Sometimes things don't go as planned. You picked a great college, studied hard (most days), and wore the cap and gown—so where is the great job, fat paycheck, and place to call your own? If you're like most college graduates these days, there is no high-paying job, and your new place looks a lot like your old room at Mom and Dad's house.
You are not alone—not by a long shot. It's estimated that nearly 85 percent of college grads move back home after graduation. Don't lose hope. For most, this is a temporary situation. But no matter how long you plan to stay with your parents, it can be a tricky arrangement for all of you, especially when it comes to money.
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Your relationship with your parents includes what we call a Money Relationship: how you think about and deal with money as individuals and as a family. And if you've ever argued with your parents about money, you know you don't always see eye-to-eye on dollars and cents.
But with a little effort, you can make a smooth transition, and avoid money fights with Mom and Dad:
1. Remember that you're not the boss. You've been fairly independent with your time and money for the last four (or more) years—you can take care of yourself. But right now, you're living in someone else's house. So give your parents time to adjust to you being there. Take care of your own expenses, try to keep your stuff contained to your space, and be respectful of your parents' schedules. Contribute to the household by cleaning up after yourself, doing your own laundry, and pitching in on expenses and meals.
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2. Set expectations. Before you let another week go by, ask your parents to sit down with you and talk about expectations. Talk about ways you can contribute financially to the family, what your plans are for the next few weeks or months, and how long they're willing to let you stay. Get everything out on the table so there are no surprises. Keep reading...
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