plonkee money an english-er's thoughts on personal finance

April 25, 2008

boomerangs – try to get rid of them and they keep coming back

Filed under: philosophical — plonkee @ 8:30 pm

Have you heard the term, boomerang kid? It’s what you call people that move out of their parents home (typically to attend college) and then later move back in. Presumably the will move out permanently at some point.

To be honest, I don’t really get it – but I know people that do.

There are two ways of looking at it. There’s the people that move back in after having been to university. I have to admit that this makes a lot of sense. If you didn’t acquire a job before leaving university, and your parents live in a place where there is a reasonably likelihood of getting a job, then it would be financially beneficial to move back in with your parents temporarily. If I hadn’t had a job when I left uni, I might well have been in this position. One of my siblings did this and spent five and a half years living temporarily with one parent, then the other.

On the other hand, there are the people that make a successful move (planned to be permanent) out of the parental home, and then come back again. I have another sibling that has done this. They moved away to uni, stayed in their university city after graduation for a year or so, decided they wanted to move back to London so moved home. About a year (or so) ago, they left home to move into a shared house (as is common with young professionals in London) and then just recently moved back in again.

I seem to be inherently suspicious of either situation if it extends beyond a couple of months. I guess that I place store on being independent and I’m possibly over aware of the affect that boomerang kids can have on the parents. My dad (the only one who would put up with this sort of thing) seems to enjoy having us kids around but I’m not sure what he thinks about having one of us back indefinitely. If it was a problem he wouldn’t say anything to me.

The drawbacks for the kid are that they remain cosseted. One of the things that Looby mentioned as being something good to come out of her college experience was that she learnt to live in a student hovel (not quite in those words). The later you experience life on the proceeds of a smaller income, the harder it is to adapt, and to realise that yes, this really is all that you can afford. It’s easier to avoid taking responsibility for your own life.

Then again, I can see it being ok if everyone acts and is treated like an adult. It can save money for the kid. Some parents enjoy having their adult children around all the time – and if they’re out quite a bit and the house is big enough, people need not get in each other’s way. If the parents are older, they may benefit from having some help around the house – especially with maintenance tasks and so on.

On balance, I’m negative about boomerang kids. That’s probably because it’s not the path that I chose, and I’m jealous of the money that people can save by moving back home. It would be reasonable to suggest that I could be more objective on this, so whether you agree with me or not, let me know what you think in the comments.

Similar Posts:

If you like what you're reading, why not leave a comment below, subscribe to my feed, or check out some of my best posts.

Powered by WordPress