Supporting Your Children When They Move Out

Moving out of your parent’s home seems like a hip thing to do now for young adults, but there are also some good reasons for doing so besides having independence. Learning to live on your own and be self-sufficient is one of life’s great trials. Most people don’t want to be forever dependent on others and throwing yourself into the deep end by getting a home or moving out is a great way to learn how to take care of yourself.

Many children get used to their homes and, as a result, they don’t always feel like moving out until they start to demand privacy. There might also be other factors, such as schooling or job opportunities that are further away from your home. Whatever the reason your child decides to move out, you can help them pick out the right home and also give advice on how to take care of themselves. Here are a couple of tips to help them settle in and ways to support them in their move.

Supporting your children when they leave home - cute house image

Image Source

Discuss Their Options

When your child expresses interest in moving out, you have to discuss their options with them. A young adult probably doesn’t have the money to get a mortgage or the income to sustain renting a place for a long period of time, and unless you have the money to pay the rent for them, you probably won’t be able to assist financially. There are plenty of benefits and welfare money that you can collect depending on your location, but they might not be enough. The first hurdle is finding a property on real estate websites. Take a note of how much a home costs or how much rent is needed, and teach them about how to calculate mortgage repayments and what it means to have a job.

The alternative option is when they move out for university or college. Student loans should be able to help pay for things such as rent and food while your child studies away from you. However, remind your child that student loans need to be paid off, and any additional money they get will most likely have to be paid back.

Supporting Their Move

There are many ways to help your child settle into their new location once they have moved in. If it’s not too far away from you, then consider making regular visits, such as once every few days and then dialling it back to once a week, and then once every two weeks and so on. If you feel like you’re intruding on your child’s privacy, then don’t worry too much about visiting. Instead, send them messages and ask them how they’re doing.

If you are used to cooking for your child, then consider cooking up some meals and storing them in tupperware boxes to give to your child. Don’t make them rely on your home cooking, however. Help them sort out their grocery shopping and teach them a few cooking basics so that they don’t always rely on fast food and takeout deliveries. You want to teach them the value of good cooking and you can ideally do this before they move out so you can share a kitchen together and teach them how to make their own meals and how to do the shopping.

Saving for School: How to Deal with Student Debt

Education is hugely important. It provides us with the tools we need to thrive in life, arming us with knowledge and creativity. However, the higher levels of education come at a cost and one that should be planned for well in advance.

University fees are on the rise and often students leave full-time education with huge debts hanging over them. Despite the size of the figures involved, these student debts are manageable if you follow these tips.

how to deal with student debt - student loan image

Image credit: Pixabay

Plan while you can

Depending on where you went to university and what type of loan you took out, it’s quite likely that you have some form of grace period before you have to start paying it off. In the UK, this is based on your salary, while in the US it could be a fixed length of time. In either case, make use of this period of time to plan your student debt repayment.

Come up with a budget and personal repayment plan that looks at your income, outgoings and student loan contributions. By planning ahead you can manage your debt better once the repayments begin.

Don’t panic

One of the impacts of student debt that is less talked about is the mental burden that it creates. Just hearing the words, “you owe $20,000” for example can deter a lot of talented teenagers from attending higher education.

The important thing is to not panic when thinking about your student debt. No matter how much your course costs, you can manage your finances if you have a clear head and a clear plan. Education is the bedrock of society, so do not let money worries stop you from pursuing your dream.

Debt is not necessarily damaging

Although living with debt is not ideal, student debt is not the same as owing thousands to a loan shark. Paying off your loan doesn’t mean that you have to live off sawdust and hay for the next twenty years either, in fact you can still make the major purchases that you’ve always dreamed of.

Many organisations now view student debt in a more forgiving light than they used to and are willing to offer a number of financing options. Doctor loans, for example, are available to recently graduated medical students to help them purchase a home and other graduate professions are granted similar benefits.

Help yourself while helping others

If you’re based in the US, it is worth looking into volunteer programmes that offer “student loan forgiveness.” Although you’ll still have to pay off some of your debt, a portion may be written off or deferred. By signing up to a volunteer scheme like this, you get to help others while helping yourself to a debt-free future.

Another useful site in the UK is the Money Advice Service who offer free advice on how to deal with debts after you graduate.

Live within your means

A good tip for anyone, but particularly recently graduated students, is to live within your means. After leaving student life behind, it may be tempting to suddenly start living a more extravagant lifestyle, making the most of your real-world paycheck. However, make sure you don’t overdo it.

Paying Back Student Loans

Student loan debt can be crippling unless you handle it the right way. If you understand your situation and know what to do, you can eliminate your debt sooner and live more comfortably without that monkey on your back.

Here’s how you can achieve this:

  • Be willing to sacrifice

Getting out of debt requires discipline. You must be willing to adjust your lifestyle to make your financial goals happen. This means evaluating and eliminating certain spending behaviors until you’re debt-free. To do this, make a budget and look for items you can eliminate. Generally, this means you will have to reduce the number of times you eat out, limit vacations and time away from work, buy clothes only when you absolutely need to and postpone buying that brand new TV or Smart Phone. While it may be hard to do at times, realize that the sacrifice you put in today will pay off big in the future.

  • Find creative ways to make more cash

One of the best ways to pay off student loan debt is to find additional sources of cash. While the economy continues to be flat, there are opportunities to make money. For starters, you can use websites like Craigslist or eBay to sell old clothes or items you don’t use. Further, you can take on small, on-the-side jobs like doing yard work, cleaning homes, or babysitting. Lastly, you could find a part-time job delivering pizzas. Ultimately, no matter how you make it happen, your hard work will pay off as you are taking the steps necessary to become debt-free quicker.

  • Pay off private loans first

Private loans tend to have higher interest rates. Many times, these rates are variable rates, meaning they may increase in a few years. You want to pay off these private loans before the interest rates increase, adding onto the already large balance, making it difficult to pay the bill.

  • Know your options

There may come a time where you suffer a hardship and will need assistance. When you encounter this, call your lender and inform them of your situation. They have options available for borrowers, which includes a temporary forbearance in some instances, which allows you to hold off making payments for a set period of time. You may also want to look into debt consolidation to reduce monthly bills. Further, with the Income-Based Repayment Plan, you only have to make payments up to 15 percent of your pay. To take advantage of these programs, it’s imperative that you communicate with your lenders. They only want to help you. If you don’t keep them updated, you can miss out on options that may be available to you.

Paying off student loan debt may seem like a colossal task, but with proper planning, hard work and sacrifice, you can make it happen. By following these steps and evaluating your finances regularly, you can find ways to cut costs and pay down these bills quicker. In turn, you can gain confidence in knowing that these small steps now will lead to a debt-free future.

Jeffery Sterner writes and blogs about personal financial well-being and issues that influence it for Debt.org, America’s Debt Help Organization.