BOSTON (CBS) – Almost 40% of young adults are living with parents or grandparents. And some have come home with a spouse and kids of their own. Almost 20% of the US population lived in a multigenerational household last year.

Usually the reasons are financial when a kid comes home to live. They are unemployed, or getting a divorce, they want to save money or get out of debt. Sometimes they move back home because they cannot afford the lifestyle they left behind.

If the kids ask if they can move in what do you say? Most of us will say yes. But you do need to set some ground rules and you need to discuss them before they move back in.

And if you didn’t discuss rules beforehand try that conversation now. They will probably challenge the rules but you need to let them know when they have their own home they can make the rules!

Here’s some suggestions:

  • Paying rent is a must. They should be expected to contribute to the household. If they can’t afford rent they should be helping with chores around the house and doing their own laundry and yours. Studies have shown that those who do not pay rent do not save any more money than those who do.


  • Discuss the house rules; nothing has changed since they were 18. No wild parties or drugs. Discuss overnight guests. You may not want a stranger in your kitchen at 7 am making coffee!


  • Common courtesy prevails. If they are going to be late for dinner or staying out they should let you know.


  • If there are kids or pets that also moved in who is going to take care of them? Who walks the dog after 11 o’clock news or gets up for the 2 am feeding for the baby?


  • Set a date for moving out. Deadlines work well for getting people focused.


  • Put everything in writing and give them a copy.


Communication is key here. Talk about the issues before they move in if you can.


You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

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