From Renting to ‘Rents and Back (Part 2)

In my last post I set the stage for how Mr.Wow and I decided to move back in with my parents. Today I’m going to hash out how it went and what the take-aways were.  I think it is also time for a change from Mr. Wow’s dense and lengthy informative small business series to something (hopefully) a little more amusing.  He is finally done with it, thankfully.

If you missed how we ended up here in the first place, take a gander here.  We were in a crummy living situation, desperate for a change, and weren’t against saving some money while we were at it too.

After writing my last post, I quickly realized that we were not the only ones to do this.

We Are Not Alone

I was amazed by how many of our readers had actually made the same decision to move back in with their parents.

First off, Mrs. Fi-ology commented that she also moved back in with her parents at age 44 to finally slay her debt monster once and for all.  And to be honest, it was her Rock Bottom post that inspired me to share my story with you guys so big shout out to Mrs.Fi-O!

Mrs. Adventure Rich mentioned how she moved back in with her parents, with her husband and young son in tow.  Tonya had a brief stint at her parents house as she planned a move across the country.  Peti, Savvy Financial Latina, and Revanche also shared that they too spent some time at their parents house during their adult lives.

But taking the cake was Mrs. Groovy, who mentioned that she and Mr. Groovy have current plans to move in with his parents while they build the Groovy Ranch.  Mr. Wow and I have been loving their updates over the past few weeks (they have a bunch of posts so far so if you’re curious, I’ve linked to a few:  #1, #3, #8, and #10) and can’t wait to read all about how it is once they move!

And here I thought the Mr and I were all alone in the moving-back-in-with-the-parents boat.  Awesome to know that we are in good company!

Not In A Million Years

But there were also a few, Mr. Slowly Sipping Coffee and Wendy, that even though they mentioned they had done it in the past, they insisted that they couldn’t bring themselves to do it now.  It was good while it lasted, but it was all for the better for them to move on and out.  And FireCracker laid down the gauntlet by saying there is zero chance in hell that she would ever move in with her parents.  And now that we’ve done it once, I may have to agree with her on that one!

So How’d Did It Turn Out?

Well, there were some good things, some not so good, and some things that were great.  Here goes:

First, The Good

My parent’s house is in a great area and they lucked out by finding a small, affordable house about 30 years ago.  They also lucked out by having the neighborhood and property values skyrocket around them like crazy.  The house across the street just sold for $3 million, but my parent’s house is worth only a fraction of that.  I mean, the average new house in my parents’ neighborhood now runs around $2.1 million with the average rent being around $5,100.  Most of the ones like my parents’ house are being bought and torn down to build massive new McMansions.  Talk about insanity!

But, I must admit that moving to a crazy nice area of Los Angeles was a actually kinda fun.  And if you like nice cars, this is the place to see them just joyriding along the cliffs overlooking the water.

This may or may not be my parent’s neighbor

To make matters even more interesting, when our domestic disturbance neighbor found out that we were moving in with my parents, Mr. Wow mentioned that we were going to stay in the “guest wing”.  It was not really a guest wing, but that term definitely had a nice ring to it so it stuck.  Really, we just had a guest room and a bathroom that was on the other side the house from my parents’ room.  My dad especially loved joking about how we had our own wing, oh and that there was an ocean view.  It wasn’t quite like the view in our old place though.  Here we had to go out into the yard, stand on our tip toes, peer over the fence, squint our eyes, and hold tree branches out of the way, but it was there, you can see the water I promise!

Another positive about living with my parents was being able to help them out around the house.  Being that we moved in at the end of December, that meant we were lucky enough to help them take down the Christmas lights.  Specifically, the lights at the top of the roof, in which you need to stand at the very top of the ladder.  You know the rung that has a big picture and writing telling you not to step there?  Yep, that one. Being that my parents are not as young as they used to be and Mr. Wow had just incurred some unexpected brain damage, guess who got voted for the job? Needless to say, I completed the task without incurring any brain damage or broken bones myself.  Phew!

The Bad

It didn’t take me long to realize that even though my parents do not live all that far from where we were previously, the location of their house had a dramatic impact on my commute.  I was easily spending hours more in the car every week and for someone who doesn’t really like driving to begin with, this change was exceptionally hard.  Big negative here!

The other negative aspect about living at my parents house was that we had roommates again.  It’s definitely a big change going from not having any roommates to acquiring two.  We quickly had to learn the pet peeves of my parents and make adjustments to keep them happy with us being there as we did not want to wear out our welcome.  They also drove us a little bonkers too, but that was to be expected.

Now that I think about it, the bad wasn’t really all that bad.

