, you can decide how to allocate your money to expenses, rent, food, savings, and eventually investing! Have you considered a side hustle if you are making money but not enough to live on your own?
2. Estimate what you will need to live independently.
Some people call this a budget; I prefer the word plan. As my South African brothers love to say, it’s time to “make a plan.” To be independent, what is your golden number (the total income you need that will cover expenses)?
If you plan on renting
The best way to start is to look at rents around town. Start with the area you would prefer to live in and go from there. If that’s too expensive, consider a roommate who might want to go on this adventure with you. Do you have friends in a similar situation, itching to get out of their houses?
3. Practice adulting, aka develop your survival skills.
One of the perks of being at home is leveraging your parents’ shopping and cooking (maybe even laundry?). With rising inflation, basic living expenses are more expensive than ever.
However, one of the best ways to save money when on your own is to learn to cook and clean for yourself. When you’re rolling in the dough in ten years, you can choose to outsource these things. But while you’re trying to transition from home to freedom, learning to take care of yourself well will help build your confidence. Get creative. You could benefit from your mom’s knowledge while living with her and show her you are working on self-improvement (so she gets off your back). It also might encourage more positive and productive interactions with her.
In conclusion, the world is your oyster. You are young and can choose which path to take. Don’t beat yourself up that you don’t love your current situation; focus on what you need to do to get to where you want to go.
*Just remember, we are NOT your financial advisors, tax advisors, or legal advisors by simply accessing this site. Everything that you read or interact with on the site is for informational purposes only. You should contact a professional before taking action.