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Should you move out or stay at home after graduation? A financial planner shares her advice

Moving home may be ideal for saving money, but consider the costs of putting your career on hold.

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10'000 Hours | DigitalVision | Getty Images
Select’s editorial team works independently to review financial products and write articles we think our readers will find useful. We earn a commission from affiliate partners on many offers, but not all offers on Select are from affiliate partners.

Fresh college graduates don't have to wait long before "adulting" — and all the expenses that come with it — take them by surprise.

Once you move that tassel from right to left, your mind may start to add up all the dollar signs heading your way. From paying back your student loans, to putting a deposit down on a new apartment, to covering the costs of a new professional wardrobe — your graduation ceremony might be free, but the road to independence is anything but.

That's why college students who have the ability to move home may consider crashing with a parent or family member. Your childhood bedroom might still be full of stuffed animals, but at least it's (likely) a free place to stay while you plan your next move. With less pressure to pay bills, you can save money for a few months, or even a year, while looking for jobs and an ideal new home.

But however cheap (or free) the rent may be at home, moving back in with parents and/or family members also comes with costs, argues Albert financial advice expert Michaela McDonald, CFP.

Ahead, we speak to McDonald about how new grads can choose the path that's best for them.

Should you move back in with your parents after college?

"I've seen a lot of my good friends go and stay at their parents house for a year or two and make bank," McDonald tells Select. "If you have a lot of student debt right out of school, or you're going into a profession that is statistically a little bit lower paying, there's no harm in taking a year at home."

When you have the option to live at home and still earn a decent salary, you can quickly capitalize on the chance to save. You may be able to make a dent in your student loans without rent, utility and grocery bills hanging over your head.

Living at home also gives you some freedoms that not everyone can enjoy, such as saying yes to a resume-boosting job that's not quite at your ideal pay grade or trying your hand at starting a business.

The choice to live rent-free is a particularly savvy move now, when many have the advantage of a remote-work lifestyle, making it easy to work from a parent or friend's house.

Where should you put your savings?

To make the most of your savings, choose a savings account that offers a higher interest rate than your traditional savings or checking account, such as a high-yield savings or money market account.

Though savings rates are lower across the board when compared to stock market returns, these types of savings accounts can still earn you much more than the national 0.04% or 0.03% average Annual Percentage Yields (APY) on savings and interest-bearing checking accounts, respectively.

Select analyzed and compared dozens of savings accounts offered by online and brick-and-mortar banks, including large credit unions. Below are our top-rated high-yield savings accounts and money market accounts. They each offer interest rates higher than the national average, plus they are all FDIC-insured and have $0 monthly maintenance fees and require $0 minimum deposits to open an account.

But on the flip side, living at home could rob you of life experience you only get by taking "the leap". Living on your own requires learning as you go, and that kind of make-it-or-break-it mentality is actually quite valuable, argues McDonald.

"If you do move out right away, you'll have to learn budgeting for yourself. You'll make a lot of mistakes, but you might get farther more quickly with your money skills. Or maybe you'll work harder and therefore be promoted even quicker. There's a lot of motivation, right?"

There's no price on motivation, says McDonald. And the skills you learn by trusting yourself and adapting to your challenges are also priceless.

"You can save as much money as you can staying home for a year... but you'll have to learn those skills eventually," says McDonald. "And they can end up getting you far in your career and ultimately making [you] money."

Information about Marcus by Goldman Sachs High Yield Online Savings has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the banks prior to publication. Goldman Sachs Bank USA is a Member FDIC.

*American Express National Bank is a Member FDIC

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.