Life in the Lost World

the continuing saga of an opinionated vegan mom blogger and her zoo crew….

   Jan 02

So Your Kid Finally Graduated College – Now What?


So your kids have graduated college and are ready to move out of their dorm rooms. How to you teach them about the realities of real adult life so that they are able to deal with things like paying rent, electrical costs, etc?  Most kids move home for at least a short period of time before moving into their own homes. Here are some ways that you can use that time to prepare them for the realities of adulthood.


The best way to teach your kids about paying rent is to charge them rent for moving back in. You don’t have to make it a large amount (you want them to be able to save up so they can move out, right?) but it should be sizeable enough that they learn how to budget for it. It’s also important to implement a fine and fee schedule, just like they will encounter with a regular landlord. Don’t allow them to think that they can pay their rent whenever simply because they’re renting from you. You want them to develop good habits and landlords are not going to be lenient.


Use websites like to show them how to find the best utility companies in the areas in which they are going to be moving and living. In addition to knowing how to choose the best utility company, it’s a good idea to get them used to things like energy conservation. The best way to do this is to charge them for a portion of the utility bill each month. You know how much energy you used while they were at school. Take 25% of that and then tack on whatever you get charged on top of the “typical” amount as that is more than likely the result of your son or daughter living at home.

Food and Daily Life Costs

Make your kids go grocery shopping with you and split the cost of food. If they want something that you were not going to buy for yourself (or your spouse), have them pay for that themselves. Make them pay for “fun stuff” completely out of their own pockets. Teach them how to look for bargains and figure out the actual cost of things (like dividing the cost of the toilet paper by the number of sheets on the roll) so that they can stretch their dollars as far as possible.

The tricky part is not stepping in to make up the difference if they come up short for something. Resist the urge to “fix it” when this happens. This is the best way to teach them that you aren’t always going to be able to save them when they blow all of their money on a new gaming system instead of buying groceries.

These are just some of the ways that you can teach your kids to deal with regular life outside of school. It might be difficult to not step in and take care of them the way you did before they went to college. Try to see this time as your own transitional period as well. You’re learning how to have adult children at the same time they’re learning to be adults. It’s a rough change but one you both need to make. Good luck!


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