Helping you get through tough times

Moving back home for health or financial reasons

If you’ve been living on your own, moving home for health or financial reasons can seem like taking a big step backwards.

box corner held by a handBut, these days more young people than ever are returning home after graduating or working for a few years.

Some of the reasons include being made redundant, not being able to find a paid job or experiencing health problems.

Finding a job right now can be very difficult, without having to cope with paying back student debts and coming up with monthly rent at the same time.

Health problems

When young people develop health problems, sometimes it makes sense for them to move home. Paying medical bills can leave little room for paying rent, and it’s more practical to look to your parents or guardians for support than your housemates.

Be open with your parents about what your needs will be while you’re unwell. It could help to have them speak to your GP in your company so that all of you are fully aware of the challenges of the situation.

Whether it’s a short or long-term situation, accepting help from your parents during an illness or when you have a disability is nothing to feel bad about. It’s important to be able to reach out to the people you trust in times of need. Check support from friends and family for more.

Taking unpaid work

Finding a job after secondary school or college is really difficult for people right now. While there are social welfare benefits available, it’s important to get as much experience as possible to bolster your CV.

Taking up an unpaid internship in your chosen field for a few months could be a wise move. That way, you’ll be keeping busy, while hopefully gaining experiencing and making contacts.

If you’ve the option of living at home for a few months, an unpaid internship might work for you. Your parents or guardians might be happy to support you at home if they feel you’re doing something to increase your job prospects.

Any internship position should offer some element of training or experience that’s relevant to the company or organisation’s function. You’re not there to act as a tea-maker or photocopier for the entire office.

You may still be eligible for social welfare benefits even while working as an intern. Check with the Department of Social Protection for more details.

Making the decision

Sometimes it’s hard to admit it’s time to move home. You might be used to life on your own and the freedom it brings. You might tell yourself things will improve or even take out loans to pay your rent.

Looking at your situation with a long-term perspective is important. There’s no point taking out a loan if you can’t find a job and won’t be able to pay it back.

If you’re constantly stressing about how to make ends meet while living on your own, it might be hard to concentrate on finding a job or completing your studies. View this as a temporary measure that will give you the space and time you need to save some money and make a plan for the future. There’s no shame involved in moving back home.

If your parents are willing to help you out, the move could enable you to pay your debts, finish college and save money. Living cheaply while you’re home can make a big difference to your personal finances.

Dealing with the move

How do you cope with the sudden loss of freedom that moving home can bring? Some suggestions on making it work for you and your parents or guardians:

Compromise – life in your parents’ house is going to be very different than life on your own. Be prepared to start cleaning up after yourself, and letting your parents know where you’re going and what time you’ll be back. You might consider yourself an adult, but living under your parents’ roof means following their rules for a while. Check conflict with parents for more on how to keep the peace at home.

Make ground rules – sit down and talk through how long you plan to stay and what will be expected of you while you’re there. See how your parents feel about the idea of you having friends in, and whether or not they’ll be bothered by you coming home at 5am after a night out. You might find your parents more reasonable than you’d imagined, as long as the ins and outs of your arrangement are discussed beforehand.

Contribute – if you’re earning a regular wage, giving your parents something every month towards household expenses is a good way of keeping them sweet. It might be weird to hand over money to your parents, but rather that than a landlord for the time being.

Keep busy – if you’ve finished college and can’t find work, it’s easy to get into a rut while living at home. Volunteering, or taking up an evening class could give you some much-needed stimulation and interaction outside the home.

Start saving – if fighting over the remote with your younger sister every night isn’t working out for you, then open a good savings account. Cut down on nights out and expensive purchases and focus on where you want to be in a year or two’s time. If you’re dedicated you could find yourself in a position to move out again sooner than you think. Check budgeting for more on how to make savings.

Show your appreciation – families can be a nightmare, but at the end of the day, they’re letting you stay with them rent-free. Their idea of heaven might not include having their loud, demanding 27-year-old offspring hanging around, so give them their space, cook the odd dinner or two and show you’re grateful for the sacrifice.

Enjoy it – living on your own may have its upside, but life at home can be pretty sweet too. Focus on enjoying the perks, like home-cooked food and a fully-functioning dishwasher. Also enjoy the time with your family, because you may miss that sense of closeness when you leave home for good.

Staying positive

You might feel embarrassed about admitting to friends you’ve had to move back home, but there’s nothing to feel bad about. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed, or that your goals have to be abandoned. Check self-esteem for more.

Part of growing older is accepting that sometimes circumstances outside our control will force us to take a step back. Don’t let it stop you from pursuing your goals. With determination and planning, you can get yourself back on track.

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This article was last reviewed on 25 March 2017

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