Escaping the Boomerang Life

If tough times have forced you to fly back to your parents' nest, take heart. B.W. shows you how you can fly back out�for good.

Anderson says it’s important to set a realistic time frame for moving out and to communicate that intention to your relatives. “If you get a job on Friday, don’t move out on Monday. Make it clear that although you are now employed, you still want to pay the discounted amount so you can save more and not have to move back in.” Anderson advises everyone to save between six and 12 months’ worth of expenses. Thakor agrees. She says, “There is no magic bullet. You must figure out a way to save, invest, and protect. You’ve got to keep within budget to make sure you don’t slip into a financial hole again.”

Adults in their 20s and 30s should save 15% of their gross income—5% for near-term needs and 10% for retirement, Thakor suggests. “Anything less than 10% won’t work.”

Back in the Nest
When Rebecca Roussell, 25, found herself moving back home to New Orleans in October 2007, she had been laid off from her reporter job at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where she earned $35,000 annually. She assumed she’d be at her parents’ house for a year but stayed eight months longer. When new job opportunities didn’t surface, Roussell took a $9-an-hour sales associate position at Banana Republic, a clothing store.

“Because I felt I had done what I was supposed to do—I graduated, moved out—I felt I was regressing by moving back home. I knew it was going to be different because I now had my own set of rules,” says Roussell, noting that she didn’t pay rent and that her parents paid her monthly car note and car insurance bills of $394 and $128, respectively.

Eventually Roussell landed a $30,000-a-year position as an admissions recruiter with her alma mater, Dillard University. About six months later she decided to pursue her graduate degree in integrated marketing communications at Roosevelt University in Chicago. Roussell put her student loans of about $250 monthly in forbearance and used her Dillard paychecks to pay expenses associated with graduate school. Although she paid off a $1,500 IKEA bill and more than half of a $2,000 Banana Republic credit

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  • There are some really great tips here. I think the most important one for adult children is “Don’t expect to live like your parents right out of school,” and the most important for parents is “Don’t dip into your retirement account.” Nice piece!

  • Lyle

    This story is the truth. This was me last year. My parents had my back and helped me get my stuff back on track. Thanks Black Enterprise.


    We are ‘Boomerangers’ as well, but I was a stay at home mother of two when my husband was laid off in Feb. 2009.    Two months ago we had our 3rd child and we are still at my in-laws.  It is a very challenging situation, esp. since our health insurance ends on June 15th and our unemployment ends in two weeks.  I am not exactly sure what we will do, but know that everything will work itself out.  Both of us are currently looking for work, but we also realize that it’s not that easy.  We are hopeful that one of our entrepreneurial ventures will start bearing some fruit.  As I mentioned before, it’s challenging, but I’ve always loved challenges…….this has to be THE MOST challenging of all!  I can’t to see what ‘greatness’ comes out of this boomeranger chapter of our lives.  I started a blog on my boomeranger experience.   Please check it out @ and join us on facebook and twitter.