The Best

One of the best parts of this whole experience was having my parents around.  It was great getting to spend quality time with them.  They lovingly cooked me dinner every night, which after a 10+ hour day was simply awesome.  And even though my parents would eat long before I would get home, they would sit at the table with me while I ate.  On Sundays, Mr. Wow and I would make a fancy breakfast (perhaps even waffles) for them.  I absolutely love my parents (even though they drive me crazy sometimes) so having that time with them was definitely memorable.

And the ultimate best part about moving in with my parents was getting to hang out with my aging dog.  Even though she was my parents’ dog, we had always had a special bond.  She didn’t end up living much longer after we moved out, so I am blessed to have gotten to spend the time I did with her.

My little Tobison!

Additionally, by moving in with my parents, we got extra time to find our next spot.  Rather than jump at the first thing that came our way, we were able to take our time and be sure that we moved into a great spot.  And even if we didn’t, being that we rent, we could always move again (although we were hoping that wouldn’t be the case at least for a few months).  One of the many perks of renting!!

The Money

The other huge positive was how much money we saved.  I know that’s been what you all have been waiting for so here’s the official run down:

  • Housing: On average housing costs in our area run around $3,000.  That’s including rent and utilities (i.e. gas, electric, internet, water).  We did not have to pay rent at my parent’s house so there’s a few thousand dollars a month going directly into our pockets.
  • Food:  As for food, we saved about $200 dollars on groceries since I was eating with my parents every night.  But I must admit that our restaurant bill also went up about $100 since Mr. Wow and I would typically have a nice dinner for Saturday date night since that was pretty much the only time that we got to spend together.  All in all, we netted about $100 in savings in this department.
  • New Expenses:  We also incurred a few new expenses including $200/ month for a storage unit since we couldn’t take all of our furniture to my parent’s house.  Our gas expense went up about $200 as well since we now were commuting much further than we used to. So we were spending roughly $400 more in these departments.

When adding it all up, we saved about $2,700 a month and since we were there about 5 months, we ended up banking upwards of $13,000.  Well worth the small inconveniences if you ask me!

So all in all, there were some not so good things about moving in with my parents, but there were also some really good aspects too. Would we do it again if we had to? Without a doubt!  But would we do it again voluntarily? Maybe not. I mean, I love my parents and all, but that ship has sailed.

What do you think?  Would you move back in with your parents to save some serious cash? Or were we crazy for doing this?

25 Comments

  • Team CF March 14, 2018 at 4:50 am

    Your parents didn’t even charge you guys extra for that ocean view? WoW! 😉
    Team CF recently posted…The 9 Week Road Trip Itinerary

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW March 18, 2018 at 2:08 pm

      Seriously! Glad they didn’t

      Reply
  • FIRECracker March 14, 2018 at 5:59 am

    You got to bank $13,000! Sweet! Definitely an upside to living with the ‘rents. Sounds like you guys all get along so that’s great 🙂 The key is to have boundaries so you don’t get onto each other’s nerves. The cute doggy definitely helps too 🙂
    FIRECracker recently posted…The Hard Landing: Toronto Home Prices Plummet

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW March 18, 2018 at 2:10 pm

      Can’t complain about saving that amount of money! And I totally agree about the boundaries, takes some time to figure out, but definitely worth it to make it a positive experience for everyone.

      Reply
  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach March 14, 2018 at 6:06 am

    I think that’s cute that your parents sat with you while you ate even though they were done. And that’s a really good savings amount! I could see living with my dad and stepmom VERY short term if there were good circumstances. I’m pretty quiet and they have a basement I could retreat to if I needed space. I think it’s more about the fact that it’s in Detroit vs living with them. You might have to drag me kicking and screaming to move back to that city…at least the area they live in (Downriver Detroit) because there is NOTHING I like there. I had to drive 40 miles to just find a decent yoga studio. Man LA has totally spoiled me in that way…but our rent reflects that so there is that. 🙂
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…This Personal Finance Blogger Just Made a Dumb-A$$ Mistake!

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW March 18, 2018 at 2:11 pm

      Having my parents so close definitely made the transition easier since our lives didn’t have to change all that much. 40 miles? Thats insanity!

      Reply
  • Gwen @ Fiery Millennials March 14, 2018 at 6:24 am

    I’m in the HELL NO camp. I love my parents, but spending any more than a few nights at their place drives me crazy. They have a very specific routine set up, and lots of rules to go along with it. I actually was kicked out at age 18 before college thanks to butting heads over their ridiculous rules and expectations. Now that my mom is home from the hospital, I’ll probably take a week at some point and go help out but that’s about as far as I go these days.
    Gwen @ Fiery Millennials recently posted…3 Years with Fiery Millennials

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW March 18, 2018 at 2:14 pm

      Living with your folks while in adulthood is not for everyone. I don’t think I would have lasted with a lot of rules and regulations. Yay that your mom is home, sounds like she is doing better. Prayers for a speedy recovery.

