There are few things in the world that evoke a feeling better than moving out of mum and dad’s and spreading your wings as far as they can in the shoe box rental you can afford.
The freedom is indescribable, no one asking where you’re going and why, telling you that you shouldn’t eat that, or asking a million questions about your day when you just want to be silent.
But then, inevitably, as a twenty-something living in an expensive city with an expensive lifestyle, you return to the nest, tail between your legs, because you’ve realised it’s impossible to save any money when you rent and get paid less than a Google intern.
It’s a devastating blow to your belief that you are in fact an adult who can take care of yourself, but it’s not all bad.
I am speaking from firsthand experience, as three weeks ago I packed up my belongings in six boxes and a minivan and made the journey back to my parents’ house, complete with love and pity and a fully stocked fridge.
Our generation is rife with boomerang kids. In fact of my closest friends, over half of them have moved home at some point to save cash for holidays, property or simply just to save and move out again. From our collective experiences I have gathered some tidbits that might help you survive unscathed, and keep your parent-child relationship firmly intact.
Have a time limit
There’s nothing worse than staring down the black hole of time and having no idea how long this lifestyle limbo is going to last.
So sit down maybe by yourself first, but definitely with your parents and work out how long you will need to reap the benefits of being their genetic responsibility to achieve the goal you want.
Work out a budget on how much you can save per month and use that to figure out your timelines.
Stay an adult – don’t let your Mum baby you
You’re not here to regress into your asshole adolescent self.
Keep up the practice of being a grown up so it’s not a shock to the system when you eventually leave again, because you will actually have to resume your life.
This means paying board, doing your own washing, paying for groceries or shouting meals and generally taking care of yourself.
Become roomies with your parents
As cheesy as this sounds, you get on so much better with your parents as adults and find you enjoy hanging out with them as friends.
There are few windows in your life you get to spend this much buddy time with them, so make the most of it.
When you’re all older and appreciate how lucky you are to have such awesome ‘rents, you’ll have some pretty fond freaking memories to look back on.
Play nice with your siblings
This just makes life easier for everyone, and the same general message above applies here.
And this is the only time building forts and acting like children together will ever be acceptable, but this time you can combine it with alcohol and make it more fun.
Make your room your own
Take advantage of having a much bigger and nice room you can afford and make it feel like home. You may be forced to retreat here often for privacy and sanity, so make it a place you will really enjoy spending time in.
And if in doubt, here are three key benefits to keep reminding yourself of:
- The showers are so much better
- The fridge is always stocked
- Obviously, you save a shit-tonne of money
Now suck it up, keep reminding yourself it’s not forever and go numb yourself in front of the free Foxtel.
Main image: Alan Levine, Flickr