My grandma is my housemate
4 min | 29 August 2023
With housing costs rising and some grandparents looking to spend more time with family, house sharing between adult grandchildren and grandparents could be the ideal solution.
Ah, grandparents: sharers of sweet treats and the occasional family secret. But what would it be like to live with them as housemates?
As people look for creative ways to live and save money – and loneliness amid the UK’s elderly population is expected to grow as the population increases – some adult grandchildren are moving in with their grandparents to be closer to university, work, friends and family.
We spoke to Chynna, 24, about what it’s really like to live with your grandparents and asked for pointers on how to make it work.
Communal living… with your grandparents
Last year, Chynna got an exciting new job in London and started hunting for somewhere to live. Her grandparents are located in Essex – a commutable distance from the capital – and offered her their spare room, which she gratefully accepted.
How's it going? Financially, Chynna explains that moving in with her grandparents has been great: she contributes to rent and food and saves on travelling costs compared to when she was living further north. This arrangement has also helped her to start saving.
There’s more to the arrangement than budgeting and finances – Chynna and her grandparents make sure they evenly distribute their chores, too.
“When I lived with my old flatmates, we each handled our own food shopping and bills," says Chynna. "Whereas, with my grandparents, all those things are communal."
How does living with grandparents impact your social life?
When it comes to her social life, Chynna has found that living in Essex, with its proximity to London and its transport links, has made seeing her friends and family who live across the UK much easier.
Looking to the future, they're all keen to continue living together. Practically speaking, rising rent and living costs are Chynna's key consideration. “I have no plans to change my job for at least a few years, but even if I did, I'd likely find another one in London to keep the arrangement I have now,” she says.
Would Chynna recommend living with grandparents to others? Absolutely. “It’s worked out fantastically for me," she says. "If other people have the option to do so, I definitely recommend it.”
Of course, sharing any living space isn't always plain sailing. Here are some tips for navigating a new, intergenerational set up:
Ensure mutual respect
As with any housemates, mutual respect is vital. Be clear about the division of chores, along with any additional support your new housemates may require from you day-to-day. It's worth factoring in logistics too. If you're planning to keep different hours, work from home or you'd like to have friends over, make sure everyone's sharing the same expectations.
Set out financial contributions
It can feel awkward to talk about money with family, but don’t wait for a grandparent to bring up contributing to the household bills. Especially if you’re used to being their guest, it’s important to be mindful that you are now part of the household, which has implications. Have conversations about bills and rent early on to avoid any misunderstandings or conflict later. With Chase, you can open extra current accounts in seconds, for free. Use them to spend from, pay bills with Direct Debits, budget and set aside money in the way that works best for you.
Remember they’re still your grandparents
Amid the hustle and bustle of daily life, we can take our flatmates for granted – we see them so often! If you’re living with your grandparents, earmark days to spend quality time with them, too. Maybe you can take the lead on planning an activity you can enjoy together and make some memories in the meantime. Balance this with your social life and that all-important time spent alone.
Whatever you decide to do, look after your money. Chase's easy-access saver account lets you start saving with as little as you like.
18+, UK residents. A Chase current account is required to open a saver account.
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