Living with ya folks. Quite the party, innit? While it’s hardly an American college frat house, living with your parents can have some significant financial benefits. I’ll preface this by saying I haven’t actually lived at home since I was 18 (bar a few months when I moved back with my Mum between leaving my London flat and coming to Australia). But, I did shack up with my boyfriend’s parents for 10 months while we bought our apartment.
It was meant to be three months, but we lost out on a property we wanted, didn’t end up finding anything half decent for a further 4 months, and THEN we had a 60 day settlement. It did however mean we were only paying $140 a week in board between us, and had no bills and very minimal food shopping expenses. It really helped boost our deposit savings, AND actually meant we had the funds available to cover an unexpected cost of $9,000 between buying our apartment and settling.
So, 5 financial rules to live by to maximise living with ya folks:
- Set a budget.
It sounds overly simple, but when your living costs are so low, it can be easy to think you don’t need to be as strict. This happens a lot when you go from paying rent and bills to living back with the ‘rents. Your expenses will seem so dramatically low, that you can’t possibly imagine having all this spare money at first. You think it’ll just save itself without you having to put any real effort in – but budgeting is still important. Set up a percentage-based plan to allocate your money each time you get paid, and keep track of your fun spending to avoid sabotaging the financial opportunity of living at home.
- Pay yourself rent
Whether you were previously renting or you’ve been with your parents your whole life, try paying yourself the rent you’d pay elsewhere into a savings account. It can help keep your savings goals on track, and prepare you for the future of paying rent or a mortgage.
If you’re looking to buy soon and you want to really swot up, pay yourself a rough estimate of the mortgage you’ll be paying, plus bills, rates and other expenses. It’ll be less of a shock when you do move out, trust me!
- Be careful with excuses
One thing we found we would slip into was using the fact we were living at home as an excuse to do dumb shit with our money. Because your mandatory living costs are so low, it’s easy to think ‘ah well I’m still saving something’ and use that as an excuse to spend a little too much on fun stuff.
- Get involved with the running costs
If you haven’t lived out of home before, make time to actually learn how much it costs to run a household. Sure, your parents will probably spend more – feeding a whole family is expensive, plus their house is likely to be bigger than you’ll be buying – but ask if you can learn about how much stuff costs. How much do they pay for water? What’s the weekly shop like? What are council rates like in the area?
This is particularly important if you’re staying at home into your twenties. While living at home can set you up well financially, you could miss out on life skills learned from fending for yourself.
- Set up future-focused savings goals
These will really depend on why you’re living at home and what your next step is – but let’s assume you’re planning on moving out in the next 1-3 years, either to buy or to rent.
Rather than just stashing every single cent you save into one account, compartmentalise and start saving early on for things you’ll need for moving out. Moving is expensive, and often you’ll leave all the purchasing until you’re actually packing your boxes, and that means a big fat hit to your bank account.
Set up accounts like furniture, deposit/bond, movers, decor, etc, so you’ll feel more prepared when the time comes to fly the nest.
Want to get into budgeting so you’re a boss at cash flowing your live when you move out? My “Be Better With Money” eBook is available now, packed with cash flow templates, budget meal plans and tons of side hustle ideas.
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