My oldest daughter graduated from college last December and got her first full-time job in March of this year. That is great news for her and we are extremely happy for her. However, her entry level salary prevented her from living on her own so here she is living at home.
My wife and I are entering a new phase of parenting and wondering “will we have a permanent stay at home adult child or even worse will she be a boomerang kid?”. I’ve listened to many a co-worker over the years tell stories or complain of adult children not leaving or having to move back in. Luckily one of my strong skills is listening to others so I absorbed it all in.
No single story was the same. In some instances it was a child’s fault and in others it was the parents and sometimes it was both. After considering all the stories I came up with an idea that would allow my daughter to focus on growing up and moving out while at the same time my wife and I could dial down the treating of my daughter like a kid and think of her more as a grown woman. With that we sat with our daughter and asked she lay out a plan on what she would like to accomplish over the next 3 years and have a plan to move out.
My Daughter Had Different Plans
My wife and I sat with our daughter we explained our expectations that we want her to move out after three years and asked her to think about how she would accomplish that and come back to us with a plan.
A week had passed when my daughter finally approached us. She appreciated us talking to her but told us she had different plans. Because Congress just passed the CARES Act which froze student loans (i.e. no interest) my daughter said she plans on putting all of her free money towards paying off her student loans and would get back to us after that to make a plan. This caught me and my wife slightly off-guard but it was a very logical and mature decision to make. While not what we expected we were impressed none the less.
Did She Just Patronize Us?
Shortly after my daughter started working she began working a consistent 20 hours of over-time and suddenly she was flush with cash. 6 months had passed and with all of her over-time she made more than enough to payoff her student loans but she had yet to talk with us. We were left wondering did we just get buffalo’d? Was she just patronizing us to make us go away? Should we approach her or let it carry on more and see where it goes?
As my wife and I were trying to figure out the best way to approach this we were surprised last week when my daughter came to us and said “I haven’t forgotten what you asked for and I sketched out a plan but need your help to start some accounts.“
Guess we learned our first lesson, we raised our kids pretty well and we need to trust them more as adults. We didn’t let her know we were getting a little anxious but we were so happy she came to us on her own.
Her Plan Was Pretty Good
She first explained that starting in December her probation period at work ends and her salary jumps from $40K annually to $55K annually which is not just a big boost but becomes a livable wage. She then explained she wants to save four buckets of money before she leaves.
The first bucket was for a new used car as she knows she probably has only 4 good years left with her current car which is already 7 years old. Second bucket was retirement, third bucket was investments, and the fourth bucket bucket was an emergency fund. After looking at her income she definitely had more room to save so I convinced her to add a fifth bucket for something in the future that she doesn’t even know she wants (house, marriage, special trip, or whatever comes her way).
From here I helped her setup a brokerage account (with a dividend growth portfolio of course) and a Roth IRA with weekly $96 deposits in each. She set up 2 online saving accounts at Ally and Discover Financial with weekly $96 deposits in each and then set a weekly $25 deposit to her savings account at her regular bank.
My wife and I were pretty impressed with her plan and the budget she set up. By the time she leaves our house she will have good budget and savings habits and enough money in reserve that if something goes wrong she can dip into it without having to run back to Mommy & Daddy. I get life is not easy and never goes as planned but I think she has a pretty good head start on life. Now I have two more kids to go through, too bad I had to work out the kinks on my oldest.