The cost of living crisis is creating a generation of ‘boomerangers’ as more and more Aussies move back in with their parents to save on costs.
New research by the comparison site Finder has shown that 13% of Australians — roughly 2.6 million people — have moved back in with their parents as times get tough.
Finder’s nationally representative survey of 1,058 respondents found that just over one in seven people have moved back into their family home or have had an adult child move back in with them in the past 12 months.
This includes 5% of respondents who indicated that they have moved home but are about to move back out, and 4% who have said they are about to move back in. Of those people, 36% said that they moved back home due to caring requirements, while 35% moved in to save money for a home deposit.
Rent spiking meant that 31% had to move home as rent became unaffordable.
A massive 19% of those moving back said that they were forced to do so after losing their job. 14% also said that they had to move home after a relationship broke down. A further 1 in 10 (10%) used it as an opportunity to save money as the cost of living continues to surge.
Survey respondents were allowed to pick all the reasons that applied to them, so there may be some overlap in these figures.
Sarah Megginson, senior editor of money at Finder, told The Latch that many people were doing it tough and that there’s no shame in leaning on family for support.
“Interest rates have been going up and the cost of living pressure is coming from all angles, making it difficult to juggle everything all at once,” she said.
“Moving back in with the family, no matter how old, can be a big adjustment. The thought of losing a sense of independence and having to start from scratch is scary. But it’s a chance to get your finances in order and settle any debts before jumping back out there.”
In 2020, census data revealed that 50% of Australians in their 20s still lived with their parents, a trend that has been on the rise in recent years. The pandemic supercharged this temporary move, however, experts have previously said that the insane unaffordability of housing is making the situation worse.
“The reason is simple enough – it’s the cost of housing,” demographer Bernard Salt told Seven.
In ‘normal times’, Salt estimated that “about 16,000 20-somethings a year” are either moving back in with their parents or not moving out due to housing costs.
Megginson advised those finding themselves short at the end of the month that creating a budget to keep on top of expenses is a good first place to start when managing your finances.
“Start cutting out non-essentials and look at where and how you can save money,” she said. “If you find yourself under severe financial stress, contact your providers and ask for a payment plan or contact the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007.”