5 Tips for Helping Boomerang Kids Without Bankrupting Yourself

Photo by Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

If you have a boomerang kid in your family, don’t despair. You’re in good company.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimated that last year there were 6 million adults ages 25 to 34 living at home, according to the American Institute of CPAs. That’s 18.2 percent of all men in that age bracket (up from 14 percent in 2005) and 12.1 percent of women (up from 8 percent in 2005). College debt, a slow job market and high housing prices are some of the widely reported reasons for the trend. What’s not widely reported is that the boomerang syndrome can be a positive.

“It’s not a negative,” said Leslie Tayne, of Tayne Law Group, New York City. “The connotation is that moving back home is awful, but it could be a sign of financial responsibility. There’s nothing wrong with people moving home as long as everyone is on the same page with a budget, goals and deadlines. It’s a great way to pay off debt and prepare for graduate school or an independent life.”

Consider these tips for setting up a positive boomerang relationship:

1. Don’t wing it

A good boomerang situation doesn’t happen automatically. Children returning to their parental home can sink themselves and their parents if they don’t plan their finances.

“If you go in blindly that can be destructive,” Tayne says.

But a good plan will protect the parents’ finances and can help prepare the child for financial independence.

Parents and child should have a candid discussion before the child moves back to the family home. They should discuss why the child will move back, how long they will stay, what goals they will work toward, and what financial contribution they will provide to the household.

“Parents have lives, too, and they need to understand how a child moving home will impact them,” said Tayne. “Approach the discussion as you would if a friend or any other adult was moving in with you.”

To prevent misunderstandings down the road, write down the agreement and make copies for everyone involved.

2. Set financial expectations

Tayne and other financial experts say adult children living at home should financially contribute to the household. It is not unreasonable to have a boomerang kid pay rent and a portion of other regular expenses, such as food, supplies and utilities. Heritage Credit Union notes:

It could help you avoid overspending — and help your kids be prepared to expect these expenses when they move out on their own. If you can afford it, consider setting aside some of your kids’ rent payment to return to them when they’re ready to move, or to help them pay off debt.

3. Keep an eye on the young adult’s goals

It’s important to ensure that the young adult who moved home is working toward the goals that were set before they returned. Parents should ask for updates on progress. Tayne noted that many clients seem caught by surprise at their children’s actions. “I always encourage parents to have conversations with their adult children,” she said. “Write down the talking points and then have the conversation over a nice family dinner or in another nonstressful environment.”

4. Guard your own goals

Don’t lose track of your retirement savings and financial security in the effort to support adult children. To do so is bad for you and for your relationships. That’s why it’s important to set goals and limits. Don’t pay for items your children can’t afford and be cautious about lending money to them, warns Heritage Credit Union:

If you loaned a child money that he or she can’t repay, it could strain your relationship. Also think very carefully before agreeing to cosign a loan. While it can help your son or daughter establish credit, cosigning could put you on the hook for a loan your child isn’t ready to take on.

5. Don’t change your life to suit your children

It’s important for parents to remember that they are entitled to their own lives. Set limits on the number of guests allowed at certain times. Require adult children to pitch in on house upkeep and other chores. Maintaining your rules and schedule in your home makes sense and it helps adult children remain invested in their eventual independence.

Have you been or have you hosted a boomerang kid? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.

How to earn $30 in less than 30 seconds

Earn extra money by using Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) — a site that gets you cash back at more than 2,500 stores. As a bonus for joining Rakuten between now and Aug. 6, 2020, you'll earn $30 when you spend at least $30 shopping online through Rakuten within the first 90 days. Start earning cash back and claim a free $30 bonus today.

Read Next
4 Streaming TV Services That Cost $20 a Month — or Less
4 Streaming TV Services That Cost $20 a Month — or Less

Here’s how to ditch cable and satellite TV — and save a bundle — without giving up your favorite shows.

Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them
Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them

Here’s how to earn cash as you give new life to these unwanted items.

22 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store
22 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store

The dollar store has great bargains on these purchases.

Replace These 8 Things — for Your Health and Your Budget
Replace These 8 Things — for Your Health and Your Budget

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these things. Waiting too long can cost money or even endanger your health.

7 Surprising Benefits of Staying in Shape After Age 50
7 Surprising Benefits of Staying in Shape After Age 50

Improving your overall physical health is just one reason to stay fit as you age.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?

Two factors determine how much money is coming to you.

10 States Where COVID-19 Threatens Seniors the Most
10 States Where COVID-19 Threatens Seniors the Most

No state is immune from the coronavirus. But statistics show that some places are especially dangerous for older residents.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling
20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling

You probably don’t need a year’s supply of toilet paper to survive an outbreak, but consider stocking up on these items.

5 Household Disinfectants That Can Destroy the Coronavirus
5 Household Disinfectants That Can Destroy the Coronavirus

You likely already have some of these products at home.

6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman
6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman

Beware: The self-proclaimed personal finance expert has a track record that suggests more sizzle than steak.

America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise
America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise

Have you heard of this appliance manufacturer?

12 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
12 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

The Top 11 Jobs That Employers Want Retirees to Do
The Top 11 Jobs That Employers Want Retirees to Do

Tired of age discrimination? Businesses are clamoring for older workers to fill certain roles.

This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked
This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked

The Social Security Administration is not helping certain people get money to which they are entitled, a report says.

9 Things That Are Cheaper Due to the Coronavirus
9 Things That Are Cheaper Due to the Coronavirus

The pandemic has a silver lining.

9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline
9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline

Forget expensive specialty products. Good ol’ petroleum jelly can address many common annoyances.

19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret
19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret

Think twice before buying these things.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing food supply. Is your pantry prepared?

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

8 of the Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar Store
8 of the Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar Store

Not everything sold at dollar stores is a great bargain or a safe purchase. Here’s our list of products to avoid.

41 Things You Should Never Buy
41 Things You Should Never Buy

Some purchases are just plain dumb. Give yourself — and your budget — a break. Don’t spend money on this stuff.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

7 Ways to Shop at Costco Without a Membership
7 Ways to Shop at Costco Without a Membership

You don’t necessarily need to join to get in on the warehouse store’s savings.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.