This Study Suggests Grads Who Move Home for Less Than 2 Years Make $6K More

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You guys already know I’m a 24-year-old who had to move back in with her parents after college.

I’m not super proud of it, and I know I’m lucky.

I also know I’m not the only one. Right now, more 18 to 34 year olds live with their parents than any other living arrangements than ever before, Pew Research Center reports. recently tapped into this demographic by surveying 800 college graduates who moved back home.

The results are just as interesting as moving back home.

How Long are Young Folks Living at Home After College?

I’m right at the 10-month mark of my rent-payment hiatus at home. I’d told myself I’d move out by Christmas.

Well, that’s come and gone.

Then I said by my one-year mark… I’m still not feeling very proactive. I guess others felt similarly.

  • 14% of respondents lived at home for less than six months.
  • 24% of respondents lived at home for six months to one year.
  • 24% of respondents lived at home for one to two years.
  • 16% of respondents lived at home for two or more years.
  • 22% of millennial respondents still live at home. (Hi, that’s me.)

Who’s more likely to move home for two or more years, you ask?

  • 18% were men.
  • 26% were history majors.
  • 25% were arts and theatre majors and IT majors.
  • 27% were telecommunications industry.
  • 25% were in the transportation and warehousing industry.
  • 19% were Republicans.
  • 18% were Caucasians.
  • 17% were Protestants.
  • 25% of millennial respondents still live at home. (Hi, that’s me.)

Why Young Folks are Choosing to Move Back Home

I moved back home to save money.

After graduate school, I didn’t have much to my name. I also secured a full-time dream job with benefits in my hometown, so that was also convenient.

Here are the most common reasons people are moving back home after college:

  • To save money: 48.9%
  • To search for a job: 29%
  • To catch up on student loans: 8%
  • To avoid additional debt: 4.5%

Other motivators included to take care of health or mental health, to grow closer to family (that’s real close), to invest and build credit, to avoid living solo or to pause before a big move.

I also have to admit: I want to live on my own — but know I can’t combat the nasty roaches that live in Florida.

Apparently You Need to Go Ahead and Set a Move-Out Date

Those who live at home for a shorter period of time (under two years) seem to be doing better on the financial front.

(I went ahead and marked my calendar for May 2018. That’s my move-out date.)

Those who lived at home for less than two years reported making more money — about $6,000 more annually.

That’s quite a chunk. But also, think about the whole “correlation isn’t causation” thing your stats teacher taught you.

I have to assume moving out didn’t drive this salary increase.

However, you better believe I’m out of Mom and Dad’s before that two-year mark (mostly because I’d like to feel like a real adult by 26…).

How to Move Out of Your Parents’ House (For Real This Time)

Maybe you really will make more if you’re outta there by the two-year mark. Or maybe you just want to regain your independence (or sanity)…

Either way, I’m taking these steps to expedite the move-out process so I can start adulting.

1. Set a concrete move-out date.

I swear, guys, I’m working on getting over my fear of roaches and rent payments and working to set a move-out date.

But you don’t want to just willy-nilly point to a calendar and say “now.”

I suggest being realistic. Know what you’ll pay in rent and monthly expenses versus what you’re making.

Set a timeline and a budget.

2. Start paying rent.

This sounds odd, but stick with me.

Scope out rentals where you want to move and see how much you should plan to spend each month after moving out.

Once you’ve started saving some money by living at home, go ahead and start paying rent. I know you don’t rent a place, but just set this money aside so when you move out, you’re already set for, say, six months.

You’ll want to put this in a separate account, though, so you don’t spend it.


3. Build an emergency fund!

When you venture out on your own, you never know what might happen.

That’s why you’ll want to have enough cushion for an emergency fund, or a rainy-day fund, as some people call it. That way, if something goes wrong, you’re covered.

Like that pretend rent, you’ll want to stash this in a separate account to keep it away from your grimy spending hands.

Experts suggest you save at least six months of living expenses.

4. Focus on paying off those student loans.

More and more Americans are defaulting on student loans, which isn’t awesome.

If case you don’t understand, defaulting on loans means you stop making payments. If you don’t pay anything in 270 days, your debt increases due to late fees plus interest, and extra collections fees could be tacked on.

Long term, you could become ineligible for more federal student aid, hurt your credit score or risk losing a tax return or paycheck.

So, yeah, paying off those loans is important — especially while you’re saving money living at home.

If you want to see if you can cut down on payments, consider refinancing. These two guys managed to save big by refinancing with Credible. (“Big” as in more than $5,000 in savings!)

You’ll feel best moving out without a chunk of debt to your name. I promise.

5. Stop holding onto stuff.

Chances are, you’ve moved back home from college with a ton of stuff — maybe triple what you left with?

My car was filled to the brim — plus I shipped a few boxes of clothes ahead of me. But I’m realizing now I don’t need 15 sweaters in Florida, or even that thing that meant so much in college that really doesn’t anymore…

And I certainly don’t want to move all of that stuff again when I get my own place. (I’m trying to find a better word than “stuff,” but, really, that’s the most accurate.)

The easiest way to get rid of the extras and make some bucks is to sell it online with an app like letgo.

This intuitive app lets you set your own prices. Plus, it’s easy. All you have to do is a take a photo of the item and upload it.

The platform operates like Craigslist in that you’re advertising to people in your area, so there’s no need to mess with shipping.

For old textbooks, consider using BookScouter. The site tells you what the book is going for and where it’s best to sell it.

Your Turn: Do you have any tips of your own for us poor graduates who’ve moved back home?

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Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.