Modern pressures like a tough economy and competitive housing market mean young people are staying in the nest longer than before. But contrary to popular stereotypes, most aren’t lazy or taking advantage of their parents – they’re just having trouble achieving the financial independence they crave.
Over a third of Canadians ages 20 to 34 live with their parents, according to Statistics Canada. To help your kids get ahead and take the next step, try these tips and ideas:
Tackle student debt. It can be hard to think about planning for a future when you’re saddled with debt, so encourage your child to focus on paying off any educational loans as soon as possible. If they’re living with you rent-free, ask them to put at least some of what they would be spending on rent towards repaying their debt. If they don’t have student debt, encourage them to put that money in savings instead.
Eliminate the extras. There’s a big difference between offering adult children a roof over their head and the indulgent extras many of us provide when they stay home. Things like a cellphone with a big data plan, video games, movie tickets and more are luxuries that you can get rid of to promote financial responsibility and independence. Removing non-monetary extras like doing their laundry and cooking their meals can also be a great motivator. It’s also a good idea to talk about budgeting and what they can do to start saving for a down payment.
Offer an alternative. A more enticing situation can encourage them to leave the nest, like travelling abroad. A working holiday or internship can help them pay for the trip and build up their savings while offering valuable life experiences that can help them become more independent and confident. They’ll also gain international work experience that looks impressive on a resume when they return home and start job hunting. A great resource to obtain work permits quicker and easier is International Experience Canada, a government program that allows youth ages 18 to 35 to travel and work abroad for up to two years in any of more than 30 partner countries and territories.
Find more information on work and travel abroad at canada.ca/iec.