Ask Evie: I Moved Back Home To Save Money But I Regret It. What Do I Do?

Welcome to Ask Evie, our advice column. Readers can submit their questions, and our editors will dish out their best advice!

By Evie4 min read

READER’S QUESTION: "Hi Evie, I recently moved back in with my parents at 25 to save money, and I’m worried it’s the worst decision I’ve ever made. Should I be counting my blessings, or are my feelings justified?

I absolutely loved my college town 1,400 miles away and desperately wanted to stay. But my parents said they would disapprove of the decision to pay rent when I had the option to live for free. I obliged because I couldn’t live with their judgment. Now that I’m back, I have sickening regret. I feel disconnected from the community that I belonged to and from the activities that I enjoyed and no longer have access to. I’m worried I left my only chance at independence and self-fulfillment before having kids, as I only have a few years before I’ll probably want to start a family.

On top of this, my boyfriend is moving in with us soon to be with me and get his financial footing. I’m worried he will hate it as much as I do – not because he misses home but because my mother is an opinionated helicopter parent who comments on every action, or inaction, anyone takes under her roof.

Are my parents right that I can’t afford the luxury to live where I want to in this economy? I’ve always been a practical person and have always made the ‘smart’ choice over the ‘fun’ one with the future in mind. But with this, I can’t help but wonder if trading my happiness for money was the right call. Thank you for your advice :)"

EVIE’S ADVICE: Your twenties are often a complicated time in your parent/child relationship. You're now an adult, capable of independence, and yet you probably still often turn to your parents for advice and comfort. It's usually hard for parents to let go of their children and release them into the world. At the same time, you're also growing more aware of your parents' flaws, how they have impacted you growing up and in your relationships now, and deciding what you want to keep and what you want to discard from your family of origin. You have to remember that you are now an adult, and you are responsible for your own dreams, goals, and decisions – the good ones and the bad ones. 

Parents are a great source of advice, but they should no longer be making decisions for you. It's time for you to start pushing back and asserting your independence, even if that means making a choice that your parents disapprove of, like continuing to rent your own place. Not only for your own sake, but because in the future, you will likely have to establish clear boundaries with your mom about how she will talk to your children and about how you raise them. You need to start practicing standing up to her (respectfully but firmly) now.

If you regret your decision to move back home, remember, that decision can be changed. You can move out! Take this time to search for a roommate to share an apartment with in a cheaper part of town/the state that still has a lot to offer to young adults, and encourage your boyfriend to do the same. You can still be responsible with your money while renting; simply look for a place that is within your budget (or, ideally, below it) that you can split with a friend. Of course, it’s always going to be the most financially beneficial for you to live at home (that’s never going to change), but that doesn’t mean it’s the right decision for you in this season of your life.

It would be complicated enough to live under your parents’ roof as a 25 year old, but living with your parents and your boyfriend could potentially lead to problems within your family and your romantic relationship. If your mom and boyfriend wind up butting heads (which will more than likely happen if you’re already on edge with your mom), it could create a problem that lingers long into the future. Not only this, but moving in with your boyfriend for the first time often brings along its own set of problems to overcome and having your parents involved in that could lead to them taking sides or creating more division between the two of you.

There are an endless number of questions to ask yourself before making this decision: Will you and your boyfriend be staying in the same bedroom? If so, how do your parents feel about that? How does your boyfriend feel? Do you and your boyfriend argue often? How will you handle problems that arise in your parents’ presence? Who will be cooking/cleaning? Who is paying for groceries, utilities, etc.? Are your parents expected to fully take care of the two of you as if you are their young children, or will you be splitting the cost and responsibilities? Are you expected to be home at a specific time every night for dinner together? If you decide to move forward with your current plan, you should, at the very least, have a sit-down conversation with your parents and your boyfriend to discuss and potentially even write out a plan covering all of these questions to ensure that you’re on the same page.

Also, if you decide to stay, you need to know what your financial goal is. What dollar amount do you want to save before moving back out? What specific goals does your boyfriend have? Do you have shared goals? You both, individually and together, need to get crystal clear on what your financial goals are because that will determine when you can move out while feeling financially stable. Do you want to save enough money to put a down payment on your first home or fund your own wedding? Knowing your financial goals will give you motivation to save and will also help you in the moving out process. You can tell your mom, "Hey, we met our goal of saving for X," and then you can move out without it getting personal. 

During this time of working toward a goal, if you decide to stay with your parents temporarily, try to bloom where you're planted. Rebuild your community and make the most of fun events in your area (with and without your boyfriend). Self-fulfillment is not an activity relegated solely to the "pre-kids" era. Learning who you are and what brings you joy is a lifelong lesson. You can also use this time to bond with your parents and enjoy the time spent with them (as much as your mom may get under your skin). As we grow older, we realize that we only have a limited amount of time with our parents left, and when you move out, get a job, get married, and have kids, that time spent together truly dwindles. Especially if your goal is to move to a city or state that’s far away from home, soak in this time now and relish in dinners spent at the table talking and watching movies with your parents in the evenings while working toward your goals for the future. 

Have a question you want our advice on? Email it to us at