Sur­vival guide kids’ fi­nan­cial

How do you deal with adult chil­dren re­turn­ing to live in the fam­ily home – with­out leav­ing too big a dent in your fi­nances? Vicky Shaw finds out

Western Mail - - PERSONAL FINANCE -

If you’re a par­ent won­der­ing if your grown-up child will ever man­age to fly the nest, you’re not alone. It’s es­ti­mated more than a quar­ter of 20 to 34-year-olds in the UK still live with their par­ents – with men be­ing more likely to do so than women. There may be all sorts of rea­sons for this – per­haps a re­la­tion­ship has bro­ken down, rent­ing is too costly or they’re try­ing to raise a de­posit for a home of their own.

And while it may be great to be liv­ing as one big happy fam­ily, new re­search sheds light on the fi­nan­cial pres­sures the “boomerang” gen­er­a­tion of young adults is putting on their par­ents.

Seven in 10 (72%) of par­ents of boomerang chil­dren say their house­hold spend­ing has in­creased, al­though less than half (41%) charge any form of “rent” for their kids to live back at home.

The re­search, from Skip­ton Build­ing So­ci­ety, found fin­ish­ing univer­sity and reach­ing 30 were often trig­ger points for mov­ing back in with par­ents. Some were us­ing the fam­ily home as a base to search for jobs, whileothers were nurs­ing a bro­ken heart fol­low­ing a re­la­tion­ship break­down.

Among par­ents who were tak­ing con­tri­bu­tions from their adult chil­dren for house­hold run­ning costs, the av­er­age amount was the fairly mod­est sum of £123 per month.

While some par­ents spent the ex­tra cash on food and gro­ceries, oth­ers were sen­si­bly putting the money away for a rainy day.

To help par­ents con­sider ways to ease the strain on their wal­let, Skip­ton has teamed up with Becky Wig­gins, par­ent blog­ger @EnglishMum, who of­fers her tips for man­ag­ing fi­nances:

■ See your child’s re­turn home as a pos­i­tive. In this fi­nan­cial cli­mate, it’s some­thing that a lot of young peo­ple have to do, so there’s re­ally no stigma at­tached.

■ Whether they’re job-hunt­ing or start­ing their first job, your boomerang kid may al­ready be sad­dled with quite a large amount of debt. Be em­pa­thetic to their sit­u­a­tion and ac­knowl­edge how they’re feel­ing.

■ Be­ing com­pletely open about money suits ev­ery­one best. If the kids are wor­ried about money, it’s eas­i­est to get every­thing writ­ten down and chat about a plan for man­ag­ing the debt.

■ Agree a con­tri­bu­tion fig­ure that suits ev­ery­one. Skip­ton found that the av­er­age boomerang kid in­creases house­hold out­go­ings by £86 a month, or £1,032 a year, so it makes sense that they con­trib­ute to the house­hold purse. Reg­u­lar pay­ments are also good prac­tice for man­ag­ing bills when they fi­nally move out into their own place.

■ Money aside, there could also be other ways you and your child could help each other. Maybe they could look af­ter the house or pets while you’re away, or you could give them lifts to job in­ter­views.

■ If you’re al­ready in a great fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion, you could con­sider hav­ing your child home as a great way to help them build up a cash pot, such as a de­posit for a house.

■ Don’t feel bad for ask­ing. Now you’re all adults, they’ll un­der­stand that you have your own fi­nances to think about and that it’s un­re­al­is­tic for you to pro­vide every­thing for them.

■ Don’t ig­nore your own fi­nances. Hav­ing adult chil­dren is a big step for you too. It’s a great time to have a look at your own fi­nances, and take stock of sav­ings, pen­sions, the mort­gage and plans for re­tire­ment. You could move to some­where cheaper – and no longer have to worry about buy­ing near par­tic­u­lar schools.

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