      Reply
  • My Sons Father March 14, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Sounds like it went as well as it could have gone. Sometimes those situations can feel like navigating a mine field, but your parents sound pretty awesome and that ocean view sounds nice. Actually, are they interested in a friendly family of 4 filling the new vacancy in their house?

    In a short term situation like this I’d have no problem living with family to save a bit of money and find a good housing fit. Does Mr. Wow get along with your parents? He strikes as the type of guy who gets along with everyone, so I’m guessing he does. 🙂

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW March 18, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      Oh yes, he gets along just fine with my parents. And luckily he wasn’t around much when we were there so it really wasn’t a big deal. Though when his class ended and he was looking for a job and we hadn’t moved yet, I think they started to drive him a little nuts.

      I’m sure they’d love the company. Maybe you and MRS. MSF could have the bedroom and the kiddos can bunk up in the boat house aka the garage? I’ll do some inquiring.

      Reply
  • Mrs. Groovy March 14, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Thanks for the shout-out! Yeah, at ages 56 and 58 we’ll be living with Mr. G’s parents for a few months. You’ve heard of our “Coffee Fridays”? Well, we also have “Naked Wednesdays.” Guess which one we’ll be giving up! (Just kidding, honestly.)

    The strangest part will be cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry. We want to pull our weight but it will be strange for me, especially, when the house isn’t mine or my mother’s.

    Congratulations on banking $13K and having that quality time around the kitchen table with your parents!
    Mrs. Groovy recently posted…Building Groovy Ranch: Update 11

    Reply
    • Ms. FI-ology March 16, 2018 at 8:58 pm

      Haha!!! This is the best sentence I’ve read in a while, “You’ve heard of our “Coffee Fridays”? Well, we also have “Naked Wednesdays.” Guess which one we’ll be giving up! (Just kidding, honestly.)”

      Reply
    • Mrs WoW March 18, 2018 at 2:20 pm

      I don’t think I could have done this if it was with Mr. Wow’s parents so kudos to you for being able to. Fortunately, you have an end date so you know that it won’t be indefinitely.

      Reply
  • wendy March 14, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    It sounds like overall it was a good experience!
    For all the pros/cons that you touched on, it seems to come down to two main things: is it a voluntary thing and do you get along with your parents!
    🙂

    Reply
  • Accidental FIRE March 15, 2018 at 10:39 am

    Hours more in the car commuting – that would be a HUGE downside for me as well. As time goes by I continue to hate driving more and more. Bring on the autonomous cars!
    Accidental FIRE recently posted…How The Great Depression Still Affects Me Today

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW March 18, 2018 at 2:22 pm

      I couldn’t agree more!

      Reply
  • Cubert March 16, 2018 at 4:18 am

    I’m kind of with Gwen on this one. You guys are pretty lucky having cool rents with a cool pad. That said, my in-laws on the other hand, are pretty fun people with a nice situation just outside of Vegas. Push comes to shove, I could see us crashing there – assuming Del Webb doesn’t find out…

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW March 18, 2018 at 2:25 pm

      Fortunately, it was my parents and they are cool (for the most part). Don’t tell Mr. Wow, but if it was his parents, I’m not sure I would have gone through with it. They are great people, but I think it would have been too stressful for me.

      Reply
  • Ms. FI-ology March 16, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    Mrs. Wow, thank for the shout out! I loved reading the result of your decision and, of course, the numbers. Congrats on 13k in savings! I think you inspired me to write a post quantifying my savings :).

    I have some similar positive takeaways: 1) I was able to recognize that my folks need help with some things now, 2) it was great to spend quality time with them (though I admit, it was sometimes challenging), 3) my Mom spoiled me with her delicious cooking and 4) the savings!

    The time with your cute dog is priceless.

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW March 18, 2018 at 2:25 pm

      Please do! I’d love to hear more about your story.

      Reply
  • Mr. Need2save March 18, 2018 at 3:55 am

    When we bought our first place, we were ‘homeless’ for a month or two after leaving our apartment. We ended up staying with my parents. As you mention, the worst part was the added commute time – from 15 minutes to around 50.

    I don’t recall saving much money then, but it was better than living in a tent for a couple of months!
    Mr. Need2save recently posted…Foundations of Our Financial Success

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW March 18, 2018 at 2:28 pm

      Dang, that’s quite an increase in commute time. I don’t even like spending an extra 5 minutes in the car!

      Reply
  • Mr. Tako March 22, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    If my parents weren’t crazy people who lived far from civilization, I might consider moving back in with them to save money…

    But given the crazy reality of where they live, it isn’t happening! 😉

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW March 23, 2018 at 10:41 am

      It isn’t for everyone and clearly that statement applies to your situation.

      Reply

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