Not too long ago I wrote a post about why it’s okay to be a boomerang kid. I stand behind the fact that staying with mom and dad for a while during a rough economic time can certainly benefit you in the long run. However, there does come a time when you need to take on more responsibility. Hopefully, if you have found a job then mom and dad aren’t helping you with everything.
Now, this doesn’t mean that as soon as you have a job you need to pack up your stuff and move. Baby steps, my friends. Start small, actually learn about your finances and paying bills before taking a big leap. Otherwise you may find yourself with a hairy financial problem on your hands.
Let’s remember that salaries (if you’re lucky enough to have one) for college grads aren’t what they used to be, and as a result we should exercise a bit more caution with our hard earned dollars. Let’s also remember that the earlier we start cultivating healthy financial habits the better off we’ll be later on.
Below you’ll find some ways you can start financially weaning yourself off of mom and dad. Granted, you don’t have to do all of these. I understand everyone has a different money situation right now, so simply pick whichever works best for you.
1. Cut your spending.
This may be common sense, but there is a reason I bring it up before I give examples of ways to start financially supporting yourself. It’s because before you start spending money on things you need, you need to curb your appetite for spending money on things you want.
Chances are that at some point you’ve gotten really excited about a product or service and did something stupid as a result. I, myself, am no stranger to this. About a year ago I decided I was going to get gung ho about my health and signed up for a gym membership and once a week training sessions – both on contract. Granted, I did pretty okay for a few months until I got sick and my doctor told me I should just stick to yoga. I also pretty much hated it.
The end result is that I had to pay the remaining balance in increments because there was no way I had the money upfront to break the contract. Was signing up for the contracts in the first place incredibly stupid? Yes. But it did teach me a valuable lesson about money.
Fortunately both contracts have ended and I can focus on actually paying for things I need.
2. Take on the smaller bills.
If you have a job, there’s no reason you can’t pay for own cell phone. There’s also no reason you can’t pay for your own transportation (if you really want to be smart about this carpool or use public transit). And hopefully you’ll be making enough to pay for the monthly on your student loans (though I suppose that is a conversation for another time).
Since everyone essentially starts at the bottom, it would be wise to take smaller financial steps while you start to work your way into your career. Once you start making your own money – whether it’s from your day job or your side hustle – you can start taking bigger steps.
3. Pay some rent.
Paying mom and dad for rent is going to be way cheaper than finding a place on your own. Granted, most parents probably won’t ask for a check every month, but if they do there’s no reason to bitch and moan about it. After all, they are putting a roof over your head.
Even if they ask for a couple of hundred bucks a month – a. that is way cheaper than rent for your own place and b. it shows them you aren’t taking advantage. Instead of spending a couple of hundred bones on bar tabs consider helping mom and dad out a bit.
The money you aren’t spending on renting your own place can then go into a savings account so that someday you can own property instead of paying for someone else’s mortgage. At least until you’re making enough money where you can pay rent and save for a downpayment at the same time.
4. Buy your own groceries.
What? Do you expect mom and dad to pay for your food as well? Make a list, buy your own food and cook it too. It’ll teach you a thing or two about budgeting. Besides, some of us need to be forced into learning how to cook (*points to self*)
The aforementioned are just a few ways you can start financially supporting yourself once you have found a job.
Feel free to share any other ideas you come up with in the comments section
Image via ignatius decky