How To Live (Happily!) With Your Parents In Your 20s And 30s

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Living at home with your family when you’re an isn’t easy. You get under each other’s skin even more than you did when you were younger, and now you all have problems to complain about.

Maybe you’ve already lived on your own for a while in college or in an apartment right out of high school, but you've realized that your bank account won’t let you live on your own anymore.

Whether you can’t afford rent or it’s far more convenient to live at home for the time being, living at home can be incredibly rewarding.

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Think about it. You can save up your money instead of spending it on household necessities since your mom has already supplied them for you. You can live rent-free (or for minimum rent). Laundry is complimentary – and might even be done for you sometimes! Plus, you do get to spend some quality time with your family. Though, you might not always want to because of the shame associated with living with your parents

For financial and health reasons, I’ve had to be the living in her childhood bedroom with her mom and stepdad. It has not been the most pleasant thing in the world.

My sister joined us shortly after I did, followed closely by my step-brother. It’s a real-life full house situation without the catch phrases. To keep the peace, my mom and stepdad have had to set some ground rules. We have to pay the same amount in rent each month, ask before having guests over and clean up after ourselves. Pretty simple.

Things started to become an issue when the house got messier and messier, when no one could sleep because someone was blaring the TV too loudly and when someone else kept eating food that didn’t belong to them. Tensions rose until they reached lethal levels. A small cough would have been the shot heard ‘round the world that prompted World War III.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Living at home sucks when it’s not your first choice of living arrangements, but there are ways to make the situation more bearable. For everyone.

In fact, there’s a new way to live at home in your 20s, and all it takes is some understanding. Follow this advice to survive until you can afford your own place.

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1. Learn that you can’t change your parents (not completely, anyway).

Your parents will always be your parents. They’ll worry about you, love you and constantly ask you to check in with them when you go out. That won’t change.

When you move back in with them, they don’t know another way to handle you other than the way they handled you when you were growing up. Give them a break if they offer to make you dinner, clean your room or pay for your gas. They want to be a part of your life, but they don’t realize that you’re an with different needs.

While your mom and dad might want to enforce the same rules that applied to you in high school, you need to establish boundaries and be honest with your family. You are responsible enough to manage your own affairs. Just tell them and spend time with them without making them feel the need to do things for you.

2. Treat your home like it’s a rental.

Your old room doesn’t belong to you. Your parents didn’t have to give you your space back. They were probably a bit reluctant to do so because they got used to being empty-nesters.

Face it: your parents have become your landlords. This means that they will need to check your credit score, know how much you make and assess other financial prospects to ensure you will be a reliable tenant. Your parents have a right to know how you’re doing financially if you are living with them to save money. If you treat your living situation like it’s the real deal, you’ll be better prepared when you leave.

3. Appreciate what you have.

You’re lucky to have this extra time to spend with your family. Not many people can say they’re close to their parents. Even if you butt heads, you should know that your family is the most precious thing you have. Hold on to it, and try not to sweat the little stuff. You’re all there for a reason, so work on it together. As a family.

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Meaghan Summers is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.