Sense & Centsibility Blog

Boomerang Kids Cramping Your Lifestyle?

The term “boomerang kid” is a relatively new term, but surprisingly not a new concept. Boomerang kids are those who have previously lived on their own and then end up returning home to live with mom and dad. Generally, boomerang kids are young adults in their 20s and 30s that have returned home for a variety of reasons. And it's happening to more and more baby boomers.

I am here to tell you that having an adult child move home doesn't have to be a bad experience. If you're the parent of a boomerang kid, there are things you can do to make the experience more positive for both you and your child. First, some reasons why adult children move home include: high student loan payments, financial distress or a sudden impactful lifestyle change.

Although those are the three most common reasons, they are not the only reasons. Education reporter Jenna Johnson at the Washington Post blogged the statistic a few months back that in the past few years more than 29 percent of American young adults between the ages of 25 and 34 have moved back in with their parents.

29 percent?! Yes, you read that right. Nearly one third of all young adults have moved back home at some point or another.

Set ground rules Although having an adult child living at home may not impact all parents, it does affect many, which is why it’s important to set ground rules before allowing your child to move in and then sticking to them. I can't even tell you how many times our financial counselors will meet with a couple who are struggling to make ends meet and find out that the root of the problem is extra costs from having an adult child at home. Think about it? Can you imagine paying for an extra cell phone, extra groceries, heat, cable, etc. Many parents don't think there are options.

Expect them to act like an adult Johnson went on to say that 96 percent of those who return to live at home participate in household chores. 75 percent pay for household expenses like food and household cleaning supplies. Even 35 percent pay some sort of rent to help the parents with the extra costs they incur while taking a child back in. As the child saves some expenses while moving at home, it will often allow them to pay down their debt or save money for a nicer apartment in the future. It can help them to get to where they want to be a bit sooner than living on their own and struggling paycheck to paycheck.

Don't treat them like a child As the parent, it is important to be clear on what you will and will not pay for with your adult child. The parent’s shouldn’t be put at risk financially in order for the young adult to live at home. Parents shouldn’t shell out an extra $300 in groceries and $150 in entertainment if they can’t afford it. Most often the reason these young adults move back home is to gain control financially, so as they are gaining financial success, others shouldn’t be financially stressed.

Set Limits Besides finances, there are struggles with power and freedom for both parents and young adults alike. It’s important that both parties are considerate and open about issues going on. Sign pre-arranged contracts on what to expect financially and also personally, so that everyone can co-exist as easy as possible. That way, everyone can stay on the path to financial success.

Do you or your adult child want to take a look at your monthly budget? Call LSS Financial Counseling at 1-877-577-2227 or visit our website at to start online counseling today. Submit your information online and a certified financial counselor will provide you with a plan of action in 2-3 days.  We can help onto the right path!  

Author Sarah Packingham is a DMP Specialist at LSS Financial Counseling.