Financial Fitness


5 signs your kid isn't ready to move out

Posted at 6:33 AM, Jul 29, 2015

Millennials (at least some of them) have another nickname you may have heard about: the boomerang kids. These are young adults who move back home after college rather than out on their own, whether because of a lack of job opportunities, crippling student loan payments or a desire to save up money. Whether your child is just entering college or the workforce, consider the below signs that they are not ready to move out on their own so you can work with them to get better prepared for this big step.

1. Questionable Decision Making

If your child is not able to handle adult responsibilities like balancing work and social lives or spending and saving, they probably aren’t ready for all the decisions that come with running a home. It’s a good idea to work with your kid to decide about some of the smaller things that they face while still living with you so they will be more prepared for life on their own.

2. No Experience With Basic Maintenance

Cleaning and repairs may seem like daily nuisances for you, but if you handle the clogged sink and dusting all the time at home your kid won’t know how to do these things and may not even understand what needs to be done. Laundry and home upkeep can take a lot of time, but these duties will fall to them eventually so it is better to send them off prepared.

3. Lack of Budgeting or Money Management Skills

If your child can’t hold a job, has unsteady income or has already had a credit card payment issue that may be a bad sign for living on their own. Budgeting, covering rent and understanding the necessity for financial limits are all essential to living without your parents. There will be a slew of new bills and fiscal obligations with an independent living situation. To help your child learn about money management, it can be a good idea to include him or her in your family financial discussions, letting them learn and have input.

Think about this as well — if they’re going to be applying for an apartment, they’ll likely need fair credit (or better) to pass a landlord credit check, or you may be asked to be the guarantor, which can put your credit in jeopardy if your child or (your kid’s roommates) can’t pay. There are options for helping your child build credit — credit cards for people with no credit history, for example — and you can track your credit progress for free through a number of places, including

4. Spoiled by Your Cooking

Home-cooked meals can be a great way to provide for your children, but it can also be a special treat when they come to visit. Taking care of grocery shopping and at least knowing some basic recipes are an important part of growing up. Coming home to an empty kitchen is a sad end to your day that can lead to overspending on takeout or eating out, so you can also emphasize the importance of planning ahead in this lesson.

5. Easily Pressured by Peers

If your child lets friends and co-workers make decisions for them or acts with the goal of making others happy all the time, peer pressure could be a problem. This can lead to poor financial decisions and other destructive behavior down the line. It’s a good idea to focus on the importance of deciding their actions for themselves. If it doesn’t seem to click, you might want to hold off on having them live on their own for the first time.

Even if your son or daughter does exhibit these qualities, this doesn’t mean you cannot help him or her get ready to move out of your home. It’s important to work with them to understand the importance of getting financially and emotionally responsible enough to be independent.

This story is an Op/Ed contribution to and does not necessarily represent the views of the company or its partners.